Soaring Back to Earth
S oaring Back To Earth is the third CD release for Chicago singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Michaels. Michaels, a touring veteran, has enjoyed a successful career as a musical contractor and bandleader for well-known legendary rock acts such as Spencer Davis, Joey Molland (Badfinger), Wolfman Jack, Otis Day, The Temptations, The Platters and many others. Soaring Back To Earth covers a diverse musical landscape-from early English pop influences to virtual tone poems, with smoky ambient arrangements for guitar and rock band. Strong influences include The Beatles, Yes, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Todd Rundgren, Flaming Lips and Muse. The writing on this CD is directed at conveying some very real life cycle stories. It reflects a wide gamut of adult emotions, ranging from the innocence of a young couple in love starting their life together in It's Our Time; trying to find a way to make things right with someone with whom things have gone extremely wrong with in Let's Try, the insecurity of facing serious challenges and feeling very alone in Will You Be There?; and the deeply personal accounting of Michaels' reflections on his younger brother's untimely death in 2008 in two songs that are bookended together at the end of the CD. The first, Didn't Get To Say Goodbye, is a powerful trip to one's core depicting the initial grief and mourning, evoking a bittersweet reflection of a bond broken too soon. With a musicality that fills a space between ambient and alternative, Didn't Get To Say Goodbye is a ballad that walks a narrow passage on a damp night, stepping over shards of glass, remembering days that held sun and a goodbye that never took place. This evocative stroll builds from the plaintive guitar to the final chord and the inevitable- and unresolved-finish. The last track, The Epilogue: Hearts & Thoughts, shows the evolution of that grief that occurs over time, where you heal and learn to smile again, even if it's bittersweet, to face what lies ahead. You don't forget, but you do move on. Michaels launched the CD in Nashville, TN on 7/15/11 to an enthusiastic audience that traveled from many different parts of the United States to experience a performance that one audience member described as "transcendent and very moving."