MIchael Gutierrez-May

Upcoming adventures

Like a Mariah Carey or a Johnny Cash, certain singer-songwriters develop a uniquely personalized style. Mike G and his collaborators have set a finely-crafted musical harmony around memorabilia. Delivered with a non-conformist, from-the-heart tone, “Bicycles To Somalia” is the song here that could become a world-wide hit. Where the public media batters us with desperate guilt-trips for helping Africans, by contrast, “Bicycles” Caribbean-African beat sways us to feel the gentle pleasure that we can discover by a playful spirit of generosity: hey! lets give some bicycles to African children! Sentiment to reach out to the world is extended here with this album's “You Don’t Know My World” and “May 1970”, a glance backward at the senselessness of the Vietnam War. “Once There Was Paragon” rounds out this exceptional album with a strange, autobiographical ballad.” - John Zubeck, PhD
  Artist: Michael Gutierrez-May Album: Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun. Performing alone, or with only the sparest of accompaniment, Michael Gutierrez-May is able to fully convey his offbeat world view. There are plenty of laughs along the way. Recorded live at the Catbird Café at the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth, Massachusetts, and at the Pilgrim Sands Motel in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun ends up as a one-man showcase of knee-slapping jokes, wise-cracking observations about the world around us and some very weird intersections with animals and food. On one track, he even brings up a group of bemused audience members to sing back up, but only after walking them through the chorus first. That’s how blissfully loose these recordings are, almost like a family gathering on the back porch. There’s “I Hate Geese,” in which Gutierrez-May sings the praises of ducks, and of squirrels, and of swans. Even rats, because they’re “like a squirrel, with a haircut.” And pigeons, “proud little birds. … They’re dirty but they don’t know any better.” But geese? Well, that’s another story. “Filthy, disgusting, obnoxious!,” Gutierrez-May sings, before shouting “geese!, geese!, geese!, geese!” like an angry mantra – but not too angry. Gutierrez-May wrote the music and lyrics on Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun, with the exception of three songs: “I Hate Geese” features music from Christopher B. White; “The Ballad of Dum Dum” includes music from Laree Cisco; and “You Can Catch More Flies” has lyrics composed by Mari Koslowski. With “A Puerto Rican on the Moon,” Gutierrez-May imagines the food and festivities that one half of his family tree might bring to the arid moonscape’s monotony. Finally, there’s “Groucho,” a harmonica-driven bonus track that bemoans the fact that comedian Groucho Marx isn’t the subject of more songs. Then something occurs to him: “Is it because he couldn’t sing?” Gutierrez-May finally surmises, to laughs all around. There could be no more perfect ending for Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun.   Review by Nick DeRiso, 4 out of 5 stars”

