Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Michael‘s on Fire
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Michael‘s on Fire

Kristi Kates - July 18th, 2011
Michael’s On Fire
By Kristi Kates
“When I was young, the guitar represented a new way of life that you couldn’t really learn in school,” explains the California guitarist/vocalist/songwriter known simply as Michael On Fire. “It was portrayed as a symbol of freedom - a weapon of the young rebellious spirit that was called rock and roll,” he says.
By the time Michael On Fire was of age, as he explains it, musicians like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy Waters had “gotten into the fabric of society,” and it was only a very short matter of time before Michael On Fire was - well, on fire for music. From that point on, no other career would do.

“As a kid, it seemed like a great way to make a living as portrayed on TV and the radio,” he says, “and as soon as I started playing, I started to discover the roots of American music, and it was very natural to me.”
Michael on Fire’s musical skills wouldn’t lead him to a hobby, but to a “way of life,” he says - “I have been on the road for four decades, traveling every part of the country and the world playing music for a living.”
Influenced by “all good music from every era and genre,” Michael on Fire is irrepressibly positive in his approach to his craft, which he sees as a vehicle for a kind of musical “good work” that he hopes will help encourage a more peaceful world of affirmations, soulful sincerity, and sharing.
“The theme of all of my music has always been the same,” he explains. “Self-awareness, self-healing, and striving to find the common emotions that we all can relate to as humans. The common thread is the roots of American music - the blues, country, rock and roll, and folk music, borrowing from all genres in the most simple way using guitars, fiddles, banjo, piano, organ, drums, harmonica, and beautiful melodies and harmonies.”

All of those musical elements were brought together for Michael on Fire’s latest album, which was recorded in November/December of last year.
“It was recorded at Real Sound in Novi, Michigan, and at Black Box Sound in Atescadero, California,” Michael on Fire says, “it is my latest studio album, and has been on the National American Music Charts for 20 weeks.”
Michael on Fire took tunes from that same album to England for the past two weeks, where he recorded a performance at The Live Room in Palmers Green in North London, a performance that he says is slated to be mixed and then potentially released as a Michael On Fire Live in London CD album.
“It was all improvised, with me singing my songs and the Irish players doing what they do,” he says, “Americana (music) mixed with traditional Irish sensibilities. I think we got some worthwhile music out of it.”

Michael on Fire will be bringing his sound to Northern Michigan for a trio of shows beginning July 20; he’ll follow his MI dates with a show at The Ark in Ann Arbor, and then it’s on to Texas, Colorado, and California, with a European tour in the planning stages.
“We will be coming through the Northern Michigan stretch of the tour with a four piece band,” he says, “myself on guitars and maybe piano; the great English guitarist Ced Curtis, who comes from the same lineage as the great Peter Green and Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler; California/New Orleans bassist Jack Joshua; and Tompeet from Santa Barbara, California on drums.”
Michael on Fire is keeping his positive attitude with an eye towards these upcoming shows, as well, as he looks to win over new fans - even if his style of music may not be your style of music.
“Whether or not (my music) is your taste,” he says, “I can guarantee that it will be presented from the heart of these wonderful players.”

Michael on Fire will be performing live at the Glen Arbor Music Festival on Wednesday, July 20; at the InsideOut Gallery in TC on Friday, July 22; and at the Elk Rapids Town Hall on Saturday, July 23.
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