Music City singer-songwriter Michael Logen recently took a slight career detour when he teamed up with his friends and fellow Americana singer-songwriters, Lizanne Knott and Jesse Terry, for the “Sunset Avenue Sessions.” This lovely record merges six of their original tracks with five classic cover songs. It’s a gentle and tasty acoustic record whose timing had two tunes from the late Tom Petty find their way onto the LP. Logen also takes the lead on a nice take on the iconic Buffalo Springfield song, “For What It’s Worth.”
On his own, Michael has released two records, and since moving to town, he’s nicely woven into the Nashville writer’s scene with recurring gigs at both the Bluebird and the Listening Room. And songwriting success has deservedly come his way with a few choice “cuts” by name artists and several songs making their way into over a dozen television shows. Logen also had a few co-writes on the “Nashville” TV show that all us locals miss.
One big one was “Breaking Your Own Heart,” co-written by Logen, that was covered by Kelly Clarkson on her Platinum-selling, Grammy-Award winning album, “Stronger.” Logen’s version can be found on his most recent LP, “New Medicine.”
Michael Logen soon heads to the UK for a series of shows. We thank him for taking the time to visit with these 11 Questions.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I was born in a gorgeous, little, river-town called Lewisburg, PA. I first visited Nashville while on tour right after high school and fell in love with it then. Soon after, I decided to move to Nashville for college in 2000, a/k/a “pre-pedal-tavern Broadway.” I remember my first day in Nashville. I parked on Broadway and decided to open every door downtown that wasn’t locked. Spent all day wandering around downtown, in little record shops, venues, restaurants, etc. What a city.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The first album I bought was a CD by a fairly obscure blues duo named Kaiser & Mansfield at a local music store near my hometown called Robert M. Sides. I used to sit in that place and play their pianos for hours. I’m sure they loved that;)
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Just about every year my family would go to the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival and watch folks like Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs and Alisson Krauss & Union Station. Those would have been my first live concerts, and the earliest I can remember I was probably about four. The last live concert I’ve seen was my friends Delta Rae at The Basement in Nashville, and they killed it!
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
I’ve had a long-standing love-affair with Frothy Monkey on 12th Ave., since the days back when the only other things on that street were Corner Music, Forks Drum Closet, the Islamic Center and Mafiaoza’s. I still love that place! My favorite pizza spot is a toss-up (regrettable pun intended), between Desano’s Pizza and 312 Pizza Company, depending on planetary alignment.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris. While, I believe, it was recorded at Daniel Lanois’ house in New Orleans, I think it’s fair to say Emmylou hails from Nashville. What an album!
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Forever it was Sunset Grill, because they were open late and the black bean/chicken combo nachos were delicious. Five Points Pizza is a current favorite!
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
That’s a really tough one since I have so many great writer friends in town. But off the top of my head: Gordie Sampson, Tom Douglas and Jennifer Hanson.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
The Bluebird, The Basement, Exit/In and of course, the few times I’ve gotten to play there, the beloved Ryman.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I’ve been holed up in a cabin in the Tennessee mountains (got flooded in there with the rain in recently) writing for my next solo album, and I’m gearing up for a tour of England and Scotland in April/May of 2019. Can’t wait for that! Beyond that, I’m always, always writing, which I love!