Some guys in my high school heard me sing a Gilbert and Sullivan thing and asked me to try out with their rock band, “The Roots Of Evil”. This was 1965. After a while we fired Bruce, the guitar player, because he looked too young. It was a total asshole thing to do but it is the main reason I got into the blues. Frank joined the band, he almost had a moustache, and his brother was in the top local (Thanet, England) band, The RoJeans. Frank turned us on to John Mayall. The band became “Blind Lemon”. The other guys asked me to please stop singing falsetto trying to imitate John Mayall on “So Many Roads”. That’s about the sum total of what I knew about the blues, and I was fine with that. I was a Blues Guy. Now I am an Old Blues Guy. Once I accepted that idea, it grew around me like bark. It has been dawning upon me that there are many subjects to write sing blues about that few people do in a blues form. Living is hard. Even for white, privileged Americans like me, things come up. Somehow we manage to shut out war and genocide in Africa, starvation in Asia, global warming… and we worry about the little things, the things right in front of our faces. We get the blues about our refrigerators, our teenagers, the phone bill, what the neighbors think of our furniture…we even get the blues about our lawn. Admit it! These are good subjects for the blues. You can sing it out and away because you are recognizing it, celebrating it even. It seems like country music has corralled these day-to-day subjects that we all live with. I want to blow a little air up the blues’ skirt.
Until now Capitol Jay has never released a full-length album, though the band has existed in some form or another for nearly ten years. It’s not for lack of material, time, or resources; it’s largely because the band members hold their music up to such a high standard. They’ve always felt that if a song they write is not something they would listen to as fans, then they have no business recording or performing it as a band. It’s that steadfast commitment to excellence that makes Capitol Jay clearly stand out from the myriad of competition in the Twin Cities music scene.
Michelle has an honest folk-like style of writing injected with a quirky twist and a soulful voice. Everywhere she goes, her senses are open to be influenced by what she judges as useful. With an avid fascination regarding the English language, Michelle reads whatever she can get her hands on. She also enjoys playing and listening to a variety of musical styles such as bluegrass, gospel, rock, reggae, jazz and blues.
In October of 2005, at 19 years old, she self-produced her first CD, "Jump Roping in Chains." It consists of 13 personally written songs ranging in subject matter and musical style. These tight compositions point to an emerging singer-songwriter with unmistakable talent that goes beyond anything technically measurable.
Winning tracks from each contest are selected by panelists from within the music industry. Each week a three-song playlist from the winning submissions will be featured on the mnartists.org and Summit Brewery web sites. Quarterly listening parties at area venues will take place and a compilation CD of music from the yearlong contest will be produced.
Submission Specifications and Entry Process Any and all types of music accepted; only three tracks per musician will be reviewed for possible inclusion on the CD. Tracks can be uploaded to artist pages on mnartists.org, and a URL of the page can then be e-mailed to [email protected]. Submissions must come from mnartists.org members. To sign up for membership, visit www.mnartists.org/join.do?action=join. For assistance with registration or with uploading music tracks, please e-mail [email protected] or call 612.375.7611.