Michael Barretto

Michael Barretto

BandBluesSinger/Songwriter

With smoky voice and rich guitar work, Michael Barretto mixes fine blues with a streak of island sunshine. He’s is a pioneer of a hybrid genre crossing urban and island music being called Island Blues. Results are hearty crowd-pleasing sets, smooth rhythms, swampy backbeats & thoughtful lyrics.

Biography

Hawaii-born Michael Barretto has been pullin' on guitar strings since the age of six. He grew up with the Blues, Country, Rock, Hawaiian, Calypso, Salsa... all that. His first “gig” at 6 sparked a love for performing that still burns deep.

Michael has played professionally since 1972 and in 1980 met bluesman Taj Mahal. “The Hula Blues Band” was formed soon after and Michael has played with Taj ever since. The “Hula Blues” has recorded twice; “Sacred Island” released in 1998, and “Hanapepe Dream” released in March 2001. Michael has performed with the "Hula Blues Band" and solo across the USA, Australia and Europe at venues including Summerfest in Milwaukee,WI; The Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Iowa; and in concert and festivals in over 20 states and countries. He has headlined solo and with bands in Germany at "SommerFest" and Australia at the TAC Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.

Michael is a pioneer of a genre we call "Island Blues" - a hibrid of the blues and world music ... a kind of Hawaiian swing. He plays guitar, banjo, ukulele, and bass. and has performed on the same stage as Jesse Colin Young, Corey Harris, Henry Butler, Brian Kramer in Europe, Smokin’ Joe Kubek and of course Taj Mahal. He performs solo and with bands behind him in concert, at festivals, and pubs.

Michael's CD releases include "Sometimes I Go" in 2000, "Live at Wang0aratta" in 2001, "Oz" (recorded in Australia), "OZ" in 2003, and "Solo Live" in 2004. The music is getting airplay on over 1200 radio stations in the USA and worldwide including Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia and the USA. He is in the studio again preparing his next release.

Lyrics

I Wanna See You Again

Written By: Michael Barretto

I Wanna See You Again ©2001 Michael Barretto

(Chorus)
I want to see you
I Want See you again
I want to see you
I Want to See you again

I drag myself outta bed in the mornin'
Get ready for the day
I look back over my shoulder at you darlin'
Count my blessings in my own way

I got to get off to work now honey,
And I'll be gone the whole long day
And 'til I get home in the evening darling
Don't you know what I'm gonna say ....

(Chorus)

I've been away too long
I need to see you right away
I've been howling at the moon in daytime ,
Can't you hear me when I say

(Chorus)

(instrumental)

I'm like a black cup of coffee
Bitter all by myself
But with just a little bit of your sugar darling
I don't need nobody else

You know I've been right all along
I've done all that I can
Now don't you even think twice about it
Cuz you know that I'm your man....

And I'm like a fish out of water
Struggling towards the tide
And just like a fish needs that water honey,
I got to get back to your side

(Chorus)

The first thing in the morning when I open up my eyes
And everyday at lunchtime when my throat is running dry
Got your picture in my wallet - something for me too keep
And every single evening babe- before I go to sleep
There's nothin else I need darlin' to keep me hangin on
Whenever I'm away from you - it always lasts too long
I wanna see you.
I wanna see you again.

Well I'm goin off to work now and I hate to go away
I'll be back in the evening - man I hate to leave this way
My hands are getting shakey - and my legs are gettin' weak
My mouth is feelin dry, gettin' hard for me to speak
I break into a sweat, you're affecting me this way
This only happens to me when I have to go away

I want to see you
I want to see you again
I want to see you
I want to see you again

Hanapepe Rain

Written By: Michael Barretto

Hanapepe Rain ©1999 Michael Barretto

Here in my hometown,
It Hardly ever rains.
Puttin’ that old roof back on
Takes the back seat of the train.
Try and get some workin’ done
And it’ll surely start to pour.
When the rain come down in Hanapepe town,
You know you just can’t work no more

Reminds me of a time when I was
Down in Hanalei.
Made a comment to my friend
About the blue skies turnin’ gray.
He looked at me with that smile of his
And this is what he had to say…
When the rain comes down in Hanalei town,
You know the rainbows light the day

Well, the rain comes down and it clears the air,
You know, it comes out of the gray.
One thing 'bout them rainy days, you know they wash your cares away.
So if that rain keeps comin' on down, just remember what I say...
Count your lucky stars tonight,
You live another day.

Here in my hometown,
It Hardly ever rains.
Puttin’ that old roof back on
Takes the back seat of the train.
Try and get some workin’ done
And it’ll surely start to pour.
When the rain come down in Hanapepe town,
You know you just can’t work no more
When the rain come down in Hanapepe town,
You know you just can’t work no more

Roadside Cafe

Written By: Michael Barretto

Roadside Café ©2003 Michael Barretto

They were hot.
Pulled into a roadside café.
They got some bad directions
Sometimes it just works out that way.
So they pulled in for some gas
And blew off the rest of the day.

He had a cup of coffee
You know, I think she had one too.
Then they shot a little pool,
‘cause there was nothin’ else to do.
And then they got back in their car,
And moved it on down the road.

(BREAK)
She was out of Memphis
Blues singer through and through.
He was from around you know,
A guitar player too.
And when they got together,
You know the music sound so fine.
She would sing and he would play
It come out just like wine.

