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About Michael Logen
In a remote, woodsy cabin in the central Tennessee mountains, award-winning singer-songwriter Michael Logen set out on an inner creative journey that would inspire much of his most uplifting and vulnerable album to date. That album, New Medicine, is being released on June 24, 2016.
Michael explains, “I often feel this pull, maybe we all do, to the silence of the solitary, wilderness experience. To disconnecting for a time from the ever-increasing background static of modern life. It's certainly not an original idea with me, many folks have done the same, though it's surprisingly hard to carve out the time and overcome the inner resistance to doing it. Maybe it's because my ancestors were Amish (laughs). I head out to a cabin in the mountains. I take a few books. I cover all the clocks. No TV, no internet, no phone, no social media, no radio, no sound, no input. Songwriting can often feel like a bit like deep-sea diving. And in everyday life you have to surface quite a bit. But out in the woods, you never surface, even if you want to. Each day you just pick up where you left off the night before and go deeper.”
The only noise Michael had to contend with was the inner, residual chatter of the information age we live in. Once that quieted down, like a wheel slowly spinning to a stop, he began to hear the words and music that would eventually become his gorgeously cathartic new album, aptly titled New Medicine.
It’s no surprise that Michael Logen would be drawn to this sort of introspective journey.
He was raised on America’s hard-luck song-canon of folk and traditional country, heartfelt and authentic music. Growing up in a Mennonite home in the beautiful, historic town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, he learned to play guitar, piano and harmonica during informal living-room jam sessions with friends and family. He cut his musical teeth on the songs his Dad loved: Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Paxton, Gordon Lightfoot as well as Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
Though the lyrical sensibilities of Americana and Folk course through his songwriting, Michael exhibits a unique gift for pop songcraft as well. “As soon as I started writing songs, I knew that some of them just weren't for me to sing. I love writing and telling stories for other voices as well.”
Michael’s songs have been recorded by, and often co-written with, many other artists including Kelly Clarkson, Mat Kearney, Jonny Lang, Brandon Heath, The Greencards, Paul Carrack, Will Hoge and Sister Hazel, to name but a few.
His songs have also been featured on several TV shows including Nashville (ABC), Parenthood (NBC), One Tree Hill (CW), The Fosters (ABC), The Hills (MTV), Switched At Birth (ABC Family), Beauty & the Beast (CW), and Kyle XY (ABC Family); including 6 TV placements for songs from New Medicine.
Michael has performed throughout North America as well as Ireland, England, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, opening for such artists as John Hiatt, John Legend, India.Arie, Jonny Lang and Mat Kearney.
His latest is an album that uplifts the soul with sincerity and gritty, indie folk-pop. “Somehow in art, when you work through your own struggles, you realize they’re all a part of the wider common experience of humanity—we’re all dealing with the same things, we're all connected.” Michael says.
The album opens with the stately piano ballad, “St. Christopher,” which directly references the inner journey Michael was working his way through while writing the album. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers. “That song is simply about the journey through darkness to light. I hope each person hears their own journey in it,” Michael reveals.
"Ready Or Not," the first single from the album, starts out small before exploding into a full-on, sing-along, indie-folk/rock redemption story.
The immersive, stunning track, “Breaking Your Own Heart,” written by Michael and friend, Jennifer Hanson, was also recorded by Kelly Clarkson on her album, Stronger. That album went on to win a Grammy for “Pop Album Of The Year.” Here you'll hear Michael's original, stripped down, acoustic version of the song. “I also sing it about 5 octaves lower than Kelly,” he laughs.
New Medicine also exhibits a high-energy, extroverted side. Three tracks feature breathtaking collaborations with female vocalists, and there is also an intriguing foray into electronic looping. One highlight of these collaborations is “That Next Thing” which features angelic contributions from Kim Richey. The balmy track feels like it’s wafting in from the sweet country air while the listener enjoys it from the tranquility of a hammock.
“Best Of You” finds Michael flirting with electronica on his own terms. “I enjoy experimenting with different genres. That song is based on a loop of a rhythm I tapped out on an acoustic guitar. When we recorded it, we kept that loop and played around it live, as a band,” Michael says.
In conclusion, Michael says: “I love the idea that music can be as powerful as a drug, helping us to express the in-expressible. The creative journey of making this record was truly therapeutic for me. I can only hope New Medicine will be that for someone else as well.”