Home  |  Music  |  Bio  |  History  |  Contact

I Am with the Hunters features Michael's intimate and perceptive songwriting, combined with a diverse range of instruments and full accompaniment.

The album title comes from a poem by Leonard Cohen, from his 1964 collection Flowers for Hitler. This collection was written before Cohen began setting his poems to music - before "Suzanne" and everything after.  When Michael read the poem "On Hearing a Name Long Unspoken", he was moved by the lyricism and how singable the lines were. In an act of pure cheek, he set the verses to music and sent it to Leonard Cohen for his blessing, his co-operation, and of course his permission. The result captures the power of Cohen's poetry and images with a wholly new musical style. Those familiar with Cohen's music may be surprised at the sound, but when they hear the words, it will all become clear.

I Am with the Hunters was recorded in Ottawa during the winter of 2009 at Little Bullhorn Studios. Michael produced the record with the help of Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson, Snaihouse). The two corralled the energies of a whole host of musicians. Some friends returned from the first record, Long Shadows in the Afternoon. Jon McLeod and Peter Rombeek contribute, as well as Darlene McLeod on the reflective and whimsical ukulele duet, "Daughters of Etobicoke". Michael looked back to his Siobhan days to recruit Jasen "Senor 9.5" Colsen on drums. Neil Gerster (Kyrie Kristmanson, Marie-Josee Houle, Melissa Laveaux) brings his five-string fretless and his unique voice to two of the songs.  And friends from his former home on the West Coast make delightful cameos on the record. Mandolin wizard Ira Pelletier (Hub City Ramblers, Skagway) brings a subtle and superior touch to "Just Proximity". And Mario Vaira (Flannel Jimmy, Bobs 'n' Lolo - Juno nominees for Children's Album of the Year 2010, 2012, 2015) adds some funky guitar to the standout ensemble piece "The Farthest Shore". That song was a real treat for Michael, as he was able to invite players from a band he admired during his undergrad days in Ottawa - the now-defunct Hennessey. The song was written with them in mind, and Michel Pariseau on bass and Pamela Brennan on vocals make the song come alive.

Michael's first EP has a folk heart with various textures added on. From country to gospel to grunge, the core remains the acoustic guitar and Michael's voice and words. He invited a few friends to fill out the sound: Darrell O'Dea (Bob Egan, Renann, Staggered Crossing) on guitar, Jon McLeod (Design of Cities, Crank) on bass, Darlene McLeod on vocals and Peter Rombeek on violin and cello. The album was recorded in early spring of 2006 at Bova Sound, with Phillip Victor Bova (Hilotrons, David Wiffen, Clark the Band) behind the board.