Desert Island Discs with Jaime Michaels

Written by Desert Island Discs, Music

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This week’s Desert Island Discs list comes courtesy of singer/songwriter Jaime Michaels, currently promoting his latest release, The Man with the Time Machine. Take it away, Jaime!

The Band – The Band
When I was younger and just starting out I was such a folk purist. I’ll even admit to being one of those young idiots that booed Dylan at Newport. Then a housemate of mine promoted a concert by the Band right around the time this album came out. Everything about the music I heard that night went right through me, and turned upside down my ideas of what folk/acoustic music is.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
Why this Beatles album? A. Because I was blown away by it as the rest of the planet at the time and B. Because I can’t list Revolver, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road and the white album and have any room left!

Hearts and Bones – Paul Simon
I’ve heard this album referred to as the best Paul Simon album no one heard. Around the same time this album was released, I saw an interview with Paul in which he stated, “…sometimes the way words sound together is even more important than what they mean.” Something about that struck me as a writer and it’s something I’ve been aware of ever since, the flow and rhythm and sound of the lyric (much to the chagrin at times of my occasional co-writers).

Creuze De Ma – Fabrizio De Andre
I was fortunate enough to have one of my albums, once or twice upon a time, released in Italy, and even luckier to get to tour there several times over the years. My Italian songwriter friends told me that when it came to Italian singer/songwriters, Fabrizio was the guy. I heard him several times referred to as the Townes Van Zandt of Italy, a beautiful poet who died much too young This is considered his best album. Creuze De Ma refers to the small paths that run near the sea in Genoa, Fabrizio’s hometown. The whole album is sung in a Genovese dialect so think even Italians aren’t sure what he’s singing. And the instrumentation is a wondrous combination of both Western and African instruments, Genoa being the closest Italian port to Africa and a major trade hub. The sounds of this album are pure magic. I listen to it at least once a week.

25 – Patty Larkin
Patty is an amazing talent, a powerful songwriter, an evocative singer and an absolutely brilliant guitarist. In this album she celebrated 25 years of recording by sending 25 of her favorite songs to 25 of her favorite artists asking them to add whatever they felt to her simple acoustic guitar/vocal tracks. Considering that her close friends are pretty much the cream of the current folk crop, folks like Bruce Cockburn, Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin, Greg Brown and John Gorka, the results are outstanding.


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