Michael Heaton

Michael Heaton

 Montgomery, Illinois, USA
BandAmericanaRock

Americana with a Rock-n-Roll heart.

Biography

Literate Americana with a rock-n-roll heart.

Michael Heaton’s songs emerge from classic American traditions – rock, country and pop. But Heaton accomplishes what few songwriters and performers do; he makes the tried and true feel new again. A self-described “country guy that can play the Who,” Heaton bridges the energy and passion of the best rock n’ roll with plainspoken, emotionally affective lyrics that touch a chord in a lot of people. Over the course of hundreds of shows and several albums, Heaton has proved his mettle – he’s an artist who has won himself an eager fanbase, and with that, the freedom to make the music, he wants, his way.

Heaton’s gift is for writing songs that touch upon real life – love, work and the seemingly unheralded moments that make up the deepest parts of our lives. He says, “A great song makes you think – not about the singer, but about yourself. I want my music to affect people that way – it’s like a tool that you can relate the world through.”

Ironically, for an artist for whom authenticity is paramount, Heaton literally faked his way into becoming a musician. He recalls, “In seventh grade, I made a decision that I was going to be popular. I sat down next to the popular kid and told him that I was a guitarist. That impressed him, and he invited me to a party he was having. I showed up at his party, and he asked me to play a song. Of course, I was petrified, and told him that I didn’t have my guitar with me. He then proceeded to pull out a guitar and handed it to me! I had a mental picture of the frets though, and I actually got through (Ted Nugent’s) ‘Cat Scratch Fever!’ That got me in the band.”

Taking up the guitar for real, Michael began writing songs within a month of learning his first chord. He remembers with a smile, “All the bands I loved, like the Who and CSNY, had guitarists who wrote the material. I just thought that was what you were supposed to do!” Developing himself as a singer/songwriter/guitarist, Heaton formed and fronted bands such as the X-Tras and Cut, and toured with Chicago favorites, the Drovers, sometimes being their opening act. While his passion for music was never in doubt, Michael had to work various jobs to support himself. “From diaper delivery person to making false teeth to performing singing telegrams…I guess I’ve done a little bit of everything,” Michael says with a smile.

That all changed in 2000, after Michael released his first album, Learning Curve. A winning and eclectic collection of songs, the album, in tandem with Michael’s increased touring schedule, began to get attention for Michael, and by 2001, he was doing well enough to support himself solely through his music. In 2003, Michael’s released Our Little Secret on Artichoke Records, and continued to build upon his earlier momentum. Recorded with a crew of Nashville greats, like drummer Eddie Bayers, mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush, and bassist Dave Pomeroy, the album was co-produced by Pat Bergeson (Lyle Lovett, Chet Atkins, Allison Kraus) and showed off a more polished and technically accomplished side to Heaton’s music.

But as always with Heaton, the song is the star, and on Our Little Secret, he found that certain songs were impacting people in enormous ways. He explains, “’Say It In Spanish’ became a wedding song for a lot of people, which really blew me away.” The increased appreciation for Heaton’s work allowed Michael the opportunity to open for artists such as Shelby Lynne, Robbie Fulks, Sleepy LaBeef, Duke Robillard and more. And playing around 200 nights a year continued to spread Michael’s reputation as an energetic and passionate front man who connects with audiences every single night. “I’ve just been a working dog playing music,” he says with a laconic grin.

Currently, Michael is readying his next album titled I Know What I Know. “I have just finished recording
and we’ve been mixing for a month,” he says. “It’s really a family album.” With themes ranging between
childhood memories, dating, marriage, divorce, careers, drinking and the loss of loved ones.
Part of the disc was recorded in Chicago with his stage band, and the second half
was recording again with producer Pat Bergeson in Nashville.” Release is set for May 2, 2009.

Through a fiery charisma and unquestioned commitment to connection, Michael Heaton has been
able to do something that many aspire to, but few accomplish – making a living career out of music.
“I’ve got this really nice thing going on – like fans who support what I do. Music has brought me
so many great thrills; meeting artists like Taj Mahal, Lucinda Williams and Richard
Thompson.” He’s done so by creating music that honors the power of great music – by hitting a lot
of people right where they live.

