Culturally Specific Programs
Michael teaches audiences about Southern Appalachian culture, history and the experiences of day to day life growing up in the South through his stories and self pinned songs. He covers many aspects of the Southern experience from the white knuckled downhill decent of a mountain gravel road on a bicycle, to the fact that his family owned a piano simply for the fact that it was a symbol of culture in a Southern home to do so. Michel can go from humorous to the melancholy as in his well received piece, “Greyhound Station”. The listener is treated to the accounts of such Southern pastimes as fox hunting, mule trading and story swapping in Michael’s “Stover Mason” (his adopted grandfather) stories.
Michael recounts his experience of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s. Being a young folk singer in that period helped shape his view on the remarkable events which were unfolding in the South during that period. Coming from a racially open minded home was somewhat of an oddity in many areas of the South, but Michael explores the differences in white Southern ideas as opposed to white Southern Appalachian ideas on race.
Michael’s Civil War stories and songs have been a staple of his concerts and programs for many years and, again the Southern Appalachian viewpoint is sometimes surprisingly different that many folks might think.