Michelle Mangione
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Michelle Mangione

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"OC Weekly"

Sideswipe was one of Orange County’s truly great alt-rock bands. Few groups anywhere played with such Clash-like intensity and the pop hooks of Crowded House. A tough act to follow, for sure. But since Sideswipe disbanded three years ago, Michelle Mangione—the drummer and half of that band’s creative team along with Sally Landers—has forged ahead quite nicely, thank you, with her splendid solo debut, Life Beneath the Sun.

Mangione, who’s also performed with saxophonist/political activist Buddy Collette and guitarist Robben Ford, knows how to lay down a solid rhythm. But she’s also a versatile, accomplished songwriter and musician, having produced, written and arranged all of Life Beneath the Sun’s songs, as well as played percussion, piano, organ and acoustic guitar. Her subject matter draws from personal experience and observation, allowing us a glimpse through her window into weighty topics, including being robbed at gunpoint (“Man With a Gun”), a disheartening conversation with a Vietnam Vet (“America the Blue”) and relationship insecurities (“What Should We Do”). Along with her earnestness, though, Mangione lightens up enough to poke fun at her own values in the opening track, “I’ve Become.”

While most of the soundscape is midtempo, acoustic-driven folk-rock, a handful of Mangione’s talented friends lend a hand on cello, bass, organ, and steel and electric guitar, adding just enough color to keep things sonically diverse. Her less-aggressive solo style is more reminiscent of Joan Armatrading, or perhaps Toni Childs, than the propulsive rock of Swideswipe, but the common thread is fostering female independence and human compassion. It rings just as true now as then.
- John Roos

"Orange County Register/Pop"

An acclaimed drummer flies solo, an eclectic duo goes Hollywood and a trio releases a striking debut in the latest field of releases celebrating the wide range of talent from Orange County.
Michelle Mangione "Life Beneath the Sun" (independent) – Even the most talented drummers often find it next to impossible to find success, and respect, as singer-songwriters. Michelle Mangione, who played with saxophonist Buddy Collette and guitarist Robben Ford before establishing herself locally as drummer with Orange County-based Sideswipe, has just released an outstanding solo debut, the latest stop in a genre-defying musical journey. Although she shared lead-vocal duties in Sideswipe, "Life Beneath the Sun" finds Mangione not only singing the songs and playing drums, but handling guitar, piano and percussion. Songs range from midtempo folk rock such as "Prisoner of War" and the piano-anchored ballad "What Should We Do" to pleasing melodic rock built around strong melodies and engaging vocals ("I Can't Decide," "I've Become").

Special to the Register

- Robert Kinsler

"SIGNAL TRIBUNE Long Beach California"

Multitasking musician set to perform at local coffeehouse

Issue Date: June 15, 2006 Section: Entertainment

Few musicians putting out their first solo CD can claim the distinction of having worked with a jazz legend, but California Heights resident Michelle Mangione, who’s just released Life Beneath the Sun, has performed with unsung jazz great Buddy Collette. Collette was a saxophonist, political activist, bandleader and the first African-American to play in a television studio band, on Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life.
Mangione herself is no stranger to this kind of multitasking, since she wrote and arranged all the songs on her album, as well as singing and contributing performances on guitar, piano, organ and her area of expertise percussion.
She became a drumming teacher at age 16 and graduated from the Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood at age18.
This mastership of percussion isn’t obvious on Life because her distinctive but lovely voice and emotionally accessible lyrics are front and center on most of her songs, which are all works of profound musical talent.
“What Should We Do” and “Lies and Comfort” are beautiful and moving tracks that would fit quite comfortably on a mixed CD right next to beloved songbirds such as Joni Mitchell or Joan Armatrading.
One standout song is “Man With a Gun,” which uses her experience being held up at gunpoint as a starting point to examine the blight and destitution that lead one to commit crimes: “When he put that gun into my back/Had me frozen where I stood/And now his trouble is mine.”
Former Jefferson Airplane/Starship member and Woodstock icon Grace Slick gave her stamp of endorsement to the project by contributing cover art. Mangione said her album is a collection of songs about various experiences in her life and she “was blown away by how much Grace’s painting completely fit the music.”
Michelle Mangione will bedazzle coffee drinkers and acoustic music lovers this Friday, June 16, at Oasis Coffeehouse, 3405 Orange Avenue in Signal Hill, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. In the meantime, visit www.michellemangione.com for more about the influences on her music.

