Michael Braunfeld

Short Bio

Michael Braunfeld is, first and foremost, a storyteller. His songs capture the everyday triumphs and struggles of ordinary people. His characters – though trapped in the particular circumstances of their own lives – appeal to a universal audience.  Michael was welcomed into the Writers Night Family at The Bluebird Cafe in 2014 and was named a finalist in the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition in 2016, 2018 and 2019. From sold out listening rooms to main stages at festivals, whether solo or with his band, the Boneyard Hounds, Michael is delighting old fans and winning over new audiences at every stop.

Recorded at MorningStar Studios outside of Philadelphia, Driver was co-produced by two time GRAMMY® winner Glenn Barratt, and Kyle Swartzwelder. With help from the Boneyard Hounds and some of the best studio musicians in the area, Michael Braunfeld has made the record that he has always wanted to make. From stripped down folk to full-on rock and roll, there is a little bit of everything Michael is known for on the LP. Simply put, there is something for everyone on Driver.

A unique, triple threat artist at the height of his craft, Michael Braunfeld is writing his best songs yet. And onstage, he is a commanding presence. Whether creating compelling everyman characters out of whole cloth, mining his personal history, or addressing topical issues, Michael’s performances combine a powerful guitar style with a seemingly endless supply of urgency. And he has a pretty sneaky sense of humor too.

 

Long Bio

Take this shroud off of me I ain’t done yet

Take these shackles off my legs Let me do what I do best

These are the first lines of Michael Braunfeld’s Driver. The rebellious cry is a clear reference to the singer-songwriter’s bold return to music and his arrival as both a respected artist and serious contender on the Americana scene. Recorded at MorningStar Studios outside of Philadelphia, the album was co-produced by two time GRAMMY® winner Glenn Barratt, and Kyle Swartzwelder. With help from his band, the Boneyard Hounds, and some of the best studio musicians in the area, Michael Braunfeld has made the record that he has always wanted to make. From the stripped down folk of “A Winter’s Wish” and “Philip Hoffman is Dead (Nika)” to the full-on rock and roll attack of “Breathe” and “This Town,” there is a little bit of everything Michael is known for on the LP. Driver includes songs both intensely personal (“Stay”, “Maline”) and topical in nature (“40 Below”, “Washed Away”). There are the short story-like character sketches that capture the everyday triumphs and struggles of ordinary people (“Wonder”). Driver even includes the previously unrecorded long-time crowd favorite “Fear,” a love song written for his wife at the start of their courtship. Simply put, there is something for everyone on Driver.

Michael Braunfeld recorded his debut album, Some Things Aren’t Worth Crying For when he was just 16 years old. Despite his youth, he was unafraid to tackle topical issues such as homelessness and the environment. When It All Comes Down … Live and Steel City followed and these albums propelled him onto the stages of some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around. Michael continued performing and honing his craft and, in 2001, he walked away from it all. Michael returned in 2013 with two EPs and a slew of shows, quickly putting thousands of miles and scores of songs under his belt. In 2015, he released Full Circle. The ambitious live album, unadorned and stirring, captured the communion between artist and audience that has come to be the hallmark of a Michael Braunfeld show. Since then, Michael has been garnering critical acclaim and industry recognition for his songwriting and intense performances. In 2014, he was welcomed into the Writers Night Family at The Bluebird Cafe and was named as a finalist in the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition in 2016, 2018, and 2019.  From sold out listening rooms to main stages at festivals, whether solo or with the Boneyard Hounds, Michael has been delighting old fans and winning over new audiences at every stop.

As an artist, Michael Braunfeld is that rare triple threat. His dynamic guitar style, trading off between percussive strumming and intricate finger picked melodies, has been compared to that of John Fahey. His powerful vocals have been likened to those of Bruce Springsteen. As a songwriter, Michael evokes the very best of Springsteen, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, James McMurtry, and Bill Morrissey. His literate style is compared to fiction writers such as Raymond Carver and Andre Dubus as often, if not more, than to other songwriters. Comparisons aside, Michael is a unique artist at the height of his craft. Michael Braunfeld is writing his best songs yet. And onstage, he is a commanding presence.

Whether creating compelling everyman characters out of whole cloth, mining his personal history, or addressing topical issues, Michael’s performances combine a powerful guitar style with a seemingly endless supply of urgency. And he has a pretty sneaky sense of humor too.

 

Of Note

2013: Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase Artist (Honorable Mentions in crowd voting)

2013: Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Quad Showcase Artist

2014: Welcomed into the Bluebird Cafe Writers’ Night Family

2015: Singer-Songwriter Cape May Showcase Artist

2015: Named one of “Rich’s Picks” on WFMT’s The Midnight Special with Rich Warren*

2015: Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Official Alternates Showcase Artist

2015: Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Quad Showcase Artist

2016: WSTW Homey Award Nominations: Best Folk Song (Over There); Best Roots/Americana Song (Linden Street)

2016: Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition Finalist

2016: Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Official Showcase Artist

2016: Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Formal Showcase Artist

2017: Telluride Troubadour Competition, Honorable Mention

2017: Performed live on Folkstage with Rich Warren, from WFMT Chicago

2017: Featured Artist, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival

2018: Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition Finalist

2019: Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition Finalist

*8/1/15; 9/5/15