Michael Henchman
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Michael Henchman

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Americana Folk




"Review, "40 Miles From Midnight""

"Highly original... catchy musical expression and craftsmanship that transcends pigeonholing... a fresh sound." Deborah Peel, Indie Artists Alliance - Indie Artists Alliance

"Review, "40 Miles From Midnight""

“Pure Americana-Country magic the way it used to be, full of cautionary tales and a passion for life … narrative lyrics and sincere performances offer an unobstructed view into the heart of an artist who embraces each moment.” Scottie Carlito, Gashouse Radio - Gashouse Radio

"Review, "40 Miles From Midnight""

"Just a breath away from Country but skillfully and methodically never crosses the line into that realm. All songs are masterful in their arrangements." Tonya Green, Music Emissions - Music Emissions

"Review, "40 Miles From Midnight""

"... unique hybrid style that fuses the rhythms of classic folk, singer/songwriter and vintage pop melodies [with] a lyrical sense of humor... Full of powerful melodic energy with music that appeals to so many different senses." Adam Draper, Skope - Skope

"CD release show features singers/songwriters"

Carlee Wright 5/28/2014

The Northwest is bursting with singers and songwriters. From blues and jazz to folk and rock, they share their lyrical poetry through a variety of genres. And Saturday, you can experience a showcase of this talent at the "Local Roots" Compilation CD Release Party.

Robert Richter is the host and creator of "Local Roots," a weekly radio show on KMUZ that highlights Northwest musicians. Richter, deciding he needed to do his part to give back to the community-run, nonprofit radio station, knew a compilation CD would be a great way to raise money and awareness.

Looking to be inclusive, Richter openly accepted submissions for potential inclusion on the CD. After receiving about 100 songs, it was narrowed down to 21 artists - 21 songs.

"Because we are looking to raise money, I went after more mainstream, easy listening, singer-songwriter folks," Richter said. "We have a gospel tune, some country, bluegrass, rock 'n' roll, folk and pop. All songs are original. It will appeal to everybody."

"I promise you, when you hear some of this stuff, you will want to hear more from this person," Richter said. "We have so much talent here. I am hoping we can get the local folks to come out and support us. It is going to be a fantastic show."

Representing Salem on the CD are Molly Kate, Sig Paulson and Matthew Price, Richter said. All three will be performing at the event.

Other performers include Kari Newhouse, Marianne Flemming, Michael Henchman, Amy Bleu, Kivett Bednar, Matthew Lindley, James Faretheewell and some surprise guests.

Richter already is thinking about a second volume of the CD with another show, but no date has been set.

"If I can get sponsorship, it could be quick," he said.

"Local Roots" Compilation CD Release Party & KMUZ Fundraiser

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Level B Theater Pub, 445 High St. SE

Cost: $10, includes a free copy of the "Local Roots" CD. - Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon

"Music review"

"Michael Henchman follows a contemporary folk tradition not unlike artists such as John Gorka, David Wilcox … James Taylor may be an apt if not easy reference point for any male singer songwriter within the contemporary folk genre, but in this case it is hard to not make it." Michael Cusanelli, Putumayo World Music, 12 Dec 2012 - Michael Cusanelli

""Former Alaska resident has logged miles in music""

Hailing originally from central Alaska, singer-songwriter Michael Henchman knows what it’s like to get stuck on the road on a bitter cold night.

One night his vehicle blew a heater hose between Anchorage and Fairbanks after a recording session. “It was late Sunday, no one on the road, and it was 38 degrees below zero,” Henchman says. “I was passing through Denali Park on a very cold January night. I was up a frozen creek, as they say. But fortunately another soul happened along who lived in the area. He towed my car to his shop, we fixed the hose, and I was soon on my way to Fairbanks. He had the true Alaskan spirit.”

That hardy spirit is something Henchman tries to bring to his acoustic Americana music, whether it’s found in the couch-surfing rambler of his song “Motel Dog,” an orphaned daughter trying to get past her mother’s death in “Into the Void” or a wandering wonderer in the autobiographical “40 miles from Midnight,” which is also the title of his soon-to-be-released CD.