- Cory Bilicko

"Long Beach Gazettes"

By Darcy Leigh Richardson?Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 1:33 PM PDT
For Michelle Mangione, putting down the drumsticks and picking up a microphone wasn’t easy.
“I had a lot of fear,” said Mangione, a Long Beach singer-songwriter who fronts her own band. “The things I had been writing were very personal to me. I was a drummer in a band for so many years and that was what I had really wanted to do. Singing in front of an audience was a new experience.”
Some songs featured on her recently released second CD, “What Is A Saint?,” incorporate instruments like electric and acoustic guitars, different types of drums and even a harmonium, Mangione said. She will perform songs from “What Is A Saint?” and her first CD, “Life Beneath the Sun,” at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Friday) at Baba Ghanouj, 4276 Atlantic Ave. in Bixby Knolls.
Mangione, who describes her musical style as derivative of acoustic rock, folk, soul and rock n’ roll, said most of her second CD was recorded at her California Heights home. When she wanted the noise of shoes walking on a floor for the recording of the song “Sticky Fingers,” she cut a hole in the wall of her bathroom and ran a microphone cable into the room.
“I grabbed a pair of heavy boots and I stepped into this rhythm and got the sound I was looking for,” Mangione said. “My dog appears occasionally on some of the songs too, sometimes by accident.”
Before she began recording her first album in 2006, Mangione said she had played drums as a road musician and done gigs with saxophonist Buddy Collette and guitarist Robben Ford. She remembers listening to jazz music with her father and watching his jazz quartet practice as a little girl.
“The drummer in my dad’s jazz quartet was a Catholic priest,” Mangione recalled. “He played on a blue sparkle drum kit. One day he noticed me and asked if I wanted to play. I was so small I couldn’t even reach the pedals. But I was hooked. I started taking lessons and then when I was a teenager I taught others how to play.”
One of the highlights of Mangione’s career was collaborating with former Jefferson Airplane superstar Grace Slick on two songs for “What Is A Saint?”
Mangione met Slick, now a professional painter, before she released her first album and she said Slick was impressed with her lyrics.
“(Slick) and I didn’t talk about music the first time we met,” Mangione said. “But I gave her a demo of mine and she liked it lyrically. I respected the fact that she didn’t want to sing anymore, but she wound up doing a painting that became the cover art for the first CD.”
During another visit, Mangione said Slick handed her a few pages with lyrics on them and said, “Do what you want with them.”
“I had been working on a couple songs for the CD and her lyrics fit perfectly,” Mangione said. “I didn’t grow up listening to Jefferson Airplane, but I loved their lyrics. (Slick) was such an intelligent, opinionated woman and she did her research to back it up.”
Mangione said the songs on “What Is A Saint?” are about experiences she has had in her life, both happy and traumatic. The title comes from Mangione’s questioning of how difficult it is to give love freely to other human beings, even those who hurt you, and to not expect anything in return.
“I was held up at gunpoint in the early 1990s and I wrote a song about that,” Mangione said. “That experience helped me a lot with forgiveness. It was a big lesson in how to be angry without trying to take somebody down. I grew from it.”
Mangione also hosts a Second Saturdays Songwriters Showcase Sept. 12 at Mirage Café, 539 E. Bixby Rd. To purchase her CD, visit www.michellemangione.com.

