Michael Rosas
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Michael Rosas

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Band Alternative Folk

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Music

The best kept secret in music

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Discography

Michael Rosas - Self Titled 4 Song EP

http://michaelrosas.bandcamp.com/

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Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Your first introduction to the soulfully sincere music of Michael Rosas may not be at all what you’d expect from someone who got his start in the skateboarding/hardcore scene of Southern California some 25 years ago.

For a guy whose most influential records were by Bad Brains and Sonic Youth, and whose first two concerts were The Ramones and Devo, you’d expect some angry, world-weary, grizzled alt-rock troubadour singing about drugs and death and all that old teenage angst that once paid off by fueling a rock revolution.

Yet what you hear when you play one of his songs (or better, see him perform live) are tales of life and love crafted in some of the most literate outpourings of musical poetry you’ll likely ever experience.

His Grandfather’s music room, which contained several instruments – particularly an old 1940s Martin 000 parlor guitar – was the first memorable musical exposure in Michael’s young life. Michael recalls connecting instantly with that guitar and wanting to learn how to make music with it. Not long after admiring that guitar, Michael jumped in the deep end of the surging new wave and punk scene washing over the country at the dawn of the 80s.

Piano lessons didn’t stick, but guitar lessons did, and it didn’t hurt that Michael’s claim to fame was taking guitar lessons from the guy who played guitar on the world famous “Dukes of Hazzard” theme song. Learning songs by ear was more Michael’s style, and soon, so was Michael playing punk-style guitar and singing, but it wasn’t until after high school that he started to do both at the same time. It took Michael a while to figure out that his “singing” style was fine for the band, but it wasn’t quite singing the way a singer should sing. Just as he was maturing as a man, so was his voice.

Michael’s line-up of bands he’d played in and sang in all experienced levels of regional and national success. Most notably (for music history’s sake), it was a high school aged stint with Inside Out, which included a teen-aged Zach de la Rocha in the band laying down a blueprint for what would later become Rage Against The Machine. Michael left the band after what he calls “two rowdy and unforgettable shows” not because of trouble within the band, but because of his own internal strife: Punk music was simply no longer Michael’s “thing” – it wasn’t in his heart. Fresh out of high school, he formed his own band, the seminal California pop rock band Smile, who, by the end of their decade long run, had recorded two albums for Atlantic Records, a handful of EPs, toured extensively and captured the hearts of fans around the world. It was in Smile that Michael developed his songwriting and singing abilities which were further solidified in his follow up band, Satisfaction. Michael had grown comfortable in his role as a singing, songwriting and guitar playing front man but, by the end of his most recent band, Flying Sparks, Michael was poised and ready to try something new.

His new musical love was a genre from decades past and that old Martin parlor guitar he’d inherited from his Grandfather. Michael’s musical heart had changed, and that change set him on a path to a different kind of greatness.

Musicians like Bill Withers and Leonard Cohen and the folk revival scene of the late 1950s and early 60s became his new obsession along with the older, traditional European folk music ballads. “I was raised on punk, new-wave and indie rock, so this was really new for me. It reminded me how great just a voice and guitar can be,” Michael says. “There was magic there. I knew I wanted my next project to have that magical quality.”

Michael didn’t quite connect with the rising rootsy folk or Americana music scenes. He was after something else; something more personal and fitting for him. A month-long work trip to Texas soon found him holed-up in a hotel room where he spent nights honing his craft and learning every folk song he could. Upon returning home, Michael was invited as a tag-along friend on a Matt Costa tour, and he ended up being invited on stage to sing harmony. This tour included a two-night run at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium.

Needless to say, Michael was inspired. After that experience, Michael built his confidence and debuted new songs by playing as many open mic night shows, coffee house gigs and songwriter showcases he could find. The product of that musical nurturing is his 2013 self-titled 4 song ep. When he’s not playing West Coast shows (either solo or accompanied by friends and collaborators), Michael continues his musical journey by writing songs for what he anticipates will become his first solo album.

For Michael, teenage angst didn’t necessarily pay off well, but it did grow up and mature from rage-filled screams and rock star dreams into a lovely musical career overflowing with timeless, organic poetry set to folky-melodic pickin’ on his old acoustic guitar or barking electric fuzz from his Telecaster, and singing his