2017 HIGHLIGHTS AND NEW ALBUM RELEASE!

a.jpg

It’s been an incredibly busy year in so many ways and It’s very difficult to know exactly where to start!

But here goes... Early this year I sadly parted company with my wonderful band and friends who unfortunately had so many other things to deal with both professionally and personally that they could no longer commit to playing with me any longer.

However, after a great deal of trial and error, and a variety of gigs and concerts with different line ups of great musicians, I now have exactly the right people and it’s a very exciting time for us. Its back to being like a family again and that is very important to me. 

New Album

New Album
 

The 14 amazing tracks (I am biased) that make up the new album “Cross Country” were finally finished this year also. I was blessed to be able to go a beautiful quiet, peaceful house by the sea in Elie, Fife, Scotland and once again was further blessed with lyrics, melodies and ideas to finish the thumbnail sketches that I already had. I would like to personally thank Mr Ian Watson and everyone at The Elie Trust, for all that he has done for me. God bless you.

“If you like the Eagles and Bruce Springsteen, you are going to love this album.”

So, having written the songs, I then wanted to start recording them and once again God blessed me. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Graeme Duffin (of Wet Wet Wet and Ashton Lane fame) once again. Graeme had engineered and played on my very first solo album “Cold and Roofless” almost 15 years ago, and he is an outstanding, producer, engineer and musician.

Graeme then helped me craft the raw material (although it was pretty darned good raw material!) into the songs that they now are. I can’t thank him enough for his patience, kindness and amazing ear for detail, not to mention his wonderful playing. As we speak, the album has now been mixed, mastered and is now available for download. Happy New Year!

New Sound

This year was another first for me, performing as a solo artist and as a duo, and that has been a very different but uplifting experience for me. The sound is of course completely different, very stripped down and exposed. But the songs are good enough to stand alone and speak for themselves. It has been a real learning curve for me, but it also taught me that if a song is not good enough to be played and sung solo, then no amount of smoke and mirrors will make it sound any better.

2018

I am going to be actively looking to play at as many events as possible and in particular Alternative Country Music festivals, so to any of you event/festival organisers out there, please get in touch if I haven’t already spoken to you. 

Rehearsals with the new band will start early January and we look forward to playing for you sometime soon after that. We will also be doing a regular series of YouTube videos and I’ll keep you posted when they are posted !

In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy, Peaceful Christmas and New Year!

Michael

THE HOPE STREET NEWS

21686215_791867827651752_2136376464694693551_n.jpg

Hello there!

I’ve been blessed being away for a week at this peaceful and beautiful house in Fife - such a peaceful and beautiful part of world. I went with only seven almost completed songs and by the end of the week God had helped me to finish them and another seven on top ! 

Recording

So, I start recording the new album 'Cross Country' with Graeme Duffin at Foundry Music Lab on Monday 16th October and God willing it should be available by the end of November/beginning of December. In plenty of time for Christmas!

Of course, I am very excited about this and the new sound is very country. If you can imagine an acoustic version of the (early) Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, America, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen all mixed together, you’ve pretty much got the sound!  

'Cross Country' can be pre-ordered for £10 - just email me for details 999mikmak@gmail.com. A reminder that my latest single 'Don't You Know' is available here on the site to preview and buy too.

Band

I have been working with a number of musicians and for the 'new' band I am almost there but still looking for someone, male or female, young or not so young, who sings, plays an instrument (preferably acoustic guitar, fiddle or keyboard) and who is reliable and available, and who likes the above bands and musicians.

Management

I am looking for a manager/management company who will work 'with' me to help promote the music and the ministry, and once again I have been speaking to some people/companies regarding this. If anyone is interested, again just contact me.

This weekend I'm in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees at Christ Church Mission so if you're in the area come and join us!

Till next time!

God bless,
Michael  

The Hope Street News - Dec '16

Hello you guys.  It’s been a whirlwind 12 months, so here goes!

In October 2015 my wife and I visited Brazil (Sao Paulo) for the very first (but not last) time. We worked with some of the local Churches who are closely connected to the favellas and felt both privileged and humbled to work in these areas with the poorest of the poor, and often in very dangerous and demanding conditions.

 Sao Paulo

The local churches were incredible with Pastors David, Arlindo, Marcus and Gildasio at the helm; they were on fire for Jesus. The people welcomed us and accepted us openly and warmly and their faith is incredible, given the conditions that they live in. It was also a real blessing to see some of the city and the country and to play and speak (with an interpreter!) in the churches. God willing I will be back one day soon.

May 2016 saw the release of my first book “In His Eyes” which was initially released in the UK through Malcolm Down Publishing and then in the USA through Goodwill Rights Management. Malcolm (Down) is doing a fantastic job in promoting it and we managed to get some coverage in The Big Issue magazine and elsewhere. Elsewhere lead me to a meeting in New York with two of the nicest guys ever, Carl Dobrowlski and Frank Gomez from Goodwill Rights Management. Carl is CEO and following some discussion Carl and Frank agreed (with no persuasion) to play with me at a gig they arranged to promote the book in New York’s Greenwich Village. They learned some of my songs and we played together for the first, (but certainly not the last) time to a small but very appreciative New York crowd. Wonderful! New York is a fantastic city, we saw quite a bit of it on our travels and I just love it. Carl showed us around Brooklyn and Coney Island which was great.

 Sun Studios

In September my wife and I travelled throughout the USA on a “Music Trail” to take in and watch some of the best bands and musicians I’d seen in a long while. The plan was also to meet with record company and music business people to see what could be done with my songs, but that’s another story for the future. Our journey took us to San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Los Angeles, Beverley Hills, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Colorado, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Pensacola!  Whew, it was a very long, intense but wonderful trip. Travelling by car train and greyhound bus we saw some amazing, strange, sad and incredible things, and met some wonderful people on the way. We also managed to do some street work with a church in the heart of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which is also a story for another time.

 USA

Towards the end of the year I have started making plans to take a huge step of faith, and to make music, speaking, humour and witnessing, my full time ministry, so I am looking for all your support and help with this. I need to get as many gigs for the music as possible. I am also looking for speaking events (or both) and can speak to small or large groups of any age or gender on a variety of life subjects. I am especially passionate about talking to younger people on issues of drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, peer pressure, bullying, suicide, but ultimately about a new life, faith and love in Jesus. If you can help or want to donate or sew into my ministry please get in touch and pass the word.

I am also an accomplished piper and I am available for weddings, funerals, corporate events, graduations and any other events that suit. I have a full highland No 1 Dress Uniform. As the drums were my first and favourite instrument, I am available to provide ‘fun’ lessons to beginners of any age.

That’s the plans so far, so I’ll sign off for now and update you as and when things develop. Please have a look round the website and feel free to get in touch if I can help you in any way or if you feel you can help me in any way, or if you just want to say hello.

God bless

Michael