“Mike Green is a man of many, sometimes hidden, talents. Sure, he's a well-known and respected talent agent, but he's also a wicked gardener. A gourmet cook. A lover of great music. And now, an out-of-the-closet singer/songwriter. What do all these things have in common? They make our lives a little richer, a little more nutritious, more worth living. These are all crafts that require time, patience, and a love for small details. In Mike's first recording, he sets a table as varied as it is satisfying. Pull up a chair and join in the feast.” - John McCutcheon, performing artist
Mike Green's Long Debut: Listening for the Bell
What happens when you finally just stand still and listen to what's inside?
In the great pause of 2020, Mike Green took a good, long listen to an insistent bell ringing inside his head. Songs he knew were there—some since the 1970s—needed to be unlocked. The resulting surge of creativity gave birth to several dozen new songs. After nearly four decades as a booking agent, Mike suddenly added "singer/songwriter" to his resume. Many of these songs are on Mike’s debut album, Listening for the Bell. Mike’s expressive melodies, engaging lyrics, and creative guitar work give depth to a broad scope of topics. His songs are inherently optimistic, often touched with wry humor, leaving space for listeners to make the songs uniquely their own.
Though newly re-entering the ranks of touring performers, Mike has been an integral part of the national folk community from his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a booking agent, he has fostered careers and absorbed the music of top-tier artists from Tom Paxton to Ani DiFranco. Working with legendary venues literally from coast to coast – Club Passim, The Old Town School of Folk Music, The Ark, Freight & Salvage, and scores in between – Mike continues to represent a small roster of touring artists including John McCutcheon, Carrie Newcomer, David Wilcox, and others.
Mike grew up in West Orange, New Jersey and has played music all his life. In his early years, he played the trumpet in the school band and at arts camp, but he had to give up the instrument when he got braces on his teeth. Mike then picked up the guitar and never looked back. He played ragtime, blues, and dabbled in political songwriting during a couple of years of touring in the late 1970s. “I don’t think I was awful, but I wasn’t that good,” Mike reflects. “And I went out of my way to be outrageous.” Since then, his influences have been shaped by an array of artists including Jesse Winchester, The Who, and Utah Phillips—all of whom seeped into his widely eclectic style.
At the encouragement of Carrie Newcomer and others, Mike began crafting his own work, writing songs that were inspired by his own experiences and observations. They offer sharp social statements, frank admissions, a soft touch on home life, poignant reflections on the paths we all follow, and a pragmatic philosophy for keeping our eyes on what unfolds next. Mike's songs pose some challenging questions, offer no pat answers, yet open the door to let in hope.
Mike’s muse kept nudging him forward. The bell demanded to be heard. And so, here comes a mature and fresh songwriter who faces the extraordinary and the ordinary, listening for and answering that persistent bell that calls all of us.