- Singer-Songwriter Mangione To Perform In Bixby Knolls


Firstly, I have to admit that as a reviewer in this case I am biased as hell; as I am having this lady on my radio show 'Howl' next week (July 14th); so I already loved what she did and does musically and the addition of her collaboration (on two songs) with one legendary rock goddess Grace Slick added to my biased reportage. There I have said it !! On to the review!!
Singer/songwriters have their respective origins in the work of one person: Bob Dylan. Duylam show you how far you could go lyrically, meter-wise, subject matter, length of stanzas, no chorus/refrain and length of actual recording vis a vis the accepted standard duration of the typical single at least as it stood in the 'Sick Tease' as I call it.
It would not be so far to say that American singer songwriter Michelle Mangione inherits this legacy and takes it/him even further along to it's logical conclusion.
Mangione created and recorded almost of all of What is a Saint in her home 'bedroom' studio. Yes, I said bedroom studio where presumably songs like, without you, last time cry to me and say you want it all etc etc had some of their birthing.
I suspect the bedroom is the reactive template in a way for all that went out of it; the fact that the whole songwriting, recording, producing dwelled fixedly in this kind of environment is at once radical idea/concept and at once an nutty but weirdly affectionate new kind of intimacy....that coyly but effectively (especially in its roots rock folk sound) invites the listener in....
Though she is an auto-didactic instrumentalist, Mangione somehow enlisted the professional/ high profile talents and dare I say it, faith of such musicians as Greg Leisz (Beck, Robert Plant and Joni Mitchell), Duncan Cameron (Amazing Rhythm Aces and Little Feat) and Larry Hanson (Alabama et al) to wax poetically on their respective axes and become in effect geographically and psychically an intimate part of her world.
Her Dylanesque take off on the writing format attracted no less than the likes of Rock legend, Grace Slick who generously offered some of her word/lyrics to be added to the self made mix that Mangione was dreaming about and sleeping with!!! The results are two magnificent songs, love disappears and the aforementioned title track, what is a saint.
Not surprisingly these tracks have the most tension within the lyrical emoting and thusly the most overly poetic effects in this reviewers mind.
Where change your mind and liberty jane also have this rough edged poetry in their lyrical construction they share more a lyrically plaintive motifs that probably let the average listener in with a little else work to do.
Another great song on this disc that will be a hit and a rock staple is ‘Sticky Fingers’ (Grace's apparent fave)
Almost every song on this CD is catchy and hook laden --- almost every damn song!! The sound production is unexpectedly brittle, bright and brilliant despite the homespun nature of the actual studio location. Mangione has done a fine job of producing herself in the mold of dare I SAY it: Sheryl Crow!!

This rock and roots 'chick' has got the same smarts and courage as a risk taker that Grace certainly had as one of the few(very few at that time) women in the BOys ROoooooommm Of ROCK!!! Let's take it outta the boys room and put it directly where i can see it!! In the girls room-- the girl's bedroom that is.
- Nic Beat

"Vintage Guitar Magazine"

Mangione is a world-class drummer, having played with Robben Ford and jazz reedman Buddy Colette, as well as Orange County's now-defunct Sideswipe. Concentrating on her singing and songwriting (having added guitar and keyboards to her arsenal along the way), she cut her solo debut, Life Beneath The Sun, in '07.
Impressed when she heard a demostage version, Grace Slick supplied the CD's cover drawing; this time out, she co-wrote lyrics to the title track and "Love Disappears."
At times, the album has an almost hyponotic feel, with Mangione and Steve Soest playing most of the parts-on electric and acoustic guitars (check out her fingerpicking on "Last Time"), six-string ukulele, bass, mandolin, baritone guitar, 12-string, organ, piano, and "fauxmonium." Mangione also drums on most cuts, strutting her stuff on the rocking "Sticky Fingers" (featuring Tom Kolb on lead) and the rideout of "I Know How It Feels."
The intimate vibe is further aided by the sensitive interplay of Greg Leisz's lap steel and Weissenborn, some gut-string and sweet sweet electric slide courtesy Duncan Cameron (Amazing Rhythm Aces, Glenn Frey, Sawyer Brown),Angela Riggio's keyboards, and Larry Hanson(best known for his work with Alabama) on guitar and keyboards.
Elements of country, folk,rock(from British Invasion to Muscle Shoals soul), and (on "Sticky Fingers") an odd mix of Queen, hip-hop,organ jazz, and metal somehow meld into an organic whole that's at once comfortable and compelling. Tip: Keep listening after the CD "ends" (with "Without You") to hear a stunning, hidden, bonus track-"The Rival," featuring cool baritone guitar from Michelle.
Far from a sophomore jinx, this strong followup is doubtless a sign of more and better things to come from a multi-talented, seasoned veteran.-DF
- Dan Forte

"Music Connection"

Rencently completing her second CD with lyrical help from Jefferson Airplane legend Grace Slick, Michelle Mangione has been hot on the TV and film placement circuit. Her song "Someday," co-written by Brian Reeves, has been placed in the film Secret of Arrow Lake, Witchblade used two of her songs:Little Genius" and "Lies & Comfort." The New Now Next Music Awards (Logo Channel) used "What Should We Do" and The Travel Channel has made multiple use of her song "I've Become." Thought her CD isn't quite ready, the two new songs written with Slick, "What is a Saint?" and "Love Disappears," can be heard on MichelleMangione.com or whatisasaint2u.com, a website that invites vistors to join in the "search for the 'unsung' saints by sharing your own personal saint stories,experiences, ideas, poetry..." For further information, reach out to teresaconboypr@yahoo.com - teresaconboypr@yahoo.com

"Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange"

