Short bio for presenters
Heart driven songs combined with a beautiful tenor and fluid guitar playing, Michael Veitch is highly regarded by many of his singer-songwriting peers. His music visits the past without regret and the future with an optimist’s eye while his lyrics and melody weave a narrative of world class performance.
It’s every person’s dream to get to do 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.
Some musical highlights: Judy Collins covering his song “Veteran’s Day” for her CD “Bohemian” and live DVD “From the Temple of Dendur” both duets with Kenny White. Being honored by the Music2Life Foundation for his song “Pledging Allegiance” – being featured with Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert and Jim Henry for a full set at the 2001 Newport Folk Festival, opening numerous dates for Shawn Colvin and the many fabulous singer/songwriters out there.
BIO: it all started….
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 songs about 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.
Visiting President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office. I was accompanied by Shawn Colvin and Leo Kotke and Simon Tassano. Feb. 1994-a great time was had by all!
Michael recently spent two years living in Munich, Germany and since 1999, has made his home in Woodstock, NY. He has written and recorded with many of its greatest musicians. The most recent project is “The Veitch Boys” – a homage to the surf and sun and the great music those West Coast bands gave us. Eric Parker on drums, Madeline Veitch on vocals, Julie Last engineering. Jack Weiner is doing some of the artwork for this project.
A new Veitch Boys single is being released every month in 2014-the first two are out-”August Nights” and “Drive” and are available as downloads from CDBaby, Itunes, and many other sites-you can also purchase here- www.veitchstore.blogspot.com and here’s the youtube video for August Nights-The Veitch Boys
Another recent release is Michael’s 2013 “Postcards From Vermont Vol. 1″ Many new songs written in Germany, along with some Vermont themed music from the Veitch vault. Acoustic, edgy, melodic singer/songwriter, all with a nod to a Vermont story from Veitch’s past. Brother Rick did the great cover art. Available as a download only-for a free download, go to www.distrophonix.com and input the code: 1WWHT3IV for “First Snow of The Year” and “Sunday Driving” For the YouTube video for “First Snow” go here: First Snow Video
He completed Painted Heart in 2007 with Julie Last producing and some co-writing and was joined by Jerry Marotta, Artie Traum, Pete Levin, Bar Scott, Ed Sanders and many other super players and singers. “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make and I think it’s a keeper.” said Michael. He was also completing by himself a 1200 sq ft addition to his Woodstock house. “When I wasn’t hammering nails, I was laying down tracks at Coldbook Studios in Bearsville with Julie Last, which is probably where the “holding up the rafters” line in the song Knock Me Down came from.” said Veitch.
Recording and writing has taken on a life of it’s own for MV. A very large body of work is accumulating for future release. Check out his blog: Veitchmunich.blogspot.com.
He has also just completed a new batch of tunes co-written with an old friend from High School Rock and Roll days-John Lynch. Tragically, John passed away suddenly just as the album is finishing up, the “Stone House Project” was set for release as a “Kickstarter” project in the Spring of 2012 but has now been put on hold.
With his feet firmly planted between his love songs of life and people, Michael’s fourth CD, Heartlander, is a mature collection of material – songs based on real life events, like Sanctuary, about a police shooting in a Vermont Church; the anti-war anthem Veteran’s Day ( covered by Judy Collins); and songs exploring other topics including sexual abuse in the church and the desolate and heartbreaking poverty in a land of plenty. Veitch deals with relationships both hopeful and dysfunctional, as elegantly showcased in the arresting, For My Dear Life, about the universal longing we have all experienced at some points in our lives.