Country, Rock, Blues all come together to form the


Mike Hartman


While his other classmates were busy collecting spiders and baseball cards, a young Michael Shawn was busy jamming. The Singer Songwriter, and Musician, who News Blaze hails as "The next Johnny Cash," began playing guitar at the young age of 9 years old. A second generation guitar player, music and a guitar was literally handed down to the young, future performer, growing up with his mother--also a singer and songwriter-- performing on stage. With a guitar always in the corner, his older brother, who also played guitar, would tell him to pick up the instrument, and teach him how to play. "You'll know you get it right," his older brother told him, "When all of your fingers are bleeding!"

Even Michael Shawn's sister played bass, in their Mother's band, called "Country Unlimited." And while his Mom was playing old style country, in the style of Patsy Cline--which would have a big impression on the young musician, his brother Danny was playing more classic rock-- both of which influenced the young performer. And yet, country mostly won out in the end, with Michael growing up to even join and play in their later band; "Step In Country" with his musical family.

While other kids Mom's in his neighborhood were out playing bingo or at home taking care of the house, Michael Shawn's Mom was out rockin' in the free world. She taught Mike him how to be a star on stage, and brought him on board to join "Country Unlimited" for his first gig. The crowds loved them. Their band put out an album and toured, always playing out a relentless five nights a week, year after year. Michael played backing guitar on rhythm, and was getting primed for his future as a band leader. During one show, the former lead guitarist decided to quit on the spot, walking off stage during the middle of a set! It was then and there that Michael leaned how to play lead in just six short weeks. The band was his life. "I slept with my guitar!" he laughs. But after 7 long years, where he learned how to play 500 songs, "Step In Country" had run its course.

Flash Forward to 2017: Michael was invited to play a benefit concert back in 2010, and by this time had written 65 songs of his own. He later called up his old bass player, and the rest is--history. Just an hour drive from Niagara Falls, Michael Shawn was raised in the country-- and raised on country. Citing Elvis, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Dolly Parton, and Merle Haggard among some of his favorite singers and influences, Michael Shawn's roots go deep, and one can hear his genuine soul and power in each song.

"A lot of my songs, are about emotions." He says, admitting, that "We can have fun and make fun of people without hurting them." he explains, "We don't have to be the person that is evil. (My songs are) all about emotion, usually husband and wife stuff-- heartfelt stuff, that we can be a good person." He goes on, "The Stars on the Wall" song, was written for the veterans, the unnamed stars like on the CIA wall," explaining that he wrote for the veterans, adding, "My father was a Veteran in WWII, in the navy USS Boston." When asked what his life philosophy is, Michael admits, "My philosophy is don't take advantage of people, and be comfortable with everything around me. I try be the fairest I can to everybody." He adds, "Country music makes me happy when I hear it. It makes me feel good. I want to do the same for people. I want to make people happy and feel good with my music!" Mission accomplished.

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