Michael Kammin

Michael Kammin

 Champaign, Illinois, USA
BandFolkAcoustic

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.

Biography

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.

Lyrics

Strong Mind

Written By: Michael Kammin

It took a strong mind
to come down here tonight
and work my way through these words

I spent a long time
sculpting a speech
that would reach out
and cross the line

There you sit now indifferent
to my naive rehearsed words

There you sit indifferent
to the past and all it is worth

If you don't listen now
You will never learn

It took a strong mind
to forget about my place here
and act above my age

It took a strong mind
For you to live with this for so long
and still have the faith to change

There you sit now indifferent
to my naive rehearsed words

There you sit indifferent
to the past and all it is worth

If you don't listen now
You will never learn

Ernie

Written By: Michael Kammin

Ernie was an old man
When I was a boy

His body gave way
but he didn't give a damn

Ernie was an old man

Ernie spoke of his wife
From way back in the day

He said "She passed on now long ago and left me on this farm all alone"

I cried like hell
The day she died

I told them I didn't
but I lied

I cried like hell when she died

Ernie gets along fine
Next month he'll be ninety-nine

With his shotgun behind the door
His six guns there in the silverware drawer

He keeps them in the silverware drawer

Last time I saw Ernie
He was still in the fields

Plowing his rows with a mismatched team
And picking off crows with a sling

He could use a stone and a sling

When they found Ernie His boots were still on
In his favorite chair between the stoves
In his overalls with a pocket full of Skoal

He had a pocket full of Skoal

And I cried like hell
When Ernie died
I told them I didn't
But I lied

I cried like hell when Ernie died

Prairie Town

Written By: Michael Kammin

This prairie town
Has been good to me
I've made enough
To settle down

Found steady work
Down at the school
And teaching chords
In the neighborhood
This prairie town
Has been good to me
Its been good

We struck out south
I was scared as hell
We'd fold our hands together
Pray all went well
Thank God for your momma
For sending cheese
And money
So we could eat

This prairie town
Has been good to me
Its been good

Nowadays a frontier
Is not knowing anyone
Give yourself a good year
And you'll be on a dead run
In this prairie town

I miss the hills
And the cool breeze
Rocking the tops of the cold pine trees
I miss my brothers
I knew I would
Despite the hell
They put me through

This prairie town
Has been good to me
Its been good

Nowadays a frontier
Is not knowing anyone
Give yourself a good year
And you'll be on a dead run
In this prairie town

Discography

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

Set List

Enough instrumental guitar music to fill 120 minutes
Enough singer/songwriter style music to fill 120 minutes
Vocal Covers
Everything is Free Now - Gillian Welch
World Without Tears - Lucinda Williams
Cross of Flowers - Jeffrey Foucault
The Maker - Daniel Lanois
Downtown Train - Tom Waits
Louis Collins - Mississippi John Hurt
64 Dodge - Greg Brown
Many more...
Instrumental Covers
Bean time - Leo Kottke
The Claw - Jerry Reed
House Rent Stomp - Big Bill Broonzy
Moe Uhane - Sonny Chillingworth
Fisherman - Leo Kottke
In Christ There Is No East or West - John Fahey
The Last Steam Engine Train - John Fahey
Digitalia - Preston Reed
Ojo - Leo Kottke
Prodigal Son - Rev. Robert Wilkins
South by Winterwest - Billy McLaughlin
Layover - Michael Hedges
Western - Alex de Grassi
Many more...
Original Instrumentals
Introductions
Jalopy
Morning Bear
Boot
The Sad Hotel
Short on Goodbyes
2nd Chair
East vs. West
Quarter Slots
Original Vocal Songs
Strong Mind
Palermo
P