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Michael Jantz

By · March 28th, 2002 · Gig of the Week

Busking as a street performer can be a great way to really discover who you are as a musician and songwriter. Northern Ohio's Michael Jantz knows this as well as anyone.

Frustrated with the "band scene," the singer/songwriter looked within himself and fled to Europe (and later New York City and Toronto) to play the street corners, subways and cafés, an experience Jantz says helped him learn how to get his music across most effectively and directly. The usually solo/acoustic-performing Jantz -- who has been on bills with everyone from Brian Wilson to Barry Manilow since re-settling stateside -- entered the studio last year to document the songs he had amassed along the way, ultimately diving into the recording experience with the same zeal he had with his songwriting. Jantz's eclectic self-titled debut on Ruby Records is an intimate, fully-realized edict of heart-felt, creative Pop/Rock, which claims influence from the likes of Jeff Buckley and The Beatles. Jantz's engaging voice is the initial draw, but once you've traveled all the way through the album, you quickly realize that Jantz has the full-package: Great arrangements, solid, lush songwriting and an overall bewitchingly passionate methodology.

At York Street Café on Friday with Messerly & Ewing and Greg Mahan.

-- M.B.



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