The Beatles. Nick Drake. The Replacements. Scott Joplin. Joni Mitchell. Vic Chesnutt. Madonna. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Rush. Jerry Garcia. Weird Al Yankovic.

What do all these musical entities have in common? They are just a few of Michael Wegner’s primary influences. He believes there’s too much great music in the world to be limited by any particular style preferences. Ever since learning piano at age five, Michael has immersed himself in numerous genres of music, and has rarely let a day go by without picking up an instrument and expressing himself in song.

Rocking the keys since 1979!

For the past four decades, Michael has performed with bands and accompanying solo artists, playing music written by amazing songwriters both famous and obscure. This musical journey has led him to share stages across the USA with Indigo Girls, Juliana Hatfield, River Phoenix, Lemonheads, Michael Stipe, Caroline Aiken, Danielle Howle and many others.

The music from these collaborations has been folky, punky, jazzy, funky, poppy, ambient, funny, theatrical, kid-centric… but always spirited and in-the-moment. Michael’s ability to lend musical support to great songs has seen him perform at venues all over the USA, including Red Rocks in Colorado, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre and the Oregon Country Fair. Each time Michael walks onto a stage, he strives to make a personal connection with the audience.

Cosmic Charlie in Raleigh NC 2019. Photo by Rich Levine.

FAST FORWARD TO 2020: With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down the concert industry, Michael began to focus more on songwriting. A prolific tunesmith since the 1980s, he has rarely shared his solo material publicly.

To make up for “lost time”, Michael set out to record and release 52 songs in 2021 – one song per week for a whole year. Many of the songs would be brand new or recently composed; others 20-30 years old but never before recorded. The project proved to be pretty immersive, with Michael spending dozens of hours each week trying to get a new song finished and released every Tuesday. For many of the songs, he also produced a video (after teaching himself to do video editing!).

After successfully releasing 17 songs in 17 weeks, Michael found himself back on the road regularly playing gigs, and there simply wasn’t enough time to continue recording and producing new songs. So he decided to take a hiatus from the “52 SONGS” project. Time permitting, Michael hopes to pick the project back up and and start recording songs at a more leisurely pace.

Come along for the ride and explore the songwriting journey of a troubadour who has spent his entire life immersed in music.

The songs can be found here at the 52 Songs page.