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Michael Gulezian

Although not as well known as he deserves to be, Michael Gulezian is a talented folk-rock instrumentalist who comes out of the John Fahey/Leo Kottke/Robbie Basho school of acoustic guitar playing. All of those fellow guitarists influenced the Armenian-American, whose recordings have often had a very spiritual, dreamy, airy quality and sometimes underscore his interest in the traditional modal music of India and the Middle East. Born in 1957, Gulezian was only six when he started playing the acoustic guitar. One of the people who did a lot to encourage Gulezian's interest in many different types of music was his father, an oud player who was well-versed in Armenian and Middle Eastern styles. (The oud is a traditional Arabic lute that has been used all over the Middle East and North Africa for centuries). Growing up in Colorado, Gulezian was exposed to a wide variety of music. He learned a lot about Armenian and Middle Eastern forms from his father, and he also got into everything from rock, folk, soul, and the blues to traditional Indian artists like sitar legend Ravi Shankar (another influence). One can hear the influence of ragas and Indian classical music in Gulezian's playing, and one also hears a strong appreciation of acoustic Mississippi country blues legends like Robert Johnson, Son House, and the Rev. Gary Davis.

Gulezian was still a pre-adolescent when he discovered Fahey's music; he soon became equally knowledgeable of Kottke and Basho. And when Gulezian was a high school senior, he met Basho at a concert in Pueblo, CO. Gulezian played one of his compositions for Basho, who was impressed with both his playing and his writing, and encouraged him to send a demo to Fahey's Takoma Records. After hearing Gulezian's work, Fahey shared Basho's high opinion of him and agreed that he had a lot of potential. In 1979, Gulezian recorded his first LP, Snow, and released it on his own label, Aardvark Records. Fahey decided that he wanted to re-release the record on Takoma, but with a few changes. After two tracks were added and three were dropped, most of Snow was reissued by Takoma as Unspoken Intentions in 1979. When Takoma went bankrupt in 1985, Gulezian felt disillusioned with the music industry and decided to take a break from recording and return to college. In 1990, he graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in marketing. It was also in the early '90s that Gulezian got back to recording and started a new label called Timbreline Music; in 1992, he released Distant Memories & Dreams on Timbreline. That CD was followed by 1994's The Dare of an Angel and 2001's Language of the Flame, both of which are also on Gulezian's Timbreline label. In 2002, Fantasy (which now owns the Takoma catalog) reissued Unspoken Intentions on CD. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

birdygirl73
Wow! <3
nstanbury7
Love his music!
Also reminiscent of Peter Walker, who has been playing a similar style since the mid-60's. Beautiful.
katie.vt
Thank you Pandora for introducing me to this guy! I love Michael Hedges and Leo Kottke too.
Reminds me of Michael Hedges - nice though.
Very Kottke-like.
This song made me remember Michael Hedges (some similarities only). Very nice song.
phenomenal!
leliaandizzy
Wow! I do love his music! I have heard the small town Matt Mayes play like this too! This is wonderful!!! !
Fantastic - I'm glad there are still musicians out there who are interested in reaching this level of craftsmanshi p . I do hope he's able to avoid the crippling hand pain that Kottke had to deal with later in life as a consequence of his style.
laskiblue
He darn near sounds like Kottke on this song. I'm very impressed.
luptoncrew
WOW
Michael is an amazing talent and an even better person. Down to Earth, loves life, a true pleasure to talk to. I had the pleasure of getting to know him when I was on the activities board at Loras College. When he played there my senior year, he asked if there was any one song I'd like him to play and I requested Amber Waves Goodbye. He forgot to play it, then realized it as we were helping him pack his gear. He went and got a chair, got out his guitar, and gave us an impromptu performance
trish52293
Wow...making note of Michael for additions to my music collection. Thanks for the introduction to his wonderful talent!
Fine music!
schma8
first i'm hearing & i hope not the last........ . . . thank you pandora! where'd I be without your insight? ;-)
This music is uplifting, down to earth and inspiring... thank you.
Never heard him before - nice sound
this guy's great!
gbyus
Like all great music, the artist takes all the great musical influences in his life and synthesizes his own music from his heart.Michae l is amazing! I've never heard anyone blend Indian,Midea s t e r n , f o l k , classical and blues and have it work and work really well. Thank you Pandora, I've never heard of this guy and he just may be or become better than John Fahey or Leo Kottke. Even though the tonality sounds similar to Kottke and Fahey, his music is completely his own. WOW!Play on man.
Amazing stuff....the low tunings make these pieces even broader and deeper. I'm so glad I discovered Michael here!
steveaes
Michael is excellent, so glad he came up on Pandora. I have The Dare of An Angel, great to hear his more recent stuff!
An exact reenactment of Kottke's superior version....S e e m s like he's a really good player, but he needs to develop his own style...When this came on my player, at first I thought this was a live version of Kottke's I just hadn't heard before...but as the cut goes on, he's not as precise or clean as Leo.
roxagu_11
GREAT VARIETY!! I like to read about these talented artists' music because it shows appreciation to their music...
slossing
This is the best way to work in my office. I would have never heard about Michael if not for Pandora
I am suddenly finding that there are quite a bunch of talented acoustic solo guys out there pounding away at the coffee house circuit these days, amazing. You can hear them all right here.
Yep, I might not have heard about this fellow if not here at Pandora. Really great. A lot like Don Ross. A technical wizard with taste!
aholeswim
What? There's an Armenian that plays country blues on a guitar? Wow, if it wasn't for Pandora I would have never found out about this guy.
love this!!!!!!!! ! ! ! m a k e s me feel so good.
:):):)
I'm lucky enough to have seen him live a couple times. Both of those times, there were about 15 people, so I got to talk to him a lot. He's a great guy -- there's a natural joy about him, a general adoration of life. I aspire to him.

Oh, and his playing is even more amazing in person. ^_^
now THIS is the kind of guitar playing that i admire.
jjeffry
Wow...I just set up a station based on Michael Hedges. I miss him. You make me miss him a lil less. Very nice. Well done.

Thanks,

:)

Jeff in San Diego
www.myspace. c o m / l i n d y b y t h e b a y

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