— Nick De Riso, reviewyou.com

  Artist: Michael Gutierrez-May Album: Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun. Involved in folk and acoustic music for 30 years, it’s taken awhile for Michael Gutierrez-May to embrace performing live. Having written songs since he was 16, it wasn’t until recently that Gutierrez-May jumped back into the limelight with his latest Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun. Described as “live recorded funny songs,” that is exactly what the 14-track LP entails.  “I’m kind of unpredictable but hopefully entertaining,” Michael Gutierrez-May says at the start of his live concert album. And he isn’t kidding. Compiled of quirky tracks and even more intriguing onstage banter, the singer grabs the listener’s attention. Throughout the album Gutierrez-May’s stripped down, personal approach of telling the tale behind each of his songs entices. Additionally, listeners get the more personal aspect of a live show with the occasional incorrect chord played and forgotten lyrics.  Throughout the album the listener gets the feeling she’s sitting at Gutierrez-May’s live show. In between introducing each track he reveals that his first open mic was at Cook College at Rutgers University. A gripping storyteller, many of the songs make the listener want to pay attention to find out what happens by the song’s end.  Audience participation on “You Can’t Take My Carrot” helps invigorate the album before bonus track “Groucho” closes the well named release Overall an enjoyable release, Gutierrez-May’s quirky storylines and awkward onstage banter intrigue.   Review by: Annie Reuter Artist: Michael Gutierrez-May Album: Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun Reviewer: Annie Reuter Involved in folk and acoustic music for 30 years, it’s taken awhile for Michael Gutierrez-May to embrace performing live. Having written songs since he was 16, it wasn’t until recently that Gutierrez-May jumped back into the limelight with his latest Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun. Described as “live recorded funny songs,” that is exactly what the 14-track LP entails. “I’m kind of unpredictable but hopefully entertaining,” Michael Gutierrez-May says at the start of his live concert album. And he isn’t kidding. Compiled of quirky tracks and even more intriguing onstage banter, the singer grabs the listener’s attention.“The first song I’m starting off with I would describe as a mixture of crime fighting and insane asylums,” he continues. Called “Spider Man On Shutter Island,” delicate strums of the acoustic guitar introduce the song before Gutierrez-May’s raspy vocals enter. Singing about the film Shutter Island and name dropping Leonardo DiCaprio, the track is an introduction of what’s to come.Throughout the album Gutierrez-May’s stripped down, personal approach of telling the tale behind each of his songs entices. Additionally, listeners get the more personal aspect of a live show with the occasional incorrect chord played and forgotten lyrics. Next track, “Where Are the Blue Ridge Mountains,” was inspired by a friend looking for the Blue Ridge Mountains. Alone on acoustic guitar, his wavering vocals tell the tale among nervous laughter.  “I Hate Geese” establishes a deeper and more tormented sound for Gutierrez-May. After describing a plethora of animals in vivid detail for over two minutes, 30 seconds is left on the track. With rapid and angst ridden guitar features he gets to the heart of the song. “Here it comes,” he warns listeners. “I hate geese!” he sings with passion and striking crescendo. Throughout the album the listener gets the feeling she’s sitting at Gutierrez-May’s live show. Just before introducing his fourth song on the album, Michael reveals that his first open mic was while studying at Cook College at Rutgers University. Soon after he started an open mic night at a local restaurant with two friends in New Brunswick which lasted for three years. Michael moved to Boston in 1980 and started first a music series and then a folk music coffeehouse. which helped inspire him to write more satirical songs. This is where “Disneyland’s In Therapy” came from. The track details a saddened Disneyland where all the cartoon characters are coping with depression and substance abuse. Mickey Mouse feels distressed; Donald Duck is acting real depressed; Pluto is in the dog house and Cinderella is blue. But the worst of them all is Goofy who is “shooting up and they don’t know what to do.” The quirky lyrics intrigue the listener and with the biggest applause on the LP, this is no question Gutierrez-May’s most captivating track. The somber storyline continues with “The Dead Leprechaun.”  A solemn tale of a leprechaun being hit by a bolt of lightning, Gutierrez-May’s tongue in cheek lyric is questionable. “Is there anything sadder than a fried leprechaun?” he sings with nervous laughter mid-track. A gripping storyteller, many of the songs make the listener want to pay attention to find out what happens by the song’s end. As a result, some tracks are better than others. “The Ballad of Dum Dum” is a disjointed song with too many characters to follow along. Over four minutes long, the track drags to a close. The remainder of the album includes the ode to Trader Joes candy, “Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups” as well as mellow tracks “You Can Catch More Flies” and “A Puerto Rican On the Moon” alongside the dog friendly “Dogs of Omaha” complete with barks and panting.  Audience participation on “You Can’t Take My Carrot” helps invigorate the album before bonus track “Groucho” closes the well named release Carrots, Geese and the Dead Leprechaun. Overall an enjoyable release, Gutierrez-May’s quirky storylines and awkward onstage banter intrigue.   Review by: Annie Reuter”

