It's every person's dream to get paid for what they love, intertwining that work with their heart's passion and making a difference in the world. And that's exactly how Michael Veitch lives his life. A boy who sang before he talked, when Michael first heard the Beatles as a young child, he knew then that music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. And the same passion that propelled his love of music, and later on writing, is also what led Michael into environmental and social activism, where he now holds a degree in Community Action.
A boy who sang before he talked, when Michael first heard the Beatles as a young child, he knew then that music was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. And the same passion that propelled his love of music, and later on writing, is also what led Michael into environmental and social activism, where he now holds a degree in Community Action. Michael was a professional photographer who already had an eye to capture life in a single picture, his songwriting mixed with activism mirrored his same ability to capture snapshots with pen and ink. Michael writes songsabout real issues and explores a deeper range of those of the heart.
Having worked for many years as Vermont's statewide recycling advocate, battling for clean air, water and fair government, Michael attacked huge multinational waste corporations to prevent them from burning trash and polluting the environment. He worked for progressive candidates and ran as an independent progressive for Vermont State Senate in the early 90's.
In 1994, after running for Vermont State Senate, Veitch decided to concentrate on music and writing full time. But when Shawn Colvin was handed a CD of Michael's music, Shawn enthusiastically encouraged him to perform his music out on the road and open some shows for her. Eventually Michael opened for Shawn on tour and at other gigs, meeting many of his musical heroes. While opening for Shawn at a well-known Washington, DC venue, George Stephanopolis, who was in attendance, invited Shawn and Michael on a special tour of the White House and to meet Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. Veitch realized the irony of the situation - that it was music that got him into the White House and not strictly politics, something that confirmed his belief that he could do more to raise awareness
of serious issues and affect change by performing. His songs carried his message, echoing the tradition of troubadours like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Odetta and Billy Bragg. And it was also during an anti-war rally in Washington DC, that his combination of music and activism that allowed Michael to share the stage with Jesse Jackson, Patti Smith and Ben Cohen (Ben and Jerry's) which was filmed and later shown repeatedly on CSPAN.
Michael has just released his new CD, "Painted Heart." He has four previous CD's; Heartlander, Southern Girl , New York Journal, and his first CD, Down Deep, now out of print. Down Deep was named by Performing Songwriter magazine as one of the top 12 DIY CD's of the year in 1998. New York Journal features Shawn Colvin's voice on the duet "Anybody But You" and Susan Werner on piano. Southern Girl grew out of songs that were written for the Monday Night Songwriters Meeting held at Jack Hardy's in Greenwich Village. Heartlander is self produced.
?Painted Heart is the album I've always wanted to make. And I can't stop listening to it? Michael Veitch, Woodstock NY
Michael Veitch has been around. He's played Newport; he's been invited to the Clinton White House. He's featured on www.ProtestRecords.com and was lauded by Performing Songwriter magazine. He's recorded five CD's of all original stuff. He's been to a zillion singer songwriter hangs and venues and he's been living in Woodstock for the last 8 years. ?Painted Heart? is his ?Woodstock record? and he's loving it.
?This CD is the culmination of over two years of collaboration with Julie Last, first through co-songwriting and then giving birth to this record.? says Veitch. ?We started in her living room with me playing acoustic guitar to a click track and scratching out some vocals. We finished with Ed Sanders of The Fugs singing ?Baabies? high into the stratosphere in Julie's new recording studio. In between were lots of great performances by some of Woodstock's finest musicians. Jerry Marotta, Artie Traum, Steve Holley, Bar Scott, Pete Levin, Mark Dann, just to name a few. It was a dream
?Julie Last and I first met at a Shawn Colvin recording session in New York. I'm not sure if she remembers it. That was during the ?Cover Girl? sessions, a long time ago. I ran into her again in Woodstock years later and before long, we were writing what became the song ?Quarryman? and eventually put together the whole project that became ?Painted Heart.? She has an amazing ability to keep her eye on the prize-something that I'm sure served her well in all her years working as an engineer at the Record Plant, and with Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Colvin and many other greats.?
?Every song was given complete attention to detail.? says Julie Last, producer and engineer. ?Michael's mature lyrics, strong singing and unique guitar work made it easy to build this set of compelling songs. They all come from his heart and the production has remained true to his vision. And we think ?Goodbye (Never Sounded So Sweet)? is the hit! ? The video is currently playing on Neil Young's website: http://www.neilyoung.com/lwwtoday/lwwvideospage.html Pass it on.