ABOUT | EPK
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 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, a night spent in jail for jumping a Jersey subway turnstile. The melodic and lyrical landscapes are filled with surprises and everyday life.
Michael has been a main-stager at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Folk Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Redwood Ramble, Philly Folk Festival, and SummerFolk in Canada. In his early career, he shared stages with Johnny Cash & The Carter Family, Donovan, Shawn Colvin, Richie Havens, Christine Lavin, Utah Phillips, Robert Earl Keen, Iris Dement, Rosanne Cash, Greg Brown, and many others. As a solo performer, Michael toured the states (mostly in an '86 Toyota 4Runner, and has more recently branched into parts of Europe. In the decade, he has also been hitting stages as McNevin & The Spokes. His main guitar is a '59 Sears Danelectro. He's also been known to back up friends as a lead guitarist, and plays some slide with a Duracell "C" battery. Mike is a winner of the Kerrville New-Folk Award, an 8-Time "Song Of The Year" winner for West Coast Songwriters, a Top-12 DIY Artist Of The Year for The Performing Songwriter magazine, and three time 3rd Place finisher at the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest & Telluride Music Festival's Troubadour Competitions.
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. According to Mike, Niles is "Mayberry With A Head Shop". Along the five-block downtown there are quite a few antique stores, a couple cafes, a biker bar, a pizza joint, a steam train, a silent film theater, and lots of fishing holes for the local kids. It is also home to The Mudpuddle Shop - Mike's creative hive of the last 18 years. It has been host to 100s of concerts, jams and swaps, and songwriting workshops. Niles often finds it's way into Michael’s songs, along with the places and characters of his travels. Michael's newest collection of songs, "Aluminum Oasis" is populated too. The stories start in a 30-foot trailer in Barstow, and roll up on some strangers in Vegas, and an old family friend in Reno. The tales then stretch from Michigan to New Orleans, Fort Worth to Modesto, the Sierra Foothills to New London, CT.
Michael also has a talent for the Etch A Sketch. A sketch artist of some renown, he delights and dumbfounds audiences with the white-knobbed toy. His drawings have hung in galleries on both coasts, and in Omaha, where his folk-art was first discovered in the 90's. He draws to pass time between concert stops, and sometimes does drawing workshops for kids at festivals. His "Sketch" record (originally with a full 12-page lyric and art booklet), features drawings that accompany each song on the CD. His Etch A Sketch drawings have landed in the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, and in the NYC 5th Ave Toys R US famed Christmas Window Display. With the toy dust emptied and knobs disabled, some hang on the walls of The Mudpuddle Shop, waiting for an earthquake.
"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