Quirky conversations, odd jobs, and narrow escapes, Michael McNevin's songs read like short stories—full of heart, humor, and a keen eye for detail. Skillful guitar work and nuanced vocals underscore the characters and places of his travels. Michael's easy going rapport and knack for storytelling brings audiences into his scenes: a busking clown on a Michigan lake, a trailer mechanic in Barstow, a scarecrow in love, a circus bear on the run, a close call with a freight train, a day in the live of a grocery bagger. The lyrical landscapes are filled with surprises and everyday life. Michael has played the main-stages of the Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Folk Festival, and High Sierra Music Festival as well as shared stages with Johnny Cash & The Carter Family, Donovan, Shawn Colvin, Richie Havens, Robert Earl Keen, Iris Dement, Rosanne Cash, Greg Brown, and many others. 

Michael grew up and resides in the train town of Niles, California, where Charlie Chaplin filmed The Tramp and where the first set of railroad tracks entered the San Francisco Bay Area in 1869. Like Mayberry with a biker bar and a head shop, Niles and its peculiarity are often featured in Michael’s songwriting. In addition to his masterful banter, Michael delights and dumbfounds audiences as an Etch A Sketch artist of some renown, illustrating songs on the classic red toy. His Etch A Sketch drawings hang proudly on the walls of Michael’s longtime shop and community space, The Mudpuddle, waiting for an earthquake. Michael has toured mostly as a solo performer, but in the last ten years has been hitting stages as a trio or band, McNevin & The Spokes.  

Performance Videos

"Aluminum Oasis" Live at Kulak's Woodshed

"Western" Live at Kerrville Folk Festival (2022)

"Scarecrow" Live at Armando's

"Man on the Levee" Livestream from The Mudpuddle

Press Photos

Photo by Shelby Loveland


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