Michael Heaton's influences definitely show on his debut 13-track solo effort 'Learning Curve' (Artichoke Records). The CD is a mix of country, pop, rock and folk influences. The disc features many guest musicians including guitarist Jay Bennett of Wilco on the opening track. The CD was released fall 2000 and to date has sold almost 4000 copies with word of mouth and live shows being the only real form of press. Michael Heaton has been performing live since the late eighties. In 1991 Michael's first working band The X-Tras released 'Kaboom' a collection of 12 of Michael's songs. Later that same year he formed the power-pop trio CUT. The band played around Chicago and the Midwest and released two Heaton penned projects, the self titled debut 'CUT' (1993) and the band's swan song 'Rest In Pieces' (1995). After the break up of CUT Michael began performing as a solo act touring with Chicago's Irish favorites The Drovers as a member of their road crew and as a part time opening act. In the past two years Michael has put together the many musicians in his strong backing band, recorded his solo debut and continued to play clubs, parties and festivals. Currently performing around 120 dates a year his base of fans is growing and Michael is earning the respect of press and music fans alike.