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Michael Weston King (UK)

Michael Weston King came to prominence as founder, leader, singer and songwriter with Britain's premier Alt. Country band The Good Sons. The Good Sons were the first British band to sign to Glitterhouse Records, for whom they have recorded three much lauded albums. They then also became the first British band to sign to the Austin label, Watermelon Records, who released the band's third album, Angels In The End, in America in 1998. Their fourth, best, and final album, Happiness, was released to unanimous critical acclaim in 2001 before the band went their separate ways in 2002.

Over the past 5 years Michael has toured all over Europe and America, sharing the bill with many great artists (Nick Cave, John Cale, Steve Earle, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, Joe Henry, Ron Sexsmith and many, many others) and earning himself a formidable reputation as a stunning live attraction, due to the stark intensity of his performances which have seen Michael compared to some of his favorite performers....Tim Hardin and Phil Ochs. Added to this is his growing reputation as a songwriter of the highest caliber; his songs have been covered by a number of established artists. The highest compliment being when one of the worlds greatest songwriters, Townes Van Zandt, cut a version of his song, 'Riding The Range'.

Since 1999 Michael has released six solo albums. The dark, stark and painful God Shaped Hole which was written whilst hiding in Switzerland following a disastrous year that saw him nearly killed in a bus crash when on tour in Germany, the recently signed US record deal turn sour as Watermelon went bankrupt, the band's manager leave them for Nick Cave, and the band's mercurial guitarist leaving the UK for Italy. But out of adversity came a stunning album..........

"Real 'Blood on the Tracks' stuff, King's voice is superb. Utterly compelling, beautifully wrought, a masterpiece" Time Out

In 2002, and after 200 solo shows across Europe and America, King released Live...In Dinky Town. A collection of live, solo and very intimate performances gathered from these shows and taken from places as far flung as Hamburg, Austin, Amsterdam, Bilbao and his spiritual home of Manchester

"One of Britain's most eloquent singer-songwriters with a live selection of some of his most memorable songs performed in stripped down fashion. Achingly beautiful stuff. MWK's voice soars and his guitar is loud...a front man going it solo, not a laid back folkie" The Daily Express ***** 5/5

The album also featured contributions from two friends and fellow travellers, Jackie Leven and Andy White with whom Michael formed "An Englishman, An Irishman and a Scotsman" and which toured the UK, Spain, Germany and Holland in 2000 and 2001. Following his appearance at The Folk Alliance Conference in Jacksonville, Florida in February 2002 Michael returned to the US in the fall for a 24 date coast to coast American tour as well as numerous radio and tv appearances.

A Decent Man, hailed as "his finest album yet", was released in May 2003 and the press were unanimous in their praise. Produced by Jackie Leven and featuring a clutch of stunning British guests, including Crazy Horse collaborator, and former Icicle Works front man, Ian McNabb, it was a departure from his previous solo albums, and indeed from his work with The Good Sons. Taking a further step away from Alt. Country, A Decent Man is a big sounding record that combines Michael's love of Pop, Soul, Folk and Country.....

"Packed with good songs......romantic, a touch jaded, convincing" Mojo **** 4/5

Michael played 150 shows all over the world follwoing the album's release and A Decent Man found its way onto countless playlists across Europe, America and Canada.

Sept 2004 saw the release of Cosmic Fireworks - The Best of The Good Sons (1994-2001), a beautifully packaged double cd that gathered together his finest songs from his time as front man with the band, and it immediately renewed interest in one of Britain's finest and most underrated bands......

Also released in the Autumn of 2004 was King's first release on his own MurderedWithKindness label. Absent Friends was an eclectic mix of live band performances recorded in Rome, Paris, Hamburg, Barcelona, London and Glastonbury with friends, colleagues and musical acquaintances during the previous 2 years. It also included what would be The Good Sons final song together, a rousing country rock version of the classic 'Teenage Kicks'.

