After a day of checking-in, setting-up camp, organizing our schedules and enjoying some iced chai coffee while listening to some very good music at Chelsea Cafe, we were rewarded with a steamy, smoking set from Sean Michel at the Arkansas Stage.
We first saw Sean Michel five years ago when he was featured on one of the American Idol audition shows. His waist length beard, soulful voice and daring version of “God Gonna Cut You Down” rocked the AI producers. We saw Sean Michel again a few months later at Cornerstone 2007. He was doing acoustic blues because he did not have a band with him. We fell in love with his aggressive evangelistic faith and music.
We have as many of his recordings as we can get our hands on but nothing prepared us for his full band onslaught of smoking delta blues. Sean Michel was rocking slide guitar while his backing band drove the rhythm and added a second guitar. Sean Michel is running The Arkansas generator stage and are playing the stage every night. From the classic “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” to originals like “Change Who I Am” Sean Michel rocked a small audience that drew more and more listeners as their show unfolded. By the time they launched into the original “Hosea Blues” the crowd was crammed into the Arkansas Stage dancing like mad men.
Sean Michel’s gut bucket blues drove a fiery passionate faith that inspired 50 year old men to unashamadely jump around with 20 year blues fans. I love artists who are not too cool for their faith. Sean Michel is not only cool enough, he is so passionate and so committed that he may be one of the coolest artists unsigned artists on the planet.