Lyrics

I Know What I Know

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton

Well we moved out in the dark of night
I started my life in between the lines
It's never black and it's never white
It's sometimes wrong and sometimes right
Even shades of grey are dark and light
I know what I know

Well I've seen things I ain't supposed to
There's fires I've been way too close to
I lost my nerve but I kept my scars
Right here on this broken heart
People just don't always tell the truth
I know what I know

Hold on tight
There's a storm a raging
It's inside
It's been there for ages
I'll be alright
I'll just write the pages
Of my life
and one day you'll see
I know what I know

I'm used to living with these ghosts here
But I think I should let them go dear
I've carried this weight till it laid me low
I tried and tried but they won't let go
I kept them in this toy box just to show
I know what I know

Hold on tight
There's a storm a raging
It's inside
It's been there for ages
I'll be alright
I'll just write the pages
Of my life
and one day you'll see
I know what I know
I know what I know
I know what I know

All She Wrote

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton

Darling I remember
When our life had just begun
Nothing there to tie us down
Just room to run

The days when we made promises
That we believed were true
Brighter than the shining sun
Just me and you

A garden in the back yard - pictures on a shelf
You wanted something better or something else
Perfume on a pillow - one word on a note
Forever - that's all she wrote

The devil's in the details
we're never satisfied
No one ever sets out
To live a lie

Chains of work and family
It never felt like it was wrong
But hearts will never change
until you can't go on

A garden in the back yard - pictures on a shelf
You wanted something better or something else
Perfume on a pillow - one word on a note
Forever - that's all she wrote

I can still remember
When our life had just begun
Nothing there to tie us down
Just room to run

A garden in the back yard - pictures on a shelf
You wanted something better or something else
Perfume on a pillow - one word on a note
Forever - that's all she wrote

Lucky

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

From the release "I Know What I Know" ©2009 Michael Heaton

I don't put much in games of chance
Well I don't blame things on circumstance
If there's been something I may need
I guess the rest is up to me

I always thought I made my plans
The world ain't waiting for no man
The leaves will change the kids will grow
The more I live the less I know

But I feel lucky
Yeah I'm lucky
I'm so lucky
You know what I mean
I feel lucky
Yeah I feel lucky
Well I got lucky
When you found me

I'd throw my money all away
I feel I'm winning everyday
Well I don't yet have the finer things
But I know the best that life can bring

And I feel lucky
Yeah I'm lucky
I'm so lucky
I feel like a king
Well I feel lucky
Yeah I feel lucky
I got lucky
When you found me

And I feel lucky
Yeah I'm lucky
I'm so lucky
I feel like a king
Well I feel lucky
Yeah I feel lucky
I got lucky
When you found me

Well I feel lucky
Yeah I feel lucky
I got lucky
When you found me

©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

Stumbling

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

From the release "I Know What I Know" ©2009 Michael Heaton

Well I've been stumbling in the dark
Looking for a little light
Listening for a heart
To make everything alright

Can't see the trees for being in the forest
I'd given up until you shined a light
And even more is that I'm now believing
Everything will be alright
Everything will be alright

Well I keep flying 'round a little star
Dancing through the milky way
Wondering what we are
And living with it anyway

I think so much I need someone to cling to
Well come on darling put your hand in mine
We'll take a shot and find a star to swing to
Everything will be alright
Everything will be alright

Well time gets lost
I don't know where it goes
And I get tossed
Round and round and round it goes
Where I stop nobody knows

Well I've been stumbling in the dark
Looking for a little light
Listening for a heart
To make everything alright

When I was worried that I wouldn't make it
You know you saved me when you shined a light
You slow me down when I get in a hurry
Everything will be alright
Everything will be alright

©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

When The Heart Moves

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

From the release "I Know What I Know" ©2009 Michael Heaton

She said darling don't look now
But your past is closing in
I can't believe you put me though this hell
If this was love
You'd show instead of tell

