Live It Out Loud
Michael Dean Church Bio Michael Dean Church was born in a part of our country where hard work is just a part of everyday life. Welch, WV isn't glamorous. Dreams there are filled with the day-to-day struggle of working coal miners trying to survive. The work is dark, dirty and dangerous; but it binds the community together like no other profession. Families gather in small churches each Sunday where music becomes a food for their souls. Almost every family has at least one guitar player or banjo picker representing their family and some families have those that can sing. You learn to appreciate your neighbor, developing the skills of respect and concern when you grow up there. All of this becomes a part of who you are. On any given day, something could happen in a coal mine that would change your life forever. Church's father was injured in a mining accident, while Church was just a toddler. Unable to continue mining, Church's father worked in the mine as security. By the time Church was twelve, the local mines began to close, leaving his family no choice but to relocate to where work was available. They packed-up the family, and headed for Rome, Georgia. Michael Dean Church found himself in a whole new environment. Here the mountains didn't block the radio waves. All types of music eagerly flowed into the Church's home: country, blues, pop, R&B, and Gospel. Michael Dean Church soaked-up what he heard, singing to the radio, noticing, not just the rhythm and beat, but also the emotions that the singers expressed when they sang a lyric. He developed the ability to interpret the emotion of a song vocally, while still a young teenager. Michael Dean Church further explored his new found singing abilities in high school by joining the choir and show choir. He over came his self-conscious fears and near shy tendencies. In speaking about his first experience in front of an audience Church stated, "My knees were knocking, and I was terrified. But once I realized that I could effect people and make them happy, then, I was hooked." After graduating from high school, Michael Dean Church began testing the waters by performing in the nightclubs around Rome, GA., where he developed a strong following of fans. After the words "you should move to Nashville" became a constant mantra, he traveled to Nashville where he recorded a few songs with producer, Chip Martin. At this point, there was no return. He felt that music was what he was meant to pursue. Church decided to put his dreams on the line, and make it official. He would leave Georgia, and make the move to the city where many singers arrive, but few are taken seriously. As another famous Georgian, Alan Jackson, stated in his song â€-Chasin' That Neon Rainbow' ... "I made it up to Music Row. "Lordy, don't the wheels turn slow." But Michael Dean Church is not a quitter. He began to study this â€-business of music." He knew that he had to expand his resources, and began soliciting songs from various Nashville music-publishing companies. One name kept reoccurring; Steven Sharp. Church contacted Sharp, and an alliance was formed. Steven was so impressed with Church's abilities he almost immediately set to work looking for the â€-right' songs to best showcase Church's remarkable vocal style. He needed up-beat songs that would express Church's fun personality; and ballads where Church could dig deep into his emotions, bringing up a resonance that Sharp knew could bring an audience to their feet. As a team, Sharp and Church selected songs that reflected Church's musical tastes and vocal style. The stand out power ballads "Fools Like Us" (written by Sherrie Austin/Steven Bliss) and "What Am I Crying For" (Written by Kevin Savigar/Don Schiltz) showcase Church's ability to interpret life touching lyrics as only a seasoned pro can. While "Burned By The Same Fire Twice" rings of Church's bluegrass roots learned in his early days in West Virginia. With songs in-hand, Sharp made another unexpected decision. He decided to record Church's project in Bakersfield, CA. Michael Dean Church found himself leaving Nashville on a plane, traveling to Bakersfield to record, not just in the studios of Buck Owens, but also to have members of the historic Buckaroos play on his project. "Steven and I had done a few projects together in the past, but this was my favorite with him because of the artist," said Jim Shaw, Buck Owens' piano player for the last 35 years. "Something about Michael Dean Church made me think that this kid could take off tomorrow." Sharp and Church both agreed that the songs Church had recorded with Chip Martin fit the direction that they too had chosen, and included those songs as a part of the new project. In describing both his life and his project, Michael Dean Church sums it up by saying "Well, I would have to say that the title cut for my project, "Live it Out Loud," would probably best describe how I am feeling at the moment. I am just taking everything one day at a time, and trying to live the best life I can. I am finding out as I get older (Church is 28) that you really only have one shot at this crazy thing we call life. So just like the song says you should "Live It Out Loud!!!"