Michelle Mangione (no relation to Chuck) started as a drummer for notables Buddy Collette and Robben Ford before deciding to chase her own Muse, taking up the guitar while singing. That was a fortunate choice for the rest of us, as her songwriting and arranging abilities are impressive, a fact sanctioned by no less a heavywieght than Grace Slick, one of the immortal women in rock's Valhalla…or should I say Amazonia? After hearing the material for Mangione's first release (here), Grace had to contribute the cover art. Now, more than ever enamored of the music itself, she's written two songs with Michelle and can be seen in a liner shot with her.
The reason for that evolution, from supplying graphic work to abetting the creative process itself, is not hard to divine once the music's heard. Mangione may have been very good on the debut disc, but this sophomore release is a colt that has matured blindingly fast. Then, as if Gracie's presence weren't impressive enough, Mangione recruited talent from bands backing the likes of Robert Plant, Little Feat, Alabama, Joni Mitchell, and others. Ms. Slick's early predictions of unusual talent in this woman were well founded, now everyone's seeing it.
The title cut shows just how much Mangione has expanded, penning a very soulful folk-gospel cut in full genre deck-out before jumping into the crunchily rocking Sticky Fingers with Tom Kolb's electric leads dotting the I's and crossing the T's. Michelle plays several axes through the CD, but, if you doubt a guitarist can be an ace drummer—after all, it's a completely different set of muscles and chops—listen to her here and in several other cuts. You'll see why top talents like Ford sat her behind the kit.
Now add to that the fact that she co-produced and co-engineered the disc, mastered most of the tracks, and documented the entire thing in her bedroom studio, the result of which sounds as though it came from Quantum Studios, and you can estimate just how serious she is about her art. The overriding mode of the What is an Saint is mellow folk rock that often reminds me of JP Jones' work (here) for its preservation of more than one era. And, like Jones, there's not only a vitality present that's missing in far too much of what's vended elsewhere (are ya listening, Jeff Buckley?) but also the unfolding of ideas and sentiments far from the cliché, as in Love and Tenderness:
I don't want to take a second guess and I know how to play the fool
A game like that is never anything less than cruel,
I don't want to play with fire, I must confess
All I want is your love and tenderness
I'm not asking you to stay all night baby, leave if you need to go
Just have a little mercy as you're walking out that door
Take just a piece of my heart and leave the rest
All I want is your love and tenderness

…and, boy, if that doesn't reflect the modern fractionated society we all live in, I don't know what does. Note, however, the absence of malice, retribution, and fear so common to the genre while simultaneously denoting the play of mutual damages connoted in those last three verses. Masterful.
- Mark S. Tucker



In die artist Michelle Mangione has teamed with former Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick to launch an online contest promoting her second CD. The marketing campaign taps search engine optimization (SEO), and Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites to give away a guitar signed by Slick.
Mangione took a SEO class to understand how search engines pull information from Web sites, index the information, and rank the listings at the top of search queries. The SEO strategy to promote her newly released 13-track CD, "What is a Saint," ties keywords "Michelle Mangione" with "Grace Slick," so when someone searches on one term, they get information on both. Other keywords include "singer" and "drummer."
Slick, the iconic songwriter and lead signer for Jefferson Airplane (later Starship), has turned toward art for self-expression, but went back into the studio to collaborate with Mangione on lyrics for two songs. Those songs include "Love Disappears," and the CD's title track, "What is a Saint," which asks "Are you ready to be someone to a stranger of less fortune. Would you offer up your smile just for the love of it. What is a saint to you?"
The guitar giveaway promoted on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Mangione's Web site, aims to get the word out about the new music. Each 10 CDs sold gives the person one ticket entered into a drawing to win the guitar that Slick autographed. Referrals are valid, Mangione says, those trying to win the Lace electric guitar need not buy the CDs and resell them.
Future plans will prompt Mangione to explore Google Analytics, too. While musicians have been using social media to promote an event or music, there has been a move toward measuring results through Google Analytics, says Avinash Kaushik's, Google Analytics Evangelist, during an interview last month.
Popular music festivals have begun pairing social media with Web analytics to track results. For example, WebShare supports Google Analysts for C3 Presents, the promoters of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.
Slick believes online marketing works well for young musicians, but doesn't quite get the concept of Twitter. "None of us are interesting enough to hear about every little thing we do," she says. "If you think about it, the name Twitter is really stupid. I'm not sure what I would have called it if I named it."
Mangione and Slick agree social networks have changed the music industry. Slick says musicians like Michelle can figure out online marketing, but at 70 she chooses not to take the time. "If you're not signed by a label, putting your music on the Internet is a good idea," she says. "The problem is when you're going online to find new music, what do you punch into [the search engine,] 'new stuff,' and see what you get in return?"
Reaching out to fans and managing the wave of emails has been a learning process for Mangione. CDs are sold online. Songs are distributed through Amazon and iTunes. Hundreds of emails come in daily on Facebook alone, and sometimes one person will send 20, banging them out on their Blackberry to get her attention. But Mangione loves the "intimate connection" social networks allow her to forge with fans. "It's all about keeping an open mind and exploring things like tweeting," she says. "A lot of musician in the computer age just like to play music, and it's really difficult for artists to get out and do marketing, even online."
Aside from promoting her work through SEO, social media and radio station interviews, the emerging artist also beats the pavement the old-fashioned way by taking CDs into local Los Angeles-based stores to put the music on consignment. But even that has a twist: many of the old record stores have been replaced by digital downloads, so she hits hair salons or mom and pop coffee shops willing to peddle 10 CDs on the front counter for $10 each.
- Laurie Sullivan

