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Michael Peace - Biography

Michael writes his own lyrics and music and performs them with class and style.
If you like Josh Groban and BJ Thomas then you'll be glad you found Michael Peace.

Michael has been making music for over 4 decades and his songs and eclectic style has brought great pleasure to his many followers. His musical style is melodic, smooth and warm feel good kind of music that seems to bring his listeners a smile. However, Michael can turn the tables and bring a tear to your eyes just as easily.

Discography Albums CD:

  1. Peace And Tranquility Rocks 1998
  2. Tranquil Eyes 1998
  3. Another Time And Place 1998
  4. Dance Of The Winds 1998
  5. Sea Of Tranquility 1999
  6. Blanket 1999
  7. Speed Of Flight 1999
  8. Mars Project 1999
  9. Are You Serious 1998
  10. Dead Serious 1999
  11. Looking Through My Eyes 1999
  12. Keeper Of Dreams 1999
  13. Peace Of Paradise 2000
  14. Like Being There 2000
  15. Angels Too Soon 2001
  16. Above The Clouds 2001
  17. All Of The Angels 2001
  18. Fire Mountain 2001
  19. Noah's Ark (Puppet Play) 2001
  20. Luck Or Fate 2002
  21. Here With My Friends 2002
  22. Flowers From Heaven 2002
  23. The Night 2003
  24. Peace Of Christmas 1989-2005
  25. Tenacity 2005
  26. I Remember Martin and Coretta 2006
  27. Whisper on the Wind 2007
  28. My Lonely Guitar 2008

What about that voice?

His vocal style features a broad range of baritone to soprano, soft and subtle to strong and operatic that always keeps the listener interested in "what comes next". He has been compared to Roy Orbison, Michael Crawford, David Bowie and Billy Joel.

Michael displays this vocal range especially well in live performances and has people wondering if he is lip-sinking to other artist's recordings or is actually performing live. He dispels the skepticism by changing the words and using audience member's names in various songs. Within the last few years Michael has stepped out of the spotlight a bit to work on building an original music catalog. Today his CD album count has grown to 27 and his prolific music production keeps this figure growing at an amazing rate.

In the Beginning

Michael’s musical roots date back to a boy of 5 years old who learned to play a piano at his Grandma’s house by ear. "It was easy, just listen to the melody on the radio and match the piano notes to the song that was playing." Michael thought anyone could do that.

Later he learned to play the guitar the same way and taught some friends to play guitar along with him. In High School, he had his own band and by his junior year, they had cut their first of what would be many records. Singing came just as easy. "Just sing what you hear in your head. I guess it helps not to be tone deaf but seems like anyone could do it."

Well the truth is, not just anyone can do it. Michael has a gift and he uses his gifts to make beautiful music and now beautiful artwork as well.

Mike's First Band

When Mike started his band, they were known in those early days as Attila and the Huns. "While still in High School, we played in dance halls, bars, school dances and the standard band circuit". The Huns managed to make a steady and somewhat lucrative living. One year later, the band, put up their own money and produced their first single recording. Recorded on the SARA record label, “Cheryl“ (recorded for a friend who was killed in a car crash), backed with “The Lonely Huns“ 45s sold about 2,000 copies locally in the Central Wisconsin area during the bands live performances.

A win in a Battle of Bands contest sent the Huns on the way to a national road tour, where the Huns met a Chicago/Milwaukee record producer Lenny LaCour. Lenny convinced the Huns to change their name and sign his record contract for 4, 45s and an LP recorded at Chicago's Chess Studios. The new Filet of Soul as the band became known, was about to embark on a two year National road tour and many more adventures which would cover a 20 year slice of time together.

During this time they also traveled to the continent of Greenland for a U.S.O. show, where they met and performed for the U.S. and Danish Air forces and Prince Phillip of Wales. Returning home they spent nine and a half months performing in the Chicago Playboy Club where they rubbed elbows with and got to know some of the biggest names in show biz. Greats like: Sammy Davis Jr., Mick Jagger, Sony & Cher, Jimmy Durrante, Shelly Berman, Jimmy Rodgers, Kenny Rogers, Buddy Ebsen, Gabe Kaplan, Myron Cohen, Jerry Van Dyke, The Shadows of Knight and the list goes on and on.

