In 1990, Michael Lee Firkins released his self-titled debut album. This release showcased Michael's signature sound of rock blended with country, blues and jazz. With the strength of this album, and the help of an international advertising campaign from YAMAHA GUITARS, his first release sold more than 100,000 copies. This well received album also landed Michael the winner of the “BEST NEW TALENT” reader's poll in Guitar Player magazine and Guitar for the Practicing Musician. He was also hailed as “ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLAYERS OF THE NEXT TEN YEARS” by Guitar for the Practicing Musician. As Michael's music was also popular in Europe, Firkins won the Edison Award, which is Holland's version of a Grammy.
Firkins is very unique in that he plays almost exclusively with his fingers and not a pick, a technique he learned from country guitarists. He also makes very creative use of the tremolo bar, making it sound as if he is playing slide guitar. Guitar Magazine called him "one of the best guitarists you've never heard of."
Despite an amazing ability, Firkins never took the studio-cat or sideman route to second-hand prominence and financial security, the virtuoso preferring instead to woodshed and further tweak his guitar abilities.
To many, Firkins has been a guitar genius Howard Hughes-style recluse, exploring musical and personal territories that have been the subject of ongoing curiosity and discussion for years from the Firkins watchers around the world. His decision to excuse himself from the bustle of the business, lucrative session work says more about his sincere, natural playing style than dissecting his mental state or physical well being among the guitar-loving intelligentsia.
With his new album, “Blacklight Sonatas” Michael Lee Firkins has broken some personal and musical boundaries and will re-ignite talk of him being the “next great guitar player.”
released October 23, 2007
Michael Lee Firkins-Guitar
Thomas Pridgen-Drums (The Mars Volta)
Kai Eckhardt-Bass (John McLaughlin, Garaj Mahal)
Michael Bland-Drums (Prince, Paul Westerberg)
Matt Abts-Drums (Gov’t Mule)
Andy Hess-Bass (Gov’t Mule)
Chuck Leavell-Keyboards (Allman Brothers Band, Rolling Stones)