"Random Lengths Harbor Independent News"

Random Lengths Harbor Independent News
By: B. Noel Barr, The Music Writer Dude

June 15-June 18, 2009

Rock Icon Grace Slick Teams With Long
Beach Veteran Michelle Mangione

Long beach musician Michelle Mangione has done many different kinds of things since she started playing drums at the age of eight. She studied under the L.A. teaching legend Kay Carlson and is driving force as drummer, vocalist arranger and songwriter for the group Sideswipe-a band voted number one in Orange County by the O.C. Weekly and winner of two Orange County Music Awards. She’s also had songs used in TV and film.
But perhaps her greatest strength is as a singer-songwriter. It is high praise that Grace Slick, iconic female lead singer of Jefferson Airplane/Starship said, “Michelle is a gifted and poetic songwriter. Her album takes me back to the days when songwriting was a craft and music made people think.” Even higher praise is that Slick is a collaborator as well.
Approaching her studio in her Long Beach home, we saw several original art works-two by Slick. Inside the studio, there were over a dozen vintage guitars on the wall, one signed by Slick for a hepatitis C benefit that was held on May 30. Mangione supports a number of charities, but this one is especially significant.
“This is an event to raise awareness about hepatitis C, so people can get the treatment they need and to deal with this problem, I have a lot of friends who have hep C, so this cause is close to my heart right now,” said Mangione. A copy of her second CD, What Is a saint to You and an electric guitar signed by Ms. Slick and Ms. Mangione were raffled off for the benefit.
Mangione and Slick met through a mutual friend. Slick was so impressed with the demo of Mangione’s first solo CD, Life Beneath the Sun (2007), that she offered one of her paintings to be used as the CD cover. By her second CD, they were writing together.
Mangione said their collaboration began with a single word. She was working on a song one day and called Slick up for a little inspiration.
“I needed a word,” Mangione explained. “It was a song called ‘The Rest of You.’ She probably doesn’t remember this; I was laboring with this one word, just to make it work. I called her. I can’t remember what it was now, but she immediately said the word, and I said ‘that’s it, Thank You!”
On another occasion Mangione had gone up to visit Slick, who was working on one of her paintings. According to Mangione, Slick said, “Oh by the way I have these lyrics and I want to give them to you. Use a word…use a sentence…use the whole thing…use pieces of them. I don’t care. I have them here, but I want to send them to you because I want to make sure they are legible.”
A week later, she received an envelope. “I couldn’t believe it, there was all this material, all this really deep stuff, all these experiences that I would never have imagined that she lived through,” Mangione explained. “I was blown away. I have so much respect for Grace. It was incredible.”
Slick explained her songwriting process in a separate phone interview. “I have never sat down with a person in a room and said, ‘Ok we are going to write this song from the top.’ I never have done it that way-I have a line, they have a line, or they have a bridge, but need a chorus so something like that. The same is true with the people in Jefferson Airplane, generally, Paul (Kanter, one of the founding members of the group) would need a line or he would like a line that I did. He knew I would write this stuff down he knew where it was, he would just look it up and ask, ‘can I use that from here?’ I’d say ‘Yeah sure.’”
Slick continued talking about her songwriting and her working relationship with Michelle. “I write lyrics mostly when I have collaborated with anybody, including Michelle. So what we did was, Michelle would send me her lyrics and say, ‘I’m missing a bridge in a song do you want to try writing a bridge for this thing,’ I’ll say ‘where do you want me to go with it? How do you see this person?’ I’ll ask questions.”
Michelle indicated that it was from this wealth of material given to her by Grace Slick that she pulled these lyrics for the title track, ”What Is a saint to You,” as well as “Love Disappears.”
“What is a Saint to You” draws from a deep well of compassion, how would you treat another person? The lyrics ask, “Are you ready to be someone to a strange of less fortune? Would you offer up your smile just for the love of it? What is a saint to you?”
“Love Disappears” is a beautiful pop lament with a slight Motown feel, a gem of song craft. With a rich, familiar feel, this CD has everything in it from ballads to rock. “Cry To Me” stands out as a must-play recording on any rock or Americana radio play rotation. “Sticky Fingers (The Soul Merchant) just floored us as a rocker, with Mangione really showing off her drumming chops.
The album is filled with gems rivaling the work of any great songwriter. Michelle’s vocals demonstrate a wonderful range with an earthy sensuality. This is the kind of music that only a handful of people do. Without hesitation anyone reading this should go out and buy this CD right now.
You can get her CDs at any of her shows. For more information go Visit www.michellemangione.com
Michelle performs regularly at Second Saturday Songwriters Showcase at the Mirage Coffeehouse 539 E. Bixby Rd,
- B. Noel Barr


