Departing from the mixture of vocal, ensemble, and completely solo instrumental compositions presented in his three previous solo albums, Michaels offers Seasons, a collection of 10 original tracks which delve deeply into Michaels’ singer/songwriter side, showcasing his vocals, thought-provoking lyrics, altered tunings, and chordal approach to composing solo bass music.
All tracks on Seasons were recorded, engineered, and mixed by Michaels at The Blanket Fort in Atlanta, and the album cover is an original painting by Michaels. He used only three bass guitars for the recordings, one of which is a unique four string featuring 36 frets and detuners on each string, which Michaels deploys in real-time switching altered tunings on the fly.
While Seasons is almost as solo as an album can get, it was also crowdsourced. Those who follow Michaels on social media saw the song-by-song construction of Seasons, which began in 2012. All but a few tracks were pre-released for review to his followers as each song took shape in various forms. Fans actively participated as producers, commenting on different recording takes, mixes, and re-workings.
Michaels comments, “The sound of vocals and acoustic guitar has always been a magical timbre to my ears. I knew bass guitar is adept at capturing this magic timbre as well, but bass is rarely at liberty to show this beautiful side. More than just sharing the gorgeous sound of bass guitar, I wanted to write directly about the experience of living, from day-to-day details to the broad strokes of the seasons we all pass through on our individual journeys. These songs are about gratitude, determination, longing, brevity of life, gentle action, and love of Nature. You don’t have to be a bass aficionado to relate.”
Michaels is planning a series of short-run tours in support of Seasons. Stay tuned to www.darrenmichaelsbass.com for upcoming show dates.