I know you like to take it slow, while everyone else is on the go but you’re just not the rushing kind, if it eases your mind.
Sometime last week, while going through our youtube mail, I came across a subscription request that had me at delete because of the name, olddogg2. Before my cursor and the x become one with each other, the dogg part of the name piqued my interest and I decided to see who this weirdo was.
It turned out to be the page of Michael Turner a singer/songwriter. I instantly fell in love with his It will ease your mind song and the rest as they say is history. Sit back and acquaint yourself with music that will transport you to an era past.
EY: Tell us who Michael Turner is and how he got into music.
MT: First of all thank you for taking time out for me. Well now let me see……I am 55 years young, a singer-songwriter, producer, musician, blah blah blah. I’m sure you have heard this many times. Spent many years in bands as a younger man. Played everything from southern rock, progressive rock, country, the list goes on and on. I always knew I wanted to do music even as a little kid. I started writing poems when I was 10 years old. I have always had a vivid imagination. I can write about anything. When I was a teenager, my best friend Joe Hopkins played guitar. So he taught me how to play guitar and I taught him how to write lyrics.We played in many bands together. After 40 some years we still get together and write and record music.
EY :What is your genre of specialization?
MT: I still like to crank up the amp and let her rip. But I mostly write easy listening music, I just do it in many styles. Adult contep, country, blues, latin, world beat, even a rock tune or two.
EY: Who is your primary music listener, demographic wise.
MT: I was surprised to find it is all across the board. All ages,women, men. Also people who would not normally go to my site. I have had rap, hip hop, hard core rock artist like my music. People from around the world who don’t speak English very well also like my music. Thank you youtube and the internet. Good music has no boundries. I spelled boundries that way cause that is the name of my writing group. “No Boundries”.
EY: My favorite song thus far, It will ease your mind is a very chill, relaxing song. What was the inspiration behind this song?
MT :First of all thank you for nice words on that song. My future son-in-law was plucking around on some chords. I said what was that? He said he was just goofing around so we went down to my studio. Both of us grabbed a guitar and started playing. The words “It will ease your mind” popped in my head and would not go away when I played it, so I wrote the lyrics about me. LOL.
“It is about just living your life your way.
Not to get in a hurry or worrying about what other people think.”
Sometimes it is ok to take it easy. We are only on this planet for so long. People rush through life. I don’t…
EY: Initially, when I saw your subscription request on our youtube page, I was tempted to delete you instantly due to your name OLDDOGG2. For some reason, the dog part piqued my interest and I clicked to see your channel which you call the dogg house. How did that come about?
MT: Funny story behind that. I was with some buddies of mine and we would get together on Friday night, have some drinks and write songs. One of the guys had a Dachshund dog, so after many drinks I put some sun glasses on the dog and he wore them all night. One of the guys laughed and said he looked like a blind wiener dog, so we needed a name for our writing group and we called it “Blind wiener dog”. After awhile we shortened it to “Blind Dogg”. Everyone had a dog nick name. I was called “Olddogg” I’ve been Olddog for many years. Why we used two g’s to this day I still don’t know.We called my studio the Dogg House, because I’m always in it If you get the jest..
EY: You cite, Poco and The Eagles, the former being country rock and the latter rock as being part of your many musical influences. How has that impacted your songwriting?
MT: Joe, my buddy whom I started out with and I played all their songs. They had great story lines. Some of their best songs were not played much on the radio. We started out on acoustic guitars. Hard to play “Smoke on the water” with acoustic guitars. LOL. We loved the harmonies and the way their songs were structured. I’m big on harmonies in songs.
EY: Most of your music, well at least the ones posted on youtube explore the issue of love. Talk to us about this.
MT: First of all I did not want to just post love songs. I wanted to show different emotions in my music. But there will be more going up.
“Well I have written many love songs and they are all about my wife.”
We have been married for 32 years We dated six years before we got married. I have known her since we were kids. We have been through just about everything a couple can go through good and bad. She has the most beautiful eyes.
“I am still hopelessly in love with her. I can write a love song everyday about her.”
and each one will be totally different from the other. That is so cool…
EY: In listening to your music I get a 70s, early 80s soft rock music feel to it. Is it just pure imagination on my part or this is actually the case?
MT: Most of it is by design. I listen to all styles of music and still love them all. Those were good years for me as a musician and it has just stuck with me. I also think a lot of it has to do with my buddies that come over to help me record the music. They all came from that era of music. When I write a song and when we record it, we do it for our enjoyment. We don’t care much if it is dated. Because we just have a great time recording the song and we are young again at the time of the recording. It is our fountain of youth. If you know what I mean. Today’s music is too commercial not much of a story line. Funny thing I will ask someone about a song and it can be any song any style. My question will be “ What did you like about the song?” Most of the time the reply will be “it had a good beat”. How sad for the song writer. Back in those years the artist wrote and recorded their own material. Most artist today don’t write. They come in the studio and the music is done and they lay down their vocal tracks. BUT they rely on joker’s like me for the music. I guess it is a mixed blessing. I have written songs and an artist would take it and do it in a completely different style which is very cool. And I’m ok with that.
