Quotes and CD Reviews

This page lists quotes about Michael’s shows, his CDs, and the “Songs and Stories” podcast:

On Michael

  • “Gaither’s sense of humor and keen observation of the human experience preside over his clever Americana originals.”(Amanda Martinez, Good Times Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA)
  • “For our baby boomer audience you are a light in the darkness. Thanks for what you do!” (Jim Park, Broken Road Radio)
  • “Michael Gaither makes toe tappin’ music that makes you think….and smile!!!! (Wesley Robertson, KVMR 88.9 FM, Grass Valley CA)
  • “Michael draws the audience into the music through his intelligent, sophisticated lyrics about common everyday subjects to which we can all relate. He sounds like Bob Dylan, if Dylan was born in Texas and moved to Santa Cruz”. (Ruby Slippers, KVMR-FM 88.9 FM, Nevada City CA)
  • “Michael and his band gave us a priceless night we will never forget.”(Marky Starks, Canyon Acoustic House Concerts, Prunedale CA )
  • “We have had the great pleasure of having Michael play at our facility for years. Our guests love to sit back, sip wine, and enjoy the music that he and his band put together. They play music with lyrics that are both fun and entertaining for people of all ages.” (Annette Hunt, Roudon-Smith Winery, Scotts Valley CA)
  • “Michael is a writer with a keen eye for detail and a gentle sense of humor.” (Larry Kelly, Maverick Country [UK])
  • “I have often thought that the hardest songs to write concern everyday life. Michael Gaither is a singing storyteller in the style of Tom T. Hall and Roger Miller with a heaping dash of Lyle Lovett in the mix.” (Uncleshag, The Longtown Sound Podcast and WLSO FM)
  • “Warm, often hilarious Americana folk tinged with the occasional country beat…with autobiographical lyrics that teeter on the edge between profundity and sentimental simplicity.” (Joshua Farber, coverlaydown.com)

On “Hey Karma” (2017)

  • “When life gives you lemons…listen to this album. Michael Gaither’s Hey Karma covers the three Big L’s: Love, Laughter, and Layoffs. This album is like spending time with a good friend.” (Laurie Roberts, KPIG Radio)
  • “Michael Gaither might be the John Prine of Silicon Valley. He sings about love, life and society at the South end of the bay with a twinkle in his eye and an ear for telling detail. His sweet, smart lyrics come from a place wholly his own. I get a real kick from songs like Best of Breed Romance and It’s Nothing Personal (The Layoff Song). On first listen, I laughed out loud as he gently skewers the corporate speak and emotional callowness of tech culture where people forget how to be people and you can tell it by the way they talk. Not to worry though, these songs are here as a fine reminder.

Michael’s satire has a special charm, too, because you get the sense that he likes people too much to be bitter even as he sings about heartbreaking behavior that’s become unbearably normal.” (Mark Buchanan, Creative Marketing and Communications Leader, Accomplished Brand Strategist)

  • “An anthology of imaginative and witty compositions delivered with a warmth that’s difficult to find in these edgiest of days. These songs are the best expression of a truly creative and idiosyncratic observer of the world. If you sit still long enough, Hey Karma will take you places you hadn’t anticipated.” (Rachel Choist, Full review at Adobe and Teardrops)
  • “On his new CD Hey Karma, Michael Gaither harnesses the strategic power found in clever words and twists those words like a DNA strand infused with music to energize and give life to this helix of songs.  This is Michael’s finest CD collection of songs to date. (Mara Noelle, aka “Ruby Slippers,” KVMR Radio, Nevada City CA)
  • “Not everyone gives a s*** about lyrics. For some, they just don’t make or break a song. For example, my brother once believed that Lynyrd Skynyrd was singing ‘Sweet home, Dalai-Lama’ and it didn’t occur to him, nor did he care, that such a line made no sense at all. Michael Gaither’s Hey Karma is for those who not only need clever lyrics but enjoy obsessing over every minute detail. Gaither is a supremely talented storyteller, whose stripped back acoustic style spotlights his charming wit, dripping sarcasm, and love for zombies… (Shawn Thicke, Full review at bucketlistmusicreviews.com)
  • Michael Gaither’s latest release, Hey Karma, is an eleven-track collection that features guitars, banjos, and mandolins lovingly bringing to life tunes about life, love and things in between. Gaither goes nostalgic on the lead track, Mix Tape – which with its light percussion and bluesy backdrop proclaims the joys of making that little plastic soundtrack – as well as Tuesday Nights At Eight (Song for Red Skelton) while nice harmonies are found on “Outside the Gates of Graceland” a song that envisions searching for a dream. Different angles of love can be found on It’s Nothing Personal (The Layoff Song), the smartly written, harmonica-laden Best of Breed Romance and the delightfully sweet Somewhere I Went Right. Other tracks on the album include a subdued version on Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns, and Money, the title track which calls on karma to take care of the ones who are in line to get their due and the thoughtful On Saturday and Sunday(Tara Joan, thedailycountry.com)

On “Lump of Coal” (2014)

