Glorious soulful delivery... a groovy creative invention.”

— Independent UK



Awash in a groovy swath of near-jazzy ether, Bliss’ Austin Chronicles teeters between that delicate dream state of newborn refuge and Milky Way haze. Don’t let the SoCal singer-songwriter thing fool you: Bliss’ unassuming yet creative approach places him squarely alongside the likes of soulful troubadours Citizen Cope/Daniel Caesar but with flecks of Wonder/Prince-style transcendental grandeur.

             -North County Times

The music of Michael Bliss is difficult to quantify. It melds the influences of his upbringing in the church with the jazz, soul, and pop of his surroundings. Bliss was born in Oceanside, CA, and grew up with music as a constant. “My mother and father performed and sang professionally with their jazz band, and toured state fairs and made regular appearances on television and radio shows. There was always music playing and professional jam sessions happening in the Bliss house. "I can remember my mom rocking me to sleep with a sweet lullaby.  There were a cappella hymns each Sunday at church and backseat harmony choruses on our long summer vacation road trips. It was as natural and normal as exhaling or eating or laughing.” 

As a small child, Michael began playing drums before falling in love with the trumpet. Later, when he was a teen, he  gravitated toward the piano and writing his own songs. He started his first band shortly after, and by the age of 20 he was  singing professionally for other acts as well. Since that time, he has worked with such names as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Chambers (Chambers Brothers), Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (Double Trouble), and Ivan Neville, all the while producing his own albums, touring, and producing albums for other artists.

Bliss is working on his fourth full-length studio album. He describes the process as "easy and freeing” thanks to the group of elite luminaries involved. “They’re mostly old friends who also happen to be some of the most sought-after players. I feel remarkably fortunate to have had them on this new project.”

The cast includes drummer Ramy Antoun (Black Eyed Peas, Seal), drummer Kevin Hall (Eric Johnson, Mark Farner) bassist & mixing engineer Kelly Donnelly (Eric Johnson, Mike Stern, Christopher Cross), bassist Larry Timer, pedal steel & guitarist Matt Wiley ( Sara & The Spark),  vocalist Sara Wiley (Sara & The Spark), guitarist Jacob Hildebrand (Miranda Lambert, Bart Crow) and legendary guitarist Phil Keaggy.

“I think all of my songs have been greatly affected by the fact that covid happened, and by the fact that I had to have friends track virtually,” says Bliss. “Many lives were changed because of covid, whether it’s about someone who was locked in for a while, or about not having to do the things you were accustomed to doing and suddenly realizing that you don't have to do those things. It’s like there’s a changing of the times, our lives and our music have changed. I’ve noticed that about myself, as well. I love the ability to record and write at home, and being almost forced to do so. I think it is this same spirit of the introspective songwriter that gets buried in all my songs, consciously or subconsciously.”

“The chorus of Life I Dreamed is that for me sometimes. ‘It’s not the life I dreamed, but I'm still here.'” Bliss explains, “I wanted to convey that life is unpredictable and not a sure thing. Life is something we are not in control of. And, despite the miserable heartache of that time in our lives, I still vividly remember thinking in those moments that it was a magnificent time that should be documented in songs, and therefore was worth all the pain!”

Bliss believes that there should be balance, however. "I don't think it has to be all reflective. There's also this new great sense of hope that needs to be expressed as well."

The new songs are being produced and recorded by Bliss at home in collaboration with musicians all around the world. The tracks are being mixed by Kelly Donnelly in Austin, Texas. "It's still not done yet, but I'm excited to make music in this new beginning," Bliss says. 

Now a seasoned songwriter, Bliss has made it a goal to go exploring in other countries. “Long ago, a yearning to discover began growing in me. Besides the sweet freedom and built-in surprises of a new, faraway world, I love getting lost, literally, in strange lands, diving in and immersing myself in the local culture, and seeing how the natives live. It’s sort of like soul mining. I get to go dig for beauty and truth in other people’s backyards, and the discoveries and treasure-finds typically end up in my songs in some way.”

As Bliss is out discovering the globe, you’ll find him embarking on a new creative challenge: making videos for a YouTube channel called Musician's Life 360°. “I still have remote recording sessions and produce other artists, which I love to do as well. At one point, I worked in the church world, both big and small. It was a great experience, and I met some truly talented people." 

Bliss is now living in Porto, Portugal. "I'm living my life to the fullest," Bliss says. " The Musician's Life 360°."


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