EY: Tracy Wittman is your right hand man in songwriting. How did the two of you hook up, and how has the journey been for two old fat men as stated in your youtube page?
MT: Tracy and I met at another musicians house. This person wanted us to form a band with him. I was looking for a song writing partner. Any way as this guy was setting up his gear, Tracy and I just started jamming on acoustic guitars. Tracy was playing a 6 string and I was on my 12 string. When I heard his voice I was blown away. So we sang a song we both knew. Tracy sang the lead and I did the harmony. And we sounded great together. Mean while this guys was still tweaking his gear. So Tracy and I started jamming and wrote a song, It took us about 15 minutes to do that. The song was a very sweet tune. Finally we all three started jamming. The other guy was heavy into Jazz fusion So a song would be 12 minutes long with about 60 seconds of vocals and 11 minutes of this guy blazing a lead out. So I was not interested and neither was Tracy. As we were leaving I gave Tracy one of my CD’s and he gave me one of his. 45 minutes later he called me up on the phone.
“That was 5 years ago and we have written 500 songs together.”
Not bad. Tracy wanted to go out on the road and tour. I said “who wants to see two old fat men singing”. So we decided just to be song writers. Now when there is a market for old fat men playing on a stage or making a music video. We are ready. LOL. How can we compete with the younger pretty people. It is like a song I wrote called “ 30 pounds over weight and 30 years too late”. LOL, the song tells it like it is. At least in our case.
EY: In regards to performance, where and which venues have you performed? Do you perform solo or band accompaniment?
MT :As a younger man I was on the road all the time. Played everywhere in the mid west. Solo and in bands. I am semi retired as a performer. Spend all my time in my studio. I still get out and set in with friends when they play.
EY: In the course of your songwriting career, you have managed to write over 1000 songs. Has any song made its way to any radio station?
MT: I have had some of my songs used in commercials over in Europe. But my music in general has been played mostly on internet radio. And on various music web sites. I have not been much on promoting my music, I just did it for the enjoyment of writing. But I always get “ why don’t you promote your music it is great” So now that is what I am doing.
EY: Waiting! Is your current status on your myspace page in regards to a record label. How long has the wait been and ideally what kind of record label would you like to be signed to?
MT:The wait has been my whole life. LOL. We had a chance a few years ago. Tracy and I was flown down to Nashville. Met with some music producers. They loved our music and wanted to do something with us. The problem was they did not know what style of music to promote us under. Because we played Country, Rock, Blues, Love Ballads. They liked them all. But was having a hard time to pigeon hole us. We did not want that. Plus they wanted us to quit our jobs move down to Nashville record and start touring. But I had a family and bills and there was no guarantee about income. So I had to pass. It is a long story and I am trying to shorten it up for you. Basically there was a lot of crap we would have to put up with the record industry before we could make any money. And I require a lot of food to keep me happy. LOL.
EY: Hope to make it as a songwriter before I die. LOL. This just warmed my heart. That’s your bio description in your indie music profile.Talk to us about holding onto a dream and what has made you not give up.
MT: Well without getting to emotional about it, I have wanted this since I was a kid. Everyone tries to leave their mark in this world. Mostly to be remembered by. I want my grand kids to know who their grand father was. My music is my biography about my life and how I saw it. Music saved my life one time and I won’t go into that. So I owe my life to music. So my dream is to be recognized for my song writing ability.
“If I was doing it for the money I would have quit a long time ago.
But it is my Love.”
I have heard so many musicians say “ I just ran out of things to write about” That is a bunch of BULL.. My God take a look around you and open your eye’s.
“I will write until I die simple as that.
And If I can make it in the business as a song writer. That is icing on the cake.”
EY: You seem to have utilized all that is out there in terms of social networks platforms to promote your music, apart from twitter (you on there?). Tell us, how this has impacted your music, apart from face recognition.
MT: The internet for musicians is fantastic. The music sites are just what is needed. Yes I’m on twitter, youtube, myspace, reverbnation, and many other sites. They have been great for me. I can not say enough good things about it. I get feedback from people all around the world,and most of it is very kind words. I have met other song writer’s because of the music sites I’m on. In the last three months I have written over 30 songs for lyricist who do not play an instrument. I have a back log of about 10 more. I love it. Also I have had musicians that want to write with me from everywhere. So I am very busy as a song writer. Keep them requests coming.
EY: After listening to your music, what should the listener take away.
MT: That I wrote that song for them. I get e-mails almost daily saying, that the song they were listening to was exactly how they felt and I captured their feelings perfectly. For example I wrote a song about my Father called My Old Man I wrote it the day he died. After I posted the song on You Tube, I got e-mails and messages saying that song was such a beautiful tribute to him and that is how they felt about their dad, made me feel good.
It was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to interview Mr. Turner before he makes it big. Lol! EY lovers show your support by following him on twitter, friending him on facebook and purchasing his music. At least then, he will be forever indebted to us and you guys when he gets that Grammy for songwriter of the year award……