From Sept to Dec 2004 MWK was yet again on the road. 50 shows across Europe with the end result being something of a breakdown as the miles took their toll. January and February 2005 saw King again convalescing, this time after breaking his arm falling off stage after a show in January. Fortunately, it was healed in time for a 5 week trek across N. America and Canada, starting in the icy chill of Toronto and ending in the warmth of Texas. As an exhausted King sat in the plane back from Austin to New York he struck up a conversation with the person to his left, who turned out to be Kenneth Higney, head of ARC/Chess Publishing in New York. A month later King was signed to them and his songs have begun reaching a whole host of new people, with a number already lined up for use in upcoming films.

In summer 2005 work began on Kings new album A New Kind Of Loneliness at The Charlatans, and Johnny Marr's studios. Produced by MWK and his first time working with the engineer Jim Spencer (New Order, Primal Scream, Johnny Marr, The Charlatans) at the controls. Breaking off midway, King found himself back on tour with Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen across the UK and Ireland, with Chris and Herb calling by the studio to add some harmonies and mandolin to one of the new songs. Other guests who came by to make appearances on the album were Jackie Leven, and Ron Sexsmith.

Autumn 2005 meanwhile saw another Phantasmagoria release, this time a retrospective album focusing on King's solo work from 1999-2005, called The Tender Place. The album contained 19 tracks, all selected by Michael, and taken from his albums God Shaped Hole, A Decent Man and Absent Friends. It also includes two new recordings, a brand new song, 'From Out Of The Blue', co-written with Danish songwriter Michael Hamilton, along with a cover version of 'A Simple Twist of Fate', a track recorded for Mojo magazine's 'Dylan Covered' cover mount cd. As with all King's releases, the album is beautifully packaged, this time in a triple fold-out, digi-pack format, and features extensive liner notes written by Jackie Leven.

To promote the album, MWK joined forces with two of America's finest singer songwriters, John Doe and Peter Case for a European tour throughout November 2005.

In the same year MWK appeared on the new album of his close friend Jackie Leven, the stunning 'Elegy for Johnny Cash', and he also wrote the liner notes for the album 'Townes Van Zandt Live at Union Chapel, London 1994', which was the first show he ever opened for Townes, and also the first time he ever saw the great man live.... an evening that was to become something of a "road to Damascus moment" in King's career. While all this was going on MWK still found time to edit a career retrospective DVD, Michael Weston King - The Crowning Story - "From A Good Son to A Decent Man, 1993 - 2005". A visual look back over King's 12 year career as leader of The Good Sons and his work as a solo artist, featuring promo videos, live footage, TV appearances & interviews. The DVD was released in February 2007 by Borderdreams.

He also went back into the studio to record some more songs for what had been a long held desire to make a covers album. Using some songs previously recorded for earlier albums, along with some songs recorded for cover mount cds and other tribute albums, he recorded a further 7 songs to end up with a collection of 15 of MWK's favourite songs by some of his most admired writers (includes 'Big Louise'/Scott Walker, 'She's Leaving'/Ronnie Lane, 'Alone Again Naturally'/Gilbert O' Sullivan, 'No More Songs'/Phil Ochs, 'Someday Never Comes'/John Fogherty, 'A Song For'/Townes Van Zandt, 'Blue Red and Grey'/Pete Townshend, and many more)

Released in October 2006 Love's a Cover was extremely well received in the press:

A collection of beautiful, off kilter material, all brought together by MWK's elegant, subtle performances.

"Wonderful, in a way that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up" Maverick **** 4/5

Two other new projects are now in the pipeline for 2007

King is currently working on his first play with the Irish writer Brian Richmond. Entitled Happy Infidels, it features 12 MWK songs and is based around the lives, loves, hopes, fears and personal disasters of a young aspiring English musician and a road weary, alcoholic American musician touring across Europe. Also relelased in summer 2007 is, "Songs for a new generation - The Songs of Michael Weston King" - an album of MWK songs as covered by various wonderful artists including Townes van Zandt, Jackie Leven, Peter Case, John Howard, Terry Lee Hale, Vinny Peculiar, Duane Jarvis, The Reveres, The Rizdales, Dean Owens, Lou Dalgleish and others.

But , where does this leave arguably King's best, and most important record to date the new album, A New Kind Of Loneliness? Well, 2 deals were finally done, one with Poptown Records in the US, who released the album in N America and Canada in January 2007, and one with Floating World Records in the UK who released the album in Europe in April 2007.