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The Lights Are On In Michigan

listen to a sample here

99 cent download at  Amazon  OR  Apple iTunes 

for radio only -- download wav file at Airplay Direct

read the lyrics here

I started writing this song in the Fall of 2009.  I tried the first draft out on some audiences in Michigan at concerts in some of my favorite venues -- The Ten Pound Fiddle in East Lansing, The Ark in Ann Arbor -- even on the radio live with Matt Watroba at WDET in Detroit.  Every time I sang it I changed a line here or there, or re-arranged the order of the lyrics.  Into 2010, I kept up the process, honing the song with the help and feedback of these great Michigan audiences.  In May of 2011, I sang it to an audience of 5,000 on the stage of the historic Fox Theater in Detroit, on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, broadcasting live to millions in America and beyond.  After that, I heard from Michiganders all over the world.

You see, Michigan, the Great Lake state,had its back to the wall for the past four or five years.  The jobs were leaving, the roads were crumbling, the politicians were pandering, and the people were all wondering.  In terms of unemployment, we were 50th out of 50 for states losing jobs.  I figured it was about time I put my guitar and my pen to good use. In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, who wrote back in the 1930's:
I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that.

I figured it was time to buck up and pull together, so this song was born. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the bumper sticker mentioned in the song:

                                     The last one out of Michigan -- turn the lights off!

So this song is my answer to that.  Yes, the lights are on!

You can read the lyrics, hear a free sample, buy a download for 99 cents  at either iTunes or Amazon -- just click on the links at the top of this page.