“I have been playing music since I was in middle school, originally being drawn in by great pop and R&B songs on the radio,” Henchman says. “I learned guitar, piano and bass, joining jazz bands in high school and college as a bassist, which became my main instrument over the years.”

Having played in a number of rock, jazz and folk bands over the years, Henchman moved to Portland from Alaska four years ago, and has gained a name as a folk/Americana songwriter. He’ll share the stage with fellow songwriters Dan Dover, Avery Hill and Robert Owen at Park Place Coffee on Saturday, May 18.

Among the more notable acts Henchman has shared the stage with is Maria Muldaur, who sang the 1974 hit song “Midnight at the Oasis.”

He’s also worked with the percussionist from the Saturday Night Live band, Valerie Naranjo, during sessions of the Summer Arts Festival in Fairbanks.

Henchman’s oh-so-slightly husky voice and steady delivery is the heart of his modern folk music, which he says he serves up with “a dash of longing, and a little road dust added for texture.”

Rob Cullivan, Gresham Outlook, 14 May 2013 - Gresham Outlook, Oregon

"Album review, "40 Miles From Midnight""

"... organic brand of rootsy Americana that is laced with country ornamentation and, most notably, his clever folk narratives... Michael Henchman’s long-awaited debut album "40 Miles From Midnight" is filled with wonderful and memorable moments... an impressive collection of songs." Justin Kreitzer, freelance reviewer (Dayton City Paper), 20 Oct 2013 - Justin Kreitzer


Sept 2011 - Untitled EP
Oct  2012 - appearance on Artichoke Nights, Vol II Folk compilation (Portland, Oregon)
                   "Straight On"  (single)
Aug 2013 - album release " 40 Miles From Midnight"  (official release delayed until Jan 2014)

Feb 2015 - EP release "Near and Far"



Songwriter, musician, right-brain dreamer, left-brain artisan. Michael Henchman's thoughtful Americana songwriting often draws inspiration from roads less traveled that have beckoned since childhood - living across the U.S., in Europe, and many years in central Alaska - to create a sound that is at once warm and reminiscent, bringing to life new stories on age-old journeys through love and loss, hard times and hope. His experiences instilled a deep fascination with open spaces and with how the heart becomes entangled by time and distance.

"It is in these quieter places that what is true and real becomes more apparent," Michael says. "One can feel the unbroken connection to the pulse of life."

Michael's latest EP “Near and Far” is a mostly-acoustic album, continuing to explore characters finding their footing along wayward paths. He paints both the tangible and the elusive - what is perceived directly and what is laid across a wider cinematic landscape, waiting to unfold. He is currently working on his next full-band record project.

He began writing songs early, falling under the music spell of an eclectic range of artists in folk, jazz, funk, and the long form compositions of prog-rock, eventually embracing the work of such insightful contemporary writers as Jackson Browne, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Shawn Colvin, Richard Shindell, and Dave Carter.

As part of his travels, Michael headed to Alaska to work as a pipe laborer during the early days of the TransAlaska Pipeline construction. The project was, in many ways, like the Gold Rush era of 80 years prior… people wending their way north to work hard, chasing their dreams, sometimes losing it all. The wild was always just over one’s shoulder, waiting for both the hardy and the foolish. Michael was inspired by the certainty and continuity of which life hangs on in such an unusual place.

Over the years, Michael has performed in various folk, rock-n-roll and jazz bands - as bassist, vocalist, and guitarist - and he has also composed instrumental music for several public television programs about Alaska. He continues to search for stories from back roads and the many places that people call home. Whether performing solo or with full backing band, Michael brings a sense of emotional truth to his songs and to the ongoing theme of ‘roads less traveled’.

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"Pure Americana magic... full of cautionary tales and a passion for life... narrative lyrics and sincere performances [from] an artist who embraces each moment."
  -  Gashouse Radio 

Band Members