Michael McGarrah
Gig Seeker Pro

Michael McGarrah

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"2nd Place winner 2010 American Songwriter lyric contest"

2nd place winner of the American Songwriter March/April 2010 Lyric Competition with his song "Starlite Hotel". - American Songwriter

"1st place winner 2005 American Songwriter lyric contest"

1st place winner of the American Songwriter July/August 2005 Lyric Competition with his song "Iowa". - American Songwriter

"2nd Place Winner 2012 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition"

2nd place winner at the 2012 Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. - Tucson Kitchen Musians Association

"Grand Prize Winner - 2010 Great American Song Contest"

'Dancin' In the Bone Yard' has been
selected as the Grand Prize Winner in the 12th Annual Great American Song Contest. - Song Writers Resource Network

""We Are Listening" lyric writers award finalist"

"Starlight Hotel" has been selected as one of six finalists in the Lyric Writer Awards, presented by We Are Listening. - We Are Listening

"Music Monday - Michael McGarrah"

I wish I could write like McGarrah. I could spend hours just listening to his tunes, soaking up the rhythm and wordplay. He has a voice that can carry off his great writing and simple guitar picking that provides a great backdrop for his words without getting in the way.

So, the next time you are thinking more about steelers and meat packers and pickup trucks heading across the country, the next time you want to hear words of the American experience put together elegantly, find a Michael McGarrah CD, open a Lone Star, pour yourself a shot of Whiskey, and just listen. - Aldon Hynes - Orient Lodge

"P.J. Curtis"

Michael is a terrific talent...a fine poet with a great 'lived-in' voice. I love it. Great story songs. So far for me Dancing In The Bone yard, Country Girl (great atmosphere here ), Nightbirds
Waltz and Rockabilly Sat Night are the stand outs.. And this must be the
first Tuba solo Ive ever heard that made me stand in amazement! ( (Lets
Pretend Were Strangers)...a truly superb work. - Grammy Winner

"Radio Ranger"

I was on board Michael McGarrah's "Love Boat to Reno" from the moment I heard the first track, " Dancin' in the Bone Yard." The house sound engineer at a gig I was working was playing the CD to test the house system. I heard it and I knew right then I had to have it. "Dancin' in the Bone Yard" is a mesmerizing song with cinematic images and great clarinet hooks baited with a vaporous ghostly violin...

From the first tuba note and swing clarinet sounds on the tile track "Love Boat to Reno," it's obvious you're not on an ordinary journey... by the time the boat docks, you're glad you have been along for the ride.

Radio Ranger
KOPN 89.5 FM
Columbia, MO. - KOPN 89.5

"Don Charles"

Don Charles, Dsquared: McGarrah’s songs function like an emotional spyglass, peering about the room and soaking in the significant details. He is an iconoclast in the Tom Waits tradition - often the point of departure is so skewed that you feel he’s taken you to the wrong place (Love Boat to Reno?). Then the poet does his magic and you realize he had you right where he wanted all along. And he can write a love song that will make you ache for it. - Dsquared

"David Cowling"

...possessed of a voice that can tell a story in many different forms from the Tom Wait's lite of 'Dancin' in the Boneyard' to folk, country and spoken word, he'll turn his pipes to any gentle genre...'Nightbirds Waltz (How Are You Sleeping Tonight)' has a cargo of emotion whereas the title track is all about seersucker suited dandyism - he likes to play roles. He's the narrator on 'Rockabilly Saturday Night' and on 'Iowa' he shows that he can write 'the dust has blown her years away, stole the color from her eyes', this tale of disappointment soundtracked by violin and viola stealing the show. McGarrah is a stylist using generic patterns to tell his stories - there's humour and emotion packed in with the role-playing. - AmericanaUK

"Heidi Fosner"

McGarrah is a storyteller. His tenor/baritone voice is compelling and convincing as he weaves his americana tales. - Victory Review

"Larry Hillberg"

Top-notch song writing, excellent arrangements, and expressive, engaging



CD "Love Boat to Reno" May 2007

"Let's Pretend We're Strangers", Hole in The Sky, Bob Bourgoin, Tail Wheel Music 2001

" Dancin In The Bone Yard" Indie Artists Alliance Songwriters and Storytellers CD Volume 2 Compilation CD



It began when I was quite young, bumping along the blue highways of the Pacific Northwest in the bed of my Dad's 1955 Chevy pickup truck, watching the clouds scroll across the sky, humming to myself and fooling around with words and little melodies in my head. I learned through the years that a good lyric driven song can knock you off your foundation for a little while...transport you to another place...like a little timeshare condo in your head.

Now I'm reaching for the proverbial brass ring. I'm mixing metaphors, but I have to say, I hate songwriting one moment, and cling to its skirts like a needy child the next, begging for something just outside my reach, like a dog snapping at soap bubbles, occasionally I'll get one and find it has just disappeared and left a funny taste in my mouth, but once in a while I get that magic bubble and it opens up a parallel universe...a hole in the fence through which, somehow, one single little patch of this untamed universe falls into place and makes total sense to me...and I get to keep it. That makes it all worth it. For a little while.