In the late 1980s, the Texas-born artist scored a Top 10 – Adult Contemporary hit with his song, Dawning on a New Day. Suddenly, his music, which had been known only at a handful of alternative stations, was being featured on national TV and played on radio stations in nearly every city. He began headlining major theaters, the Greek and Universal Amphitheaters in LA, The Paramount in Denver, Wolftrap in Washington DC, and many others. From the very first, his following was loyal and passionate about this new songwriter who sang the songs that they felt came from their own lives.
By his fourth release it seemed clear that a very successful career was being launched, but behind the scenes Michael was growing weary of the chaos and conflict that is so pervasive in the corporate music world, where artists and label executives speak more often through attorneys than face to face. In the early 1990s, Michael decided that he’d had enough. Surprising his fans and many in radio, he walked away from it all. In an almost unheard of move, he challenged his record label and regained ownership of all his music, reclaiming full rights to all his publishing, master recordings and copyrights. He then returned to his home in Seattle to start his own small label, Desert Rain. From that time on he began to fashion less a career than a life, an ongoing process of merging his music and personal life into a growing collection of songs, CDs, concerts and retreats.
Widely known for his friendly concerts, funny stories and warm goodwill onstage, Michael took his performing a step further and began hosting weekend retreats called A Gathering of Friends, using his music to bring people together in friendship, laughter and goodwill. They came from all over the US and Europe to a small, rustic village on the Olympic Peninsula – to make new friends and laugh and tell stories. He now hosts a new event called A Gathering of Dreams, intended to encourage people to move toward their dreams and a life of purpose.
Michael continues to live in Seattle.