Carl Michel’s music represents a significant element of Storytellers’ documentaries: his work drew the first Emmy™ for Storytellers, in 2004 for the musical score of Dusk & Shadow – The Mystery of Beverly Potts. Our partnership began a year earlier, when Carl allowed me to mine his two album releases (here & here) for the music to The Fourteenth Victim – Eliot Ness and the Torso Murders, and the fit was so good I begged & pleaded to let me do the same for Dusk & Shadow. In addition, he wrote several new pieces for Dusk based on some specs I gave him – and I promptly stepped out of the way to let him get his genius on and work that thang. Since then he’s written several themes and long-forms, both for the “Doris O’Donnell’ Cleveland” series and our release slated for 2010, called Broken Rosary – The Frank Dolezal Affair.
Full disclosure: This is not a collaboration that blew in out of nowhere; Carl and I go way back, and I mean way back. Our odometers have filpped to 56 here lately, but we both met in 1966 at 13 in the eighth grade, and later started our college days at Saint Cloud State University in the same dorm. I credit Carl with opening the door to guitar playing for me, something that I do to this day. I did not have an adequate guitar in those days, but was able to play his Epiphone Casino and his Gibson Hummingbird, often. For a couple young twits we both took the guitar pretty seriously compared to everything else, and while I schlepped around in several bands over the years, Carl went on to The Berkeley College of Music and a dedicated life of composing for jazz ensemble, performing, recording and teaching. He is currently sporting his third Emmy™ nomination for 2008-9. Who needs a Grammy, right Bro? Plus, he likes cats.
And Storytellers’ productions are much the better for it.