And so they rode
On down the highway making time
Another day,
They’d be in southern valley sunshine
So they put the pedal to the floor
And moved it on down the line

(BREAK)

They were hot.
Pulled into a roadside café.
They needed some direction.
Sometimes it just turn out that way.
And then they got back in their car
And moved it on down the road
They got back in their car
And moved it on down the road
I said they got back in their car
And moved it on down the road

Why'd You Have To Be So Mean

Written By: Michael Barretto

Why'd you have to be so mean?
©2003 Michael Barretto

Well, you think you been hurtin' all alone?
And Honey, I admit that I ain't been home...
But if you think you're in there by yourself,
The way it's been I can see no way to sit up on a shelf.

And you'd think we were starting world war three
By the way the shrapnel flies when you're mad at me
But Baby, there's one thiing I just won't do...
That's to come out here, make you cry, just to make you blue

CHORUS
Walk down, get around, do what I do to get by.
Wake up, make up, ready myself
I'd better look good if I'm gonna die
And I won't even cause a scene,
But Darlin', Why'd you have to be so mean?

And I know that my drinkin' gets you down
And you keep sayin' that I ain't been around.
But Baby, when you treat me bad,
I get all locked up inside,
And start to feelin' sad.

And even somtimes late into the night,
Some of these things we do, well they just ain't right...
And we don't even have to start a fight
You know I dodge 'em when I can,.
That ain't the way to be your man.

I'm tellin' you... (CHORUS)

Walk down, get around, do what I do to get by.
Wake up., make up, ready myself
I'd better look good if I'm gonna die
And I won't even cause a scene,
But Darlin', Why's you have to be so mean,
Ah, you great big meanie..
Honey, why'd you have to be so mean?

This Cowboy Ain't Tellin' No Lies

Written By: Michael Barretto

This Cowboy Ain't Tellin 'No Lies © 2003 Michael Barretto

Put on those cowboy boots and your little red dress
Top it all off with that hat, Oh Yes!
You walk into a room, you catch every man’s eye
This Cowboy ain’t tellin no Lie…

Now, I don’t care if you’re wearin’ pink or blue
I feel the same way just walkin’ with you
The smile on your lips’d make a grown man sigh
This cowboy ain’t tellin’ no lie

In my life I’ve known a whole lot of girls
But up until now, there Ain’t been a one
Could set my head in a whirl

Now, I could care less if you’re in black or white
As long as you’re near me I could go on all night
The curve of your hips'd make a grown man cry
This cowboy ain’t tellin’ no lie

It’s getting real bad, You know I can’t sleep at night
I gotta know, can’t lie with the doubt
You’ve got to tell me if I’m in or out

It’s like climbin’ a greased pole
(You can’t get a grip)
Or walkin’ on ice
(You know you’re gonna slip)
Or maybe driving through a cloud and you can’t see the sky
This cowboy ain’t tellin’ no lie

Jody Tried

Written By: Michael Barretto

Jody Tried
©2002 Michael Barretto

Jody was the smart one
And he never took a chance
In games of the heart
And playing at romance
Ask him to do anything
And Jody would be there
That’s the kind of guy he was
Live without a care
But oh Jody tried

She went down to the seaside
And Jody went there too
She had him by the short ones
And he never had a clue
She asked him to stay with her
And Jody surely did
Yeah, we lost Jody that day
And he was just a kid
But oh, Jody tried

Jody he tried to run
He did all that he could
But someone that was smarter took him down
Jody never had a chance
And I gotta say he tried
But that girl had been around
And he lost his heart

Jody was the strong
But he never stood a chance
In games of the heart
And winning at romance
Jody coulda made it out
That sunny summer’s day
And we were right there with him
When he gave his heart away
But oh Jody tried
Oh Jody tried
And he lost his heart
.

Discography

Sometimes I Go (2000)
Live at Wangaratta (2001)
Oz! with the Bullock Island Blues Band (2003)
Solo, Live (2004)

With Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band:
Sacred Island (Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues) (1998)
Hanapepe Dream (2001)
.

Set List

Michael's sets are typically between 1 and 2 hours long consisting of primarily original material with a scattering of tunes from Taj Mahal through Roy Orbison. Sets vary of course depending on Solo or band configuration.

1 Hard Luck with Women - Barretto - Blues
2 Sometimes I Go - Barretto - Island
3 Blue Light Boogie - Robinson - Blues
4 Lazy Day - Barretto - Island
5 Why’d You Have to be So Mean - Barretto - Country
6 Guitar Playin’ Fool - Barretto - Blues
7 Grown Up Women - Barretto - Blues
8 They Got Their Way - Barretto - Country
9 Mailbox Blues - Taj Mahal - Blues
10 Urban Veneer - Barretto - R&B
11 Anything You Want - Orbison
12 Another Excuse - Barretto - Island
13 Streets - Barretto - Blues
14 I Just Push A Broom- Barretto - Country
15 Jody Tried - Barretto - Blues
16 She Just Wants to Dance - Keb Mo’ - Blues
17 She Ain’t With Me Tonight - Barretto - Blues
18 But You Know That - Barretto - Island Blues
19 Steal Back the Time - Barretto - Blues
20 Comi