Michael Kammin
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Michael Kammin

Champaign, Illinois, United States

Champaign, Illinois, United States
Band Folk Acoustic

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Folk singer to perform at coffee shop

By Ben Balanoff
Verge Reporter

Michael Kammin has worked to cultivate a sound of his own.

The musician has combined traditional songwriting with guitar work that highlighted by his finger picking style, which lies somewhere between the avant-garde and the delta blues.

Kammin will be performing at Jackson Avenue Coffee at 8 p.m. Saturday.

“I really try to connect with the audience,” he said. “I believe the performance is a two way street. I try to connect, and I try to look for something in return.”

Kammin hails from Wisconsin, but relocated to the Champaign-Urbana area several years ago with his wife.

Since then, he has performed at colleges, county fairs, and coffeehouses.

Around age 15, Kammin realized he wanted to devote his life to music.

“I started going to concerts. It really stuck with me,” he said. “It just took hold.”

One experience that had a strong impact on him was seeing Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges perform live.

Leo Kottke is an elder statesman of acoustic guitar playing who draws heavily on jazz, folk, and blues to construct polyphonic, syncopated melodies.

Hedges was an innovative guitarist of eclectic compositions.

Kammin credits Kottke as being his biggest influence.

“I like his overall attitude, his personality and his quirky sense o f humor,” he said.

Kammin released His five-song debut EP, “Strong Mind”, last August.

Kammin plans to release new material in March.

The show is free and is open to students and the public.
- Daily Eastern News


Discography

Strong Mind - Debut EP released in August of 2006
Cold Pines - First full length released in May of 2008

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Bio

Originally from rural Wisconsin, Michael Kammin is an engaging singer and guitarist who plays a variety of acoustic music ranging from original songs and instrumentals to covers of Tom Waits and Leo Kottke. His songwriting is strikingly original with a hint of Americana, and backed by a deftly fingerpicked guitar.

As a teenager, influence from his older brother and a rare opportunity to see both Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges play together at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison lead him to explore the world of fingerstyle guitar. In addition to Kottke and Hedges, Billy McLaughlin, Alex de Grassi, John Fahey, and Pierre Bensusan soon became household names.

A six-year stint in Milwaukee brought an opportunity to study guitar and exposed him to some of the best songwriters of our day, including Willy Porter, Peter Mulvey, Patty Larkin, Martin Sexton, and Jeffrey Foucault. These musicians whetted his appetite for songwriting, and fostered a strong appreciation for the well-penned lyric.

Having moved to the flatlands of central Illinois to accompany his wife while she attends grad school, Michael's hands have finally caught up with his head. Playing various venues from farmers markets to coffee houses to colleges, the edges of a seasoned musician are being defined.

Michael's debut EP entitled "Strong Mind" features five original songs, and was released in August of 2006.

Michael's first full length album entitled "Cold Pines" is also now available.

Band Members