— Annie Reuter, reviewyou.com

A Raw and Talented Repetoire Artist: Michael Gutierrez-May Album: Fifty Miles Away Review by Matthew Forss As a singer/songwriter from Massachusetts, Michael showcases his versatile folk talents and writing abilities on his first release of five songs on Fifty Miles Away. Michael’s slightly humorous, quirky, and catchy little songs illustrate the poignant personality and creator of simple ballads and meaningful pieces of aural art. The only instrument of choice is the acoustic guitar, which sounds very raw and natural without any percussion accompaniment or electrified guitar sounds indicative of folk-rock arrangements. The sauntering guitar and slowly-played harmonica signal the start of “Groucho,” a clear ode to the famous Groucho Marx. The addition of Stephen Martin and Collette O’Connor provide a more rounded ensemble sound. Michael’s comical lyrics about why nobody has written a song about Groucho make the song worthwhile. Collette’s background vocals play off of Michael’s vocals. “Tea and Aspirin” is a short song under two-minutes in length that describes the feelings of tolerating illness. Still, the song is a funny, catchy, and worthy composition for chilling out and staving off a cold or flu. “Gabrielle” opens with a folksy, acoustic guitar rhythm without additional instrumentation or vocals. However, background vocals and violin accompaniment provide a somewhat lighthearted display amidst a rather somber lyrical demonstration about riots, politics, and love. Deborah Linden and Robyn MacKenzie provide vocal and violin accompaniment that is very good. This is the most musical piece with a longer violin outro with guitar. Michael is an introspective singer, songwriter, and guitarist that successfully creates musical pieces with a raw and talented repertoire. The low-key arrangements, rough and quivering vocals, and short song lengths provide an interesting listening experience typical of Appalachian mining songs, Americana folk tunes, and comedic displays without a Southern (or New England) accent. Review by Matthew Forss Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)”

— Matthew Forss, reviewyou.com

 Never Too Late It’s never too late to start your musical career, and Michael Gutierrez-May is living proof of that.  An up and coming singer-songwriter from Massachusetts, Michael has been involved in the music scene for the past 30 years as a coffeehouse manager, concert organizer, and now his new found love for writing songs and performing them to the masses. Just releasing his newest effort titled Fifty Miles Away, the EP highlights five songs that were recorded in the dead of winter 2011.  What came out of said winter is a ray of sunshine and warmth.   Opening the album is the title track “Fifty Miles Away,” a quirky little love song that is unconventional and certainly catchy. Gutierrez-May, picks his guitar gracefully as his soft voice fills the track. Surprisingly, when the female harmonies come into play, the track gets more interesting and vibrant. This is a stellar way to open the record up and there will be more stunning times to come in the process.   “Gabrielle,” will first strike you as a tad bit Mountain Goats in sound, which is a flattering comparison by all means. Michael is not only a great musician but he is also an amazing lyricist. This is something you will discover right out of the gates. The stories that are told on this album, are touching and intriguing.  “Gabrielle,” is filled with blissful harmonies, a slight violin, and enchanting tones. Ironically, a perfect track to listen to in a coffee house.   “Tea and Aspirin,” is a charming song about feeling under the weather.  It may seem like a weird topic, but the peculiar track that clocks in under two minutes, will be perfect for those days you are feeling under the weather or down.   Heading into the song “Groucho,” which is undeniably about the late, great comedian, Groucho Marx, will strike you as a bit off beat and out of the normal, but nothing is really ordinary on this album. The lyrics become slightly corny, but they are certainly heartfelt. And really, how many people have written a song about Groucho? Not many.   Closing the EP is “The Albino and The Transvestite,” which comes across as more Antifolk (think The Moldy Peaches and early Regina Spektor), then folk, which is definitely not a bad thing. Even if this is an offbeat topic for a track, it somehow works on this album, where anything and everything is fair game. The story is beyond interesting and will require more than one listen, that’s for sure.   Michael Gutierrez-May has released an exceptional piece of work that will certainly be making the rounds amongst indie and folk circles alike.  He may only be getting his musical career off the ground, but it is already flying high. Fifty Miles Away is the perfect album for any day of the week. In short, it’s timeless.     Review by Melissa Nastasi Rating:  4 stars (out of 5)”

— Melissa Nastasi, reviewyou.com

Quirky, sweet wit...Michael Gutierrez-May performed a stellar opening set.”

— Willie Gaines (Dixie Prix), Facebook

Michael, your CD is brilliant!”

— David Rieth (Bloomingfields), Facebook