What people are saying
about Michael Tomlinson's Music

Singer Songwriter in Concert

"Tomlinson has a very real talent with musical hooks. . . almost every tune bristles rhythmic choruses rich with sizzling rhythms and memorable melodies. . . a perfect illustration of a performer whose optimism far outshines his dark side."
   ~Don Heckman, LA Times

"The whole sell-out crowd at Michael Tomlinson's concert connected deeply with his intimate performance and propelled him to a graceful two-hour troubadour tour-de-force of singing and story-telling." 
   ~ Beau Brendler, Anchorage Times

"Michael Tomlinson's music truly explores the issues of the heart."
   ~ James Redfield, Author of The Celestine Prophecy

"Michael's CDs feature his appealing tenor and melody-rich songs that focus on healing and unity among humankind through understanding and honest communication."
   ~ John Roos, LA Times

"Through the years of my broadcast experience Michael has always had the ability to turn the  ear, I've made many friends playing his music and the wait for his Florida appearance was so worth it. The pleasure of his melodies, lyrics and voice and the great sense of clarity, incredible!"
   ~ Sunny Robbins, WDDR - FM, Florida

"Tomlinson's music conveys an obvious spirituality, not necessarily in the religious sense. His song writing explores human emotions and reaches the listener - going straight for the heart."
  
~ Tom De Savia, Cash Box

"I don't know of very many singer/songwriters who can stamp "quality craftsmanship" on every single album they've released. Michael Tomlinson can! With every opportunity I get to recommend music, he's first on my list."
   ~ Sandy Shore, KXDC, Monterey Bay, CA

"Tomlinson is rare in the music world of catchy lyrics and elaborate techniques, He gives it to you straight. His genial voice offers a comfortable, down to earth feeling and it's easy to believe what he sings."
   ~ Nancy J. Caldwell, LA Jazz Scene

"After only one air play of 'All Love For Good', calls poured in for weeks in praise of Calling Me Back to the Wild. With every thought, every word, each note,  Michael brings the listener into a realm of pure honesty, emotion and life-affirming energy."
   ~ Nancy Serena, Sunday Morning Jazz, WMJX - Boston

"There's no preachiness in his songs of love and love of Earth, just the voice of a regular guy."  
   ~ The Seattle Weekly

"Tomlinson is thoughtful, passionate, upbeat and fresh in a contradictory world."
   ~ Kelly Gilbert, Baltimore Evening Sun

"Tomlinson is a singer whose allure is simplicity and honesty. It's the lyrics of his songs and how he sings them that makes Tomlinson stand apart."
   ~ Steve Cole, Anchorage Times  

"Calling Me Back to the Wild is a delight from beginning to end. The tastefully produced collection of melodies benefits from a singing voice that could wring sunlight from an eye-chart. Like such kindred artists as Bruce Cockburn, Danny O'Keefe and David Wilcox, Michael demonstrates that he's got a stronger-than-ever grasp on the form."
  
  ~ Wood & Steel Magazine

"Michael's music is rich in reflections, while celebrating the passionate love felt between people."
   ~ Ann Buzenburg, The Celestine Journal

"I highly recommend Michael's songs to anyone with a desire to open their heart."
   ~ John Lee, Author of The Flying Boy

"A voice unequalled by any other male singer I know. His uncanny ability to cascade over a series of notes while singing only one syllable seduces the senses. His lyrics are fired with energy and ripe with emotion."
   ~ Victory Music Review

"Michael Tomlinson is one of the most gifted singer/song-writers of this or any other decade. He has the rare ability to touch listeners hearts. His fans are passionate about his music."
   ~ Rob Moore, Program Director - KCFE, Minneapolis

"Tomlinson's melodic, jazz-inflected songs deal with the need to be honest with others...his clear, breezy tenor is strikingly beautiful."      
   ~ Gene Stout, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Besides having a clear, strong voice, Michael is a wonderful poet and lyricist. His songs speak to the feelings of love, delight, introspection, joy and pathos, creating for the listener a sense of community with both the artist and the entire planet."
   ~ Rhonda Dicksion, Seattle's New Times

"The best concert I have ever been to!"
 
