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United States - United States

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Rock: Americana Pop: Folky Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Michael Tiernan

Award-winning modern acoustic rock that feeds the spirit and makes you happy to be alive (really. That's a promise.)
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Wake Up
3:53 $0.99
2. Same Sky
4:18 $0.99
3. Better Life
5:25 $0.99
4. I'm Ready
3:32 $0.99
5. So Cruel
4:21 $0.99
6. Distractions
3:44 $0.99
7. I Was Wrong
3:04 $0.99
8. Spaces
4:34 $0.99
9. You Hide
5:31 $0.99
10. Changing All the Time
4:03 $0.99
11. Love & Commitment
3:25 $0.99
12. Sleeeeeeeping....
7:01 $0.99
13. The Fruit Song (Hidden Track)
4:17 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Featured on ABC's hit TV show, "Men in Trees"!
2007 Pacific Songwriting Competition Songwriter of the Year
2007 International Acoustic Music Awards Male Artist of the Year RunnerUp
2006 Kerrville Songwriting Finalist
2005 AAA Album of the Year, Los Angeles Music Awards
2004 Male Singer/Songwriter of the Year, Los Angeles Music Awards

The Story
"So a priest walks into a bar and pulls out a guitar..." Sound like the beginning of a joke? The funny thing is - a few years back, this could've described an evening in Michael Tiernan's life. It's hard to believe that just several years ago as a young seminarian studying at the Vatican, Tiernan was raising the ire of his superiors by playing gigs in the pubs of the city. Just a year away from being ordained, Tiernan left that calling for a higher one: his life-long love of music. Today, he's one of the West Coast's hottest songwriters, and his rise in the national singer/songwriter scene is the blossoming of an amazing story. A cancer survivor, a world traveler, a student of languages, philosophy and religions, his music is fully seasoned with the experiences of ten lifetimes. A believer in the power of music to heal, express, unite, and encourage, Tiernan is a songwriter who "makes you think while he entertains you" (Folk Wax Magazine).

The Music
Now three albums into a burgeoning career, Tiernan's music has developed into a unique brand of acoustic guitar-centric blending of folk, rock, pop, soul, and bluegrass. Stylistically, it "adheres to no boundaries; every genre is crossed as Tiernan showcases his technical skill with exceedingly intricate guitar work" (San Diego Reader). Drawing comparisons ranging from James Taylor to Jack Johnson, from the Counting Crows to Woodie Guthrie, his music is both completely modern and relevant, yet contains a timeless "wealth of wisdom" (Santa Barbara Independent), demanding that one relaxes, listens, thinks, relates, and hopefully, feels good about living.

The Show
Both as a talented solo performer and an invigorating band leader, Tiernan thrives on intimate connection with the audience, storytelling, and control of dynamics to create an experience that strives toward, and often reaches, the spiritual. As the leader of the Michael Tiernan Band, a whole different emotive and energetic side of the music comes out, creating a spicy, lively, and danceable show with ace players
on fiddle, bass, and drums.

The Community
Tiernan also gives back to the community through his participation in local and national cancer-support foundations and through organizing music events to showcase up-and-coming artists in his native San Diego.



to write a review

John Wenzel - Denver Post

Effortless, versatile, smooth, and crisp
"With smooth tenor and crisp acoustic guitar work, his songs alternately recall the effortless calm of David
Wilcox and the spiky melodies of an indie rock band, versatile in their construction as they straddle genres and instrumentation."

Hudson Hornick - Santa Barbara Independent

A wealth of wisdom
"A wealth of Wisdom: Tiernan has more to sing about than your average suburban homebody. He blends his
life lessons as a proper artist well and paints a landscape in your mind as vivid as other professionals twice his age. ...A more upbeat Counting Crows."

Jim Trageser - North County Times

A lovely collection
The third CD from Del Mar's Michael Tiernan shows a continued path of artistic growth, taking what he did well on his first two folk releases and building on that for an album that is progressively more impressive and more listenable than his previous outings. The 13 tracks (the last a "hidden" song not listed on the sleeve) show an artist who is improving as a bandleader, as a singer ---- and, most impressively, as a songwriter.

Tiernan has been playing many of these songs in his live shows the past few months, but the rich arrangements and full band (plus the sure-eared production of Tiernan pal Sven-Erik Seaholm) bring out a patina not always apparent in his solo performances. "Same Sky" is a good example, with acoustic and electric guitars trading jabs after Tiernan's vocal opening, then a sharply syncopated acoustic guitar working the bridge between refrain and the next verse.

That last bit is one of the most rewarding additions to Tiernan's musical repertoire: his increasing use of acoustic guitar to bridge between passages or to add decorative flourishes. The opening guitar riff on "Spaces" is as lovely a guitar passage as he's ever played (and provides a near-perfect introduction to one of the loveliest songs he's written).

But he's got other tricks up his sleeve. "So Cruel" opens with a four- or five-part vocal harmony, then is punctuated throughout by a funky electric guitar with an effects pedal. Adding the violin of Alex DePue on several tracks gives them a sheen they'd not have otherwise. And having the immensely talented Barbara Nesbitt on harmony vocals on the country-rocker "Better Life" is just gravy.

The album is mostly the same mellow folk that populated his first two albums, but rocks a little harder at times. Mostly, though, it's a lovely collection of some great new songs by one of the area's most talented songwriters.

George Varga - San Diego Union Tribune

Finely crafted tender ballads, country-inflected ditties, smart and savvy pop-ro
"Tiernan is adept at tender ballads, country-inflected ditties and smart, savvy pop-rock. His songs are finely
crafted without sacrificing their emotional essence for aural slickness, and he has a knack for letting his
music breathe."

Dave Good - NBC Entertainment News and San Diego Reader

Pick of the litter...
"A supple and clear voice, Tiernan’s presence is a throwback to the alt-folk lessons set down by Jessie
Winchester or Jessie Colin Young: ruffle no feathers, make great, sonic spaces for a listener – that’s Tiernan.
He is the pick of the litter"