  • “What I love about Michael is his natural ability to tell a good story in song and relate to his audience.  There is a sublime humour in much of what he writes and the accompaniment uncluttered, allowing his voice to take full command.  Christmas isn’t yet with us but Michael’s version of the time-honoured ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain’, with delightful banjo clopping away in the background, will be featured on my Somer Valley 97.5FM ‘special’ during December, as will ‘The Krampus Comes Out Tonight’.  The new EP. ‘Lump Of Coal’, exceeds all expectations, with three ‘Holiday Tunes’ and three ‘Live Solo Tracks’ – but don’t just take my word for it, go buy it!!!(Bryan Chalker, Somer Valley 97.5FM, Somer UK)
  • “I’d welcome this “Lump of Coal” in my stocking! This glows with the warmth of holiday good tidings. My favorite tune is “Entertaining an Angel”, closely followed by “Black Fridays Eve” “Krampus” is also fun, yet dark! I plan on playing this on my show.” (David Howard, KVMR Radio, Nevada City, CA)
  • “Michael Gaither’s new CD, ‘Lump of Coal’ is a nice addition to anyone’s holiday music collection. Listening to Michael’s songs is like having a friend tell you a story; a friend who is honest, witty, has a way with words and a wonderful, pleasing voice that makes it a joy to listen to.” (Jackie Locken, KKUP Radio, Cupertino CA)

On “Starlite Drive-In Saturday Night” (2012)

  • “Michael Gaither’s new release, “Starlite Drive In Saturday Night,” is a brilliant and unique contribution to the field of Folk/Americana. It means something extra special to those of us on the oft-neglected left coast. “Starlite…” contains several gems, including the dog/wolf story “Charlie and Chloe” which made me cry. This is an album that shifts back and forth in time from the very contemporary “She’s More Connected” to the nostalgic title track. It grows with every repeated listening and does not have a bad track. Buy it and wear it out.” (David Stafford, KKUP Radio, Cupertino CA)
  • “Michael Gaither is an up-and-coming Americana singer/songwriter from Watsonville, CA, near Santa Cruz, and Starlite Drive-In Saturday Night is his third release. The insightful songs written by Michael are a love letter to his hometown, Watsonville, where he has lived his whole life. (KPIG, in nearby Freedom, has been playing this cd quite a bit.) The songs are snapshots of the town’s characters and stories, some past (the title track mourns the closing of the local drive-in movie theater), and some very present (Now It’s a Taqueria, Still a Small Town, and She’s More Connected, the latter co-written with Steve Kritzer). Michael has a such a natural storyteller’s approach to his material (not to mention a warm voice) that even the cover of the Warren Zevon’s Don’t Let Us Get Sick sounds like a song he wrote. Soulful, heartwarming and genuine, the cd’s a real pleasure to listen to and provides much food for thought.” (Doug Kelly, KDRT, Davis CA)
  • “Michael Gaither does it again. Evocative lyrics, humor, heart-tugging, and stellar musicianship make ‘Starlite Drive-In Saturday Night’ a tasty treat. Now I want a taco.” (Natalie Davis, Grateful Dread Radio)
  • “Starlite Drive-In Saturday Night” is an impressive combination of music and words, with the “different” use of music within some of the tracks, giving it an unusual but nice charactoristic style. Great Work, and looking forward to the next release. (Graham Barclay, Hawke’s Bay’s Soundwave FM, 87.8 and 107.7, New Zealand)
  • “Michael’s song ["Starlite Drive-In Saturday Night"] is a sweet marriage of nostalgia and modern story telling. A perfect soundtrack to have playing as you pull up to any one of the few but proud remaining drive-ins across the nation.” (Josh Frank, owner, Blue Starlite Drive-in, Austin TX)
  • “Love it! Intelligent and clever songs along with a killer band!” (Cindy Haden, foothillsartsandmusic.com)

On “Dogspeed” (2009)

  • “I have this CD and also “Spotted Mule…”. I love the way Michael crafts his lyrics and speaks about everyday stuff that you wouldn’t think to make into a song.” (CD Baby customer)
  • “A great CD talking about everyday life, memories, musings and a poke at those jerks who talk on their cell phones while driving (“Hang it Up”). There is something that everyone can relate to on this CD.” (Phil Peretz, Indie4Life)
  • “Thanks for your insightful musical compositions. As a Trucker driving local in Washington for going on 33 years now, it’s nice to hear my daily inner commentary put to song.” (Wild West Radio listener on the song “Hang It Up”)

On “Spotted Mule and Other Tales” (2006)

  • “A brilliant debut CD from Michael Gaither. A fine blend of folk, bluegrass, alternative country and Americana in its purest sense. Aside from the strong songwriting ability and Slaid Cleaves-style vocals, Michael surrounds himself with very strong and multi-talented musicians. (Jeff Scammon, Wild West Radio/KVMR FM, Nevada City)
  • “If you are looking to add some toe tappin’ music to your mule ride or porch sittin’, check out Michael’s CD’s. Shoot, play his songs for your mule. Your mule will thank you! (Deb Kidwell, Lake Nowhere Mule and Donkey Farm, Martin TN)
  • “Album of the Week for May 21 2007″: Michael Gaither, “Spotted Mule and Other Tales” (Eddie O’Strange, Town & Country Radio [New Zealand])
  • “Highway 17 roadtrippin’ sarcasm and storytelling from the local Americana singer/songwriter.” (Good Times Santa Cruz)

On the “Songs and Stories” podcast

  • “Grateful Dread Public Radio is proud to have Michael Gaither’s Songs and Stories on our station. Michael produces an interesting podcast program that entertains and enlightens, and the music and musicians featured are favorites with our listeners. Michael is consistent, hard-working, knowledgeable and creative, and the combination—with the music—is a winner. Then again, so is Michael.” (Natalie Davis, Grateful Dread Radio)
  • “I host a weekly independent music podcast called “The Great American Music Hour” and have played Michael’s music on my show before. “Songs and Stories” is a very cool podcast in that it illuminates the songwriting process from the songwriter’s point of view. If you are a fan of great American music, you will thoroughly enjoy this show”. (Jerry Jodice, host, The Great American Music Hour)