Latest Press

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's personal letter of congratulations to Michael.  Click here!

"Miles is Chicago's best kept secret...one of the leading lights of contemporary instrumental music." 
- Midwest Record

Representation

DowArtists.com
641-203-4100

Newsletter

ExistentialBanjo.com

10 LIVE VIDEO CLIPS with some of the world's greatest musicians--Darol Anger on violin, Corky Siegel on harmonica, Erkan Ogur of Turkey and many more. 

CLICK HERE

EXISTENTIALBANJO.COM

New Releases

A-sides CD

Fingerstyle guitar with Darol Anger on violin 

 

Two New Hal Leonard books

BOB DYLAN FOR BANJO

 

FIRST 50 SONGS
To Play on the Banjo 
(co-written with Greg Cahill)

 

CD's On Sale

 

 

 

American Songbag

“The American Songbag is a ragbag of strips, stripes, and streaks of color from nearly all ends of the earth."      Carl Sandburg

In 1927, Carl Sandburg published a collection of songs and wrote that: "These songs come from the hearts and voices of thousands of men and women. They made new songs, they changed old songs, and they carried songs from place to place.”

 

Drawing on Sandburg’s premise that “songs tell our story” Michael J. Miles has created a decade by decade musical portrait of America in the 20th century.

 

In this musical documentary for the stage Michael performs songs made famous by some of America's greatest 20th Century singers and songwriters including Billie Holliday, Woody Guthrie, Cole Porter, Buddy Holly, George Gershwin, James Taylor and others. The performance of this one-man stage show features virtuoso guitar, banjo, and vocals.

 

In addition to music, American Songbag presents a wealth of spoken content that illuminates the fiery politics, rich literature and amusing popular culture of 20th Century America by weaving the words of the day into its dramatic narrative.

 

American Songbag Menu

While American Songbag generally covers 1900-1975, the production has a unique modular format that allows Michael to customize the performance to emphasize specific periods or historical themes. A few examples of how American Songbag can be tailored:

 

Historical Periods 

•  Vietnam Era

•  1930’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s

 

Historical Themes 

•  Civil Rights

•  Songs of Protest and Struggle

•  Great American Composers

 

American Songbag is designed to be staged in a variety of ways, from elegantly simple lighting-only presentations to more lavish productions involving stage dressing.


"Just to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands...let me forget about today until tomorrow."    - Bob Dylan

Jack of Diamonds with audience participation.