” Michael’s musical landscape is vast and haunted, filled with living breathing demons and a darkness so dark that there is only one way out…and that is to sing as if your life counted on it. Michael sings as if his life is counting on it. Rarely will you find a man who will give you so much in his music…Michael de Jong gives you all he’s got. Consider it a gift, because it is. He is a musical treasure.” Mary Gauthier - Artist / Performer
Michael de Jong is the best that came out of Dutch R & R.Jip Golsteijn - De Telegraaf
He has an unforgettable voice and deliver… he’s a strong composer and outstanding singer.Phillip Elwood - San Francisco Examiner
In the entire Dutch Rock history there’s nothing that comes close to his stunning life and work. Herman van der Horst - OOR
De Jong has build up such a musical credibility. More then probably nobody else with a Dutch passport gets even close.Sander Donkers - Vrij Nederland
Michael de Jong’s personal and musical life stories are the stuff of legend and nightmare. He was lucky to survive OD’s, madness and violence… the paranoia… alcohol and drugs… the horror while hellfire was almost licking his feet. He was not so lucky as to escape the scars and scathing that come from living such a life. It’s understandable that Michael’s in a hurry. He’s recorded and released six albums in the last six years and all of his songs are autobiographical or about things that he witnessed. From eating out of garbage cans and shooting heroin behind a San Francisco bus station to suicide, jail, asylum, religion, politics. Words “filled with breathing demons with a darkness so dark that there’s only one way out… and that is to sing…”
Michael de Jong was born in France in 1945, his father was a Dutchman who fled during World War II where he married a French Basque woman. After the War, they lived in Holland until the family immigrated to America in 1950. As musical careers develop, his is truly stunning. Michael started playing the guitar at the age of 13. Five years later he started his first band The Nightwalkers, which backed Bobby Bare who shortly there after became successful with All American Boy, Brooklyn Bridge and the classic Detroit City.
Michael’s name first made the newspapers when, at the age of 8, he burned down his school. Although this may sound a little extreme Michael assures us he had the best of reasons. It’s too long a story to go into here so maybe you should ask him about it yourself if you ever get the chance. Michael started playing the guitar at the age of 13. Five years later he started his band The Nightwalkers, which backed Bobby Bare who shortly after became successful with All American Boy, Brooklyn Bridge and the classic Detroit City.
In 1965, Michael moved to Detroit where he became a regular guest at John Sinclair’s Ann Arbor Blues Festival. Between 1970 & 1974 he travelled extensively throughout the States. He ended up in New Orleans where he played the strip-clubs of Bourbon Street 7 nights a week for 13 months in a row, often sharing the stage with Professor Longhair. Michael moved to California in 1974. During the 10 years that he lived in San Francisco, he played with or supported Jerry Garcia, Paul Butterfield, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Maria Muldaur, Country Joe, Charlie Musselwhite, Albert King… the list goes on and on.
Michael soon earned the respect of the San Francisco Examiners top music critic Phillip Elwood (see quotes). Michael then went on to join blueslegend Jimmy Reed’s as his guitarist in Jimmy’s band. During this time Michael started writing his own songs after Jimmy told him “It ain’t how you sing the song boy, it’s how you live your life… and if you ain’t lived the life, how can you sing the song.” It was Michael who was to discover Jimmy’s body after his death in Oakland on the afternoon of August 29, 1976.
In 1981, Michael recorded his first album All Night Long, produced by legendary Nick Gravenitis and featuring Steve Miller Band members Norton Buffalo & Greg Douglas. Three years later he returned to Europe and after “spending time” in Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden, he revisited his Dutch roots, settling in Holland where he still lives. He’s a superb live performer and in recent years supported Van Morrison, Clannad, Jethro Tull a.o. Michael’s shows are full of energy and emotion and should not to be missed. Heartfelt and without pretensions, no matter whether live on stage or on CD, Michael de Jong’s music undoubtedly fits in with the Munich Records motto: “Real People, Real Instruments & Real Music”.
His first album for Munich Records was 1996’s ‘Who’s Fooling Who’, a studio recording of 14 of his original songs followed up with the albums ‘”Alive”, “Grown Man Moan”, “The Waiting Game” and “Immaculate Deception”. All albums received rave reviews.
Biography from de official site of Michael de Jong
Edited by WilliamNl on 22 Sep 2013, 20:53
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