Life Beneath the Sun
What Is A Saint



Songwriter and acclaimed drummer Michelle Mangione has just released her second cd "What is a Saint". The lyrics to the title track were co-written with rock icon Grace Slick (formerly of Jefferson Airplane). Slick, who describes Mangione as “…a gifted artist and poetic songwriter” also contributed lyrics to the song "Love Disappears". In 2007 the rock legend-turned-painter provided the cover art for Mangione’s critically acclaimed debut cd “Life Beneath the Sun” after hearing a demo version of the album.
From it's inception much of “What is a Saint” was created primarily by Mangione in her home "bedroom" studio, From writing to arrangements, to production to performances (in addition to most of the acoustic and electric guitar work on the record, she plays drums, piano and percussion.) "Financial constraints" translates to "get as creative as you can with what you have" for the artist, who was once seen putting on a pair of heavy boots in the bathroom to get that specific sound "only shoes can make" for the recording of the song "Sticky Fingers" Michelle also assembled a team of some of her favorite musicians to play on the cd, including Greg Leisz (Beck, Joni Mitchell, Robert Plant & Alison Kraus), Duncan Cameron (the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Little Feat, Sawyer Brown) and Larry Hanson (Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, Alabama).
A familiar face in the Los Angeles music scene, Michelle first polished her chops on sticks-playing drums for such greats as saxophonist Buddy Collette and guitarist Robben Ford. An accomplished drummer by age 16, Michelle taught herself to play guitar, bass and piano while growing up in Los Angeles. She studied under legendary jazz drummer Kay Carlson before going on to graduate at a young age from Percussion Institute of Technology in Hollywood. She later taught at PIT, then became a successful road musician.
Michelle was well-known in the rock world as the drummer and driving force behind the band Sideswipe, named one of the ten Greatest Orange County Bands Ever by the OC Weekly and winner of two Orange County Music Awards. Michelle toured nationally and abroad as singer, songwriter and drummer for the band. Audiences were drawn to the rich, alto textures of Michelle’s voice, and they connected to her lyrics. Sideswipe’s high-energy performances, lauded by music reviewers and fans alike, became synonymous with Michelle’s explosive drumming style.
Delivered with a powerful voice and bold lyrics, Michelle’s songs connect the dots between personal experience and the big picture. She then sets that picture into motion through hypnotic melodies. "What is a Saint?" challenges our ability to give love freely, while “Man With a Gun,” written after she was held-up at gunpoint, examines the cycle of hate, poverty and crime;
With her band, box drum and acoustic guitar, Michelle challenges the world of live music to rise to a very intimate and honest level.
Her signature blend of percussion-infused acoustic music has been featured on “The Early Show” with Matt McAllister on Santa Barbara’s KTYD FM, along with Amazon Radio, and Long Beach’s KLBC Radio.
Michelle's music and likeness has appeared in Film and on television, including: "New Now Next Music Awards" (MTV, Logo), "Witchblade", “Time of Your Life” (Sony/TriStar), “Army Wives”, The Travel Channel , "Secret at Arrow Lake" and the award-winning film “True Rights.”