Michael Young
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Michael Young

Band Folk Acoustic


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"Minnesota-bred Young is a world-class picker who shines on 6 and 12-string guitar. There's something of the Leo Kottke style in Young's playing, but he also has his own sound, which draws from folk, rock, blues, country and classical. Young knows his way around the guitar classics but also has a bag full of originals that jump. Listen for songs such as Plinko and Indio." - Jim Beal

"Michael was wonderful on Saturday night. Everyone loved him; what an entertainer. He was a great inspiration, especially to other artists. At such a young age, he can captivate an audience of any age.” - Julie Dregne

“Michael's performance took the chill out of the air and warmed us up enough to set the Doom's Day Clock ahead 12 years. He was fantastic! A wonderful wit and very engaging stories that had our audience totally captivated.” - Mary Palmer, Music Director

“Michael's dexterity, depth and tone will fool you into thinking you're hearing an entire string section instead of just one dude with a 12 string. He channels real emotion and range in his songs, evoking dozens of moods and sounds out of his instrument...” - Jeff Reeves


I Listen To My Feet, 2004
Live From Fort Collins, 2007
Parallel Play, 2008
Chill Out compliation, 2008



Harry West Agency
Harry West
200 W. 40th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55409



This Minneapolis fingerstyle guitarist plays both the six and twelve-string guitar with driving rhythm and groove. While in his mid-twenties, Michael has an ageless stage presence, and he displays his technically proficient fretwork by carrying his bouncy and energetic groove from powerful and compelling compositions to soulful ballads. Moving from daunting and alarming to lighthearted and idiosyncratic instrumentals, Michael takes advantage of the guitar's possibilities by combining standard and alternate tunings with a mix of slide guitar into his playing. He has impressed audiences all over the country including appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the legendary CBGB 313 Gallery in New York City, and the illustrious Knitting Factory also in New York City. While primarily an instrumentalist, Michael also incorporates his warm singing voice into his sets.

An excerpt from an article by Celeste Regal of The Observer in New Jersey:

He was born in Hibbing, MN, in that northern mining town on the Iron Range (remember North Country?). Young managed to retrieve his own special sense of the land: that makes his work worth considering.

He started playing guitar at 14, and the game was on. He is microscopically articulate about his genesis as a musician: a sure sign of conviction. "I took a mandatory general music class in 7th grade. We were learning note values with drum sticks, we got into the keyboard a little bit, and then we got to the acoustic guitar," Young said. "I was noodling around with a guitar one day, and the teacher came over and asked if I took lessons. I said I didn't, but she said that I should look into it." After having his natural ability recognized by his teacher, he explained the experience to his mother.

"She came home with a cheap no-name acoustic guitar. I spent a little time on that, plucking individual strings one at a time, like playing a horn, but wanted to learn chords and get a better knowledge of it," Young said. After taking beginner guitar lessons at the local music store, Young quickly got into the electric guitar. "I was playing both acoustic and electric and kind of bouncing back and forth between the two. My teacher mentioned fingerstyle guitar to me, and gave me a Leo Kottke CD," he said. "I took it, listened to it, thought it was cool, but gave it back to him telling him it didn't really get a hold of me and seemed out of reach. At the time, I didn't know Kottke was famous, so when I saw his name again, I thought it was a really bizarre coincidence. Since it sparked my curiosity that I would come across this obscure player again, I checked him out, and that's when fingerstyle guitar stuck."

Young said Kottke's "I Yell At Traffic" gave him an idea of what fingerstyle guitar is about. "Having bass lines and melody lines and not getting stuck into picking patterns," he said. "Getting stuck into picking patterns is inevitable, but you work through that and get to a point where each note is pretty purposeful."

One of Young's first shows gave him an epiphany that defines him as a performer and musician, as well as a human being who can see the other side.

"I was playing in this small coffee shop in Minneapolis. When I walked in, barely anybody was there. I stepped outside wondering if I was even going to play. When I came back in, there was a couple that came to see me and had driven a ways to do it. I didn't know them, and I'm not sure how they heard of me, but I didn't really care," he said. "So I sat down in front of them, just the three of us, and played. It was the first time that somebody had specifically come out to see and hear me, and I thought that was great.

I owed it to them to play. I still keep that in mind. If I'm worn out, tired and don't really feel like getting up in front of people to play for them, I remind myself that these people took time out of their days, maybe got babysitters, spent money, etc., to come out. I might be somebody's date night for that week, two weeks, month, whatever. I owe it to them to play and perform well."

When asked about his goals, Young has a simple formula, sort of. "I'm always hoping that the next tune comes along. There is an irrational fear way back in my brain somewhere that I'm all dried up and my most recent tune is my last. If I can continue to get shows and play publicly for many years to come, I'd be happy," he said. "I'll always play as long as I have hands that work, but I really do enjoy playing for others. It's satisfying that people are into something you created in your bedroom in your underwear. I think it'd also be great to be an influence on other players and an inspiration