You've got to run when your heart says run
Go when your heart says go
Well you've got to run when your heart says run
Because when the heart moves everything must follow

She said take a look around
Oh and tell me what you see
You've got your life
You've got your work and friends
Got everything
But darling it ain't me

You've got to run when your heart says run
Go when your heart says go
Well you've got to run when your heart says run
Because when the heart moves everything must follow

Well you know what you wanted
And you know what you need
You got your life you got your work and friends
Got everything
But darling it ain't me

You've got to run when your heart says run
Go when your heart says go
Well you've got to run when your heart says run
Because when the heart moves everything must follow
Well you've got to run when your heart says run
Run when your heart says run
Run when your heart says run
Because when the heart moves everything must follow

©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

Small Fry

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

From the release "I Know What I Know" ©2009 Michael Heaton

I'm a small fry in this place
A little fish in a great big pond
Just a swimming round in space
I just keep on keeping on

'cause I'm a small fry
You know it's true
Well I'm a small fry that it so in love with you

Faster than a summer goes
I know everything will change
And I'm not keeping up with the Jones'
Hard enough being who I am

Just a small fry
You know it's true
But I'm a small fry that is so in love with you

Well then what's it gonna be
The pursuit of happiness
Or misery
Why don't you glide up next to me
And we could both be

A couple small fries
In this place
A couple fish in a great big pond
We'll make our way around in space
We'll just keep on keeping on

A couple small fries
You know it's true
'cause you're in love with me and I'm so in love with you
That's right

©2009 Michael Heaton (ASCAP)

A Father's Dream (The Wedding Song)

Written By: ©2009 Michael Heaton

A Father's Dream (The Wedding Song)

On the day you were born
I wanted to hold you forever
Wrap you up in my arms
My whole world was coming together

On your first day of school
You waved as we stood in the doorway
We taught you the rules
Although you were sure it was your way

No matter how far away you might be
You'll never be too far from me
Because all that you are is living my dream
Of the wonderful life you will lead

And when you were scared
I sang you a sweet lullaby
To always be there
And one day you'll sing to your child

Well now that you're grown
I'd still love to hold you forever
Wrap you up in my arms
And we'll go round the dance floor together

No matter how far away you might be
You'll never be too far from me
Because all that you are is living my dream
Of the wonderful life you would lead
Of the wonderful life you would lead
Of the wonderful life you would lead

©2009 Michael Heaton

Discography

More samples available available at:
http://www.garageband.com/artist/MichaelHeaton

All songs in this discography were
written by Michael Heaton.

I Know What I Know (Michael Heaton) (Release date: May 2009) 13 songs 2009
Michael Heaton Band Live 13 songs 2005
Our Little Secret (Michael Heaton)12 songs 2003
Learning Curve (Michael Heaton)13 songs 2000
Rest In Pieces (Band: CUT) 5 song EP 1995
Cut (Band: CUT) 7 song EP 1993
Kaboom (Band:The X-Tras) 12songs 1991

Set List

Sets run from 30-90min.
Original Songs titles include:

The Good Times (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
If It's So Easy (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
Our Little Secret
I Know What I Know (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
C'est La Vie (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
All She Wrote (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
The Best That I Can (Sample on Sonicbids player above)
I Got Lucky
A Father's Dream
May The Sun Shine Always On You
Rhum and Coffee (for Guy Clark)
Small Fry
Stumbling
When The Heart Moves (Everything Must Follow)
I'm Outta Here
Ring Ring Ring
Over The Hill
Say It In Spanish
Wildflower
Souvenirs
In The Middle (Y'amo dei la di Y'amo dei la da)
Now Or Never
Here It Comes
Blue Eyes
Smells Like Gasoline
So, Here We Are
Silver Lining
Carolina
In The End
Big Life
Straight To Hell
We're Not Sleeping
Saving Grace
Halo
100% of Nothing
Coffee and Cigarettes
Shame On You