Michael and his band recorded 2 Albums (One at Chess Studios in Chicago) and 11 45's a few of which have become collectors items.

The Band broke up in the eighties. Mike Peace then billed as The One Peace Band, continued to perform on his own in resorts and nightclubs in the Chicago area for another 8 years. He performed as a singer/guitar player, with his own musical back up tapes. Writing a lot of original songs, he wrote and recorded 3 cassette albums and 27 CD Albums at last count, on which he plays all the instruments and sings all the lead and harmony vocals.

Michael received national exposure on a syndicated radio comedy show known as The Dr. Demento Show with 6 of his original comedy songs. The songs heard all over the country were: All I Wanna Do Is Drink Beer, The Tape Player Song, Thank you Scary Movies, The Night That Santa Claus Got Drunk, and A Man Named Joyce. Mike always keeps up to date in the music scene. He is an active, voting member of NARAS and the Grammy Awards He also enjoys writing and recording new original songs and collaborating with other songwriters from time to time.

 

The Guitar
© Michael Peace 2005

The guitar is a wild and untamed entity whose soul may be angelic or demonic and in an instant, both may come screaming forth with a thunderous voice of beauty and intimidation. It takes a uniquely brave, intelligent, crafty, slightly demented and very creative warrior to take up the battle of taming and mastering this creature. Some choose to conquer using their wits and years of study while others may go headlong into the challenge with minimal preparation. Some will win and some will lose. The guitar itself will grab and hold it's master refusing to release its Rock steady grip. And he who tames the creature’s soul will control and conquer the chanting hordes and admiring legions before him. And they will cry out in one great voice…”FREEBIRD DUDE.”

 

Learning guitar

It is very hard holding those little thin wires down when you are learning to play and unless you get a really good guitar to start with you will probably quit in the first week. I don't know why I was so determined to learn but I had heard guitar music playing on the radio and I fell in love with the sound of a guitar before I even knew what one was.

My Mom was a single parent raising two boys with a secretary salary and there wasn't enough money to buy a real guitar. So, I bought my own guitar using money I made cleaning my Uncle Bob’s liquor bar on Sunday mornings. I was only 13 years old when I heard about a used guitar for $15.00 on the radio want ads. It was the first guitar I had ever seen up close that wasn't a toy. It was love at first sight. It looked beautiful. I still have it today and it really is a piece of junk but in the eyes of a 13 year old it was beautiful beyond words. The strings were about half an inch away from the frets most good guitars are 1/8 inch or less. So holding those strings down was really painful. Later I learned how to adjust the bridge lower so it would be a little easier. I would start practicing from the moment I got home from school until suppertime and then for a couple hours after that.

I had a very successful band for 20 years playing mostly nightclubs, country clubs and show lounges five and six nights a week. When the band broke up in the 80’s I decided to continue playing as a solo entertainer. Being accustomed to having a great musical background behind my vocals, I knew I needed to have that same full background when I played on my own.

This was happening prior to Karaoke in any form. I created my own musical backup tapes playing all of the instruments into a 4-track tape recorder and bouncing tracks to get more than four tracks of instrumentation. In the early days, I didn’t have a drum set so I became very creative building drum sounds with what would have been considered bizarre. Did you know that a very thick Chicago Phone Book makes a great Bass Drum when you hit it with a mallet and place a microphone pointing at the edge of the book? Tom toms or something like them can be duplicated with balloons of different sizes. I was never able to come close to the sizzle of real cymbals but I opted for other sounds like a sheet of paper played with a stiff brush, cardboard boxes, pipes and wind chimes to name a few. I did have my guitars; bass; piano; harmonicas and trumpet all to add to the tape back up.

Once I completed a catalog of cover songs and original tunes, I hit the stage once again armed with a cassette player, PA system, guitar and microphone. I continued performing into the early 90s.

More and more nightclubs were beginning to lose money due to the new drunk driving laws and were forced to eliminate live entertainment. Soon, I found myself out of work and trying to make a living with computers.

Today, I still make lots of music in my expanded recording studio but choose to keep my performances pretty much locked within the studio walls except for an rare concert or two. I have also started producing other singer’s songwriters and bands and enjoy working with these new talents. I find it sad however that they will probably never get to enjoy the thrills of performing live and getting paid the huge sums of money that my band commanded.

 
   
 
     
 

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