Byron Fichter Fotography
Jeff D. Michel (MICK-el) is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer living and working in Estevan, Saskatchewan. His new album, Back to the Moon, was released on September 24, 2021 and tied for #10 in the SaskMusic Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2021. Back to the Moon is Jeff’s second full-length release, a follow-up to his 2006 debut The Seasons, 2014 single Love You a Little While, and his first collection of new music since the 2018 CFMA-nominated Hook & Nail album Ghosts of Taylorton.
Jeff’s latest 13 track offering, Back to the Moon, contains contributions from friends/bandmates Mike Davis & Lindsay Arnold (Hook & Nail/Last Birds) as well as Nashville pedal steel legend Steve Hinson. It is an eclectic mix of country-tinged folk/roots songs, and explores themes of aliens, loss, winter, dragons, prairie storms and the wisdom gained as one ages. Jeff’s latest single, Cabin in the Woods takes inspiration from time spent with family at his parents’ summer cabin, and reminisces of the fond memories that often accompany a summer hideaway.
Back to the Moon has been well-received at radio, with four of the album tracks featured regionally on CBC Radio One (SK) and several tracks featured at College Radio with adds/rotation in over 65 markets across the US and Canada. Recently, Never Had a Chance to Miss You was selected as a semi-finalist in the folk/singer-songwriter category for the 2021 International Songwriting Competition.
Album tracks include Never Outrun the Storm, a cautionary tale of summer prairie storms, and features Hinson on pedal steel, while Two Kids Dressed as Dragons tells the fantastic story of The Dragons and the 7-Horned Monster, based loosely on events that took place at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, with work underway to adapt the song into a children’s book. The title track, Back to the Moon, featuring Davis on slide guitar, ponders if we’re truly alone in the universe - perhaps by a choice not our own. The Only Thing, inspired by a comment from a coworker, laments the loss of a wife and mother in childbirth, and the opening track, Professor of Intuition cleverly ventures into the world of the sixth sense. Jeff’s songwriting style has matured to reflect the influence that folk music has had and embraces its storytelling nature, yet retains the edge and drive of his blues/rock roots.
In addition to his solo efforts, Jeff is a member of the folk/roots trio Hook & Nail, whose debut album Ghosts of Taylorton earned them a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for New/Emerging Artist of the Year, and a tie for the #4 spot in the SaskMusic Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2018.
When Jeff isn’t doing music-related things, he relaxes with his cats and enjoys growing hot peppers and various fruits in his backyard which he combines to make a hot jam with a slow, sweet burn.