  ~ Kristi Renkievicz, Route 41 Magazine

"As Michael's exquisite song, By A Friend, is being played, a room full of individuals becomes, instead, a community."
   ~ Mardig Sheridan, Program Leader - Pursuit of Excellence

"A human voice to touch and nourish the deepest parts of us. Michael is a healer for the weary soul."   
   ~ Daniel Deardorff, Songwriter, Teacher,
       Building the Singer's Temple

"Michael Tomlinson's music moves people beyond ego into spirit-consciousness. There's a soothing openness that truly makes the heart and spirit dance."
  
~ Jeanne Kreider, Teacher - Natural Force Healing

A review written for
the
Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange 

by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).
I've made no secret of the fact that I consider Michael Tomlinson to be just as impressive and important a mellow rocker as Kenny Rankin and superior to gents like Kenny Loggins and Dan Fogelberg, both of whom (especially the latter) I very much appreciate. Like Rankin, Tomlinson's singing comes not just from a voice but a true "instrument", a facility that transcends the norms of the craft and which I'll momentarily explain further. Unlike Rankin, though, who peaked in the genius Silver Morning and then faded somewhat in his later output, Tomlinson has produced nothing but extraordinarily solid material maintaining its level and integrity from the first LP (Still Believe) right up to this sterling collection, cut after cut, album after album, now into his 11th release (including one 'best of' collection).

Like Loggins, he also has the ability to recruit top-notch players who underscore his laid back exuberance and highly positive temperament, a sensitive nature that certainly isn't absent of the chagrin and doubt felt by the rest of us but which inevitably finds its way out of the chasms and abysses of travail and emotion to reinvest life with the elan and sense of wonder it deserves. There's more than a little of the Taoist to this guy.

Of particular note in this outing are Miles Gilderdale (electric & acoustic guitar), Mike Grigoni (dobro, lap steel) and Mitch Corbin (banjo, mando), not to mention Jay Kenney, who not only tosses in the keyboards but engineered the CD to perfection, especially adept in layered levels producing a miniature symphonic sound…almost without violins, Paul Elliott providing just the one here and there with consummate grace. Kenney's actually continuing a tradition initiated when the singer showed up on Cypress Records, a short-lived imprint that saw such luminaries as John Stewart, Jennifer Warnes, Jesse Colin Young, Tim Weisberg, and Gary Wright, Tomlinson acing them all though nowhere near properly noted at the time (neither Cypress nor Mesa, his other big-time label home, were exactly wizards when it came to PR, and, trouble always lurking in River City, one was working on screwing Mike behind the scenes, the discovery of which prompted his resignation from the mainstream, alas).


The Way Out West continues the composer's love of the ground-level everyday that inevitably roots itself in nature, man achieving grace through oneness with both. Big Moon might best serve as the release's center (and, coincidentally enough, it's smack dab in the middle of the CD), a joyous finger-snappin' melodically swingin' cut that involves the human race in a moment of awareness amidst the circuit and splendor of that night-time surrogate sun way up there in the heavens. The follower, Another Way to Love You, contrasts it masterfully, a pensively wistful track imbued with modern rusticity and the inescapability of interconnectedness.

Kenny Rankin is said to be one of the few singers gifted with a saxophonic voice, as was Marvin Gaye, and Michael Tomlinson has been endowed with the same, but his gift incorporates the aching sweetness of the oboe and the energetic effervescence of the clarinet, a combination impossible to beat. It doesn't really matter where you start in his catalogue -- he wrested the rights to all his early releases back from the corporations, an impressive feat in itself—but you might as well begin here because, as I noted, The Way Out West is every inch as captivating as anything he's ever done. Um, I'd even be tempted to say 'better' but am so enamored with those earlier discs that I can't; it's a very happy frustration.

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