How do you say "Acoustic Southwestern Americana Musical Guitar Genius" in just two words? Michael Hearne, that's how. Since the 1970s, this native Dallas Texan has strolled down a musical path inspired by the great folk and country singer-songwriters who typify and have characterized the Americana "roots" scene. Even minus the undeniable influence of the musical giants he admires and respects to this day, Michael simply had no choice when it came to deciding to be who he is.
This prodigious musical talent was blatantly obvious in Hearne as a young kid. With minimal formal training as a child, coupled with hours of music immersion and hardcore practice, his destiny was forever tangled in "wire and wood." Hearne had his hands on his first real guitar by age seven and by 12, Michael was a fixture at parties and local homespun events, not realizing that this period was actually dress rehearsal for what would prove to be an ever-evolving and rewarding musical career.
Michael continues to leave an indelible mark on his audiences not only with his signature "Michael Hearne" guitar sound, but also with songs and stories that are rich in lyrical prose, imagery and humor.
He is a songwriter's songwriter, cut from the same cloth that propels an artist on a committed journey to experiencing life as a series of creative events and fulfilments. Even though the musical high road is typically scattered with twists of fate and a few u-turns along the way (all of which make for great lyrics), Michael continues to forge ahead by just keeping on doing what he loves.
Longevity has yielded Hearne a vast fan base that is solid and ever expanding. Anyone who has ever grooved to one of Hearne's impeccable guitar leads or kicked up their heels to one of the many two stepping tunes played by him or with his band, South by Southwest, has also probably been caught singing along at some point in the night, note for note, with that beautifully distinctive voice that can never be mistaken for anyone else.
Hearne's never met an audience he didn't like and fans quickly become repeat offenders on the house concert, music festival, and club scenes, as both the man and the music are extraordinarily genuine, inspirational, and entertaining.
His newest CD, The High Road to Taos, has received critical acclaim, with some discriminating reviewers declaring it to be his finest work to date.
Just after its release in December 2007, The High Road to Taos landed a coveted position on the KTAOS Top Ten recordings chart for that year. Michael Hearne is now being heard around the world thanks to the World Wide Web, old-fashioned regional and national airwaves and because of the legion of loyal fans who continue to request and support "Taos's own, Mr. Michael Hearne." A dedicated and eclectic fan base, which spills across borders and state lines and represents a smorgasbord of musical tastes, keeps Hearne perfectly aligned with the spotlight.
A consistent winner of the "Best of Taos" awards for performer and singer for the past 10 years, Hearne's songwriting credits are impressive. Awards include Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Production at the 2001 New Mexico MIC AWARDS, for "A Taos Christmas Eve," 2002. He has penned songs for Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P. Nunn ("Lesson to be Learned from Love") and his New Mexico anthem, "New Mexico Rain," recorded by his uncle and aunt, Bill and Bonnie Hearne, and country music legend Johnny Rodriguez.
His critically acclaimed CD "Sight and Sound" – 11 songs written about 11 different works of art – won seven awards at The New Mexico Music Awards, making him the biggest winner in their history. This CD includes the song The Songwriter, co-written with Grammy winners Mentor Williams and Andy Byrd. Michael Hearne has also written songs with his good friends Shake Russell, Keith Sykes, and many others.
He and his band South By Southwest (a.k.a. SxSW) are best described as country swing/southwestern Americana. Loyal fans who continue to pack dance halls, clubs and house concert venues listen and two step the night away to Hearne and the sounds of long time band members Carmen Acciaioli, a musical master of the steel guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and hammered dulcimer; and the extremely talented Zeke Severenson on stand up and electric bass.