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Michael Heaton does what all songwriters try to do. He tells stories. With the heart of a Texas troubadour, the sensibility of a 70s pop star and the rock rebellion of a kid who grew up listening to the Who and Tom Petty, he spins modern folk tales of girlfriends who became wives, dull jobs that led nowhere and the feeling of turning 30 when it feels like you should still be 18.
The songs are about him, and he hopes they’re also about you.
“I write about things that have happened to me, and if I’ve done it right, you’ll see a little of yourself in there, too,” he says.

People do see themselves in his songs. Since the late 90s, when he left his pop-rock trio for a more mature, introspective sound, he has attracted legions of fans through an exhausting schedule of pub, club and festival performances across the Midwest. People come for the drinks and the dancing, they’re drawn to the sight of Heaton and his band having a blast onstage, and they leave with a CD that holds its own with their favorite Counting Crows and Wilco records. They learn the lyrics and come back for more.
“The music sounds like your head hitting the pillow when you go to bed. Very comforting and familiar. It always has a cool side and once you get used to it you wouldn’t give it up for nothing.”
“Our Little Secret” is Heaton’s most polished and personal work to date, featuring an A-list of Nashville session players and the skillful production of Pat Bergeson (Lyle Lovett, Chet Atkins, Alison Krauss). The songs explore themes of a youth that went by too fast, dreams that still haven’t come true, finding joy in the little things in life, and taking the big leap into its next stage.
Heaton’s credentials are as impressive as his songwriting is prolific: Through hard work and raw talent, he has assembled a large and loyal following and has performed alongside folk legends and Grammy Award winners: Shelby Lynne, Brave Combo, Robbie Fulks, Sleepy LaBeef, Duke Robillard, Sugar Blue, Claire Holley.


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