“It's kind of mind-blowing how awesome he is... He's an acoustic juggernaut! ”
— Tony Polecastro - Acoustic Life
Michael Watts is a guitarist, writer, journalist and film-maker based in Surrey UK. A previous recipient of the Acoustic Guitarist of the Year award (and later a member of the judging panel) Michael has shared a bill with some of the greatest instrumentalists in the world and is known for his onstage charisma, exquisite touch and the depth of feel and nuance in his playing and composition.
With a sound informed as much by the folk heroes of the 1960s UK folk revival as anything on the Windham Hill label - this approach to fingerstyle guitar has seen Michael described as the antidote to the CandyRat style. He is not sure how he feels about this.
Michael has probably played more handmade acoustic guitars than anyone else and having spent over a decade at the bleeding edge of the hand-built guitar scene he is a vocal champion of the art of modern steel string guitar luthiery. You may have seen him as the host of Luthier Stories - a series that has seen him travelling around the world to interview many of the world's finest guitar makers including Ervin Somogyi, Jason Kostal, Stefan Sobell and Casimi Guitars amongst others.
Michael writes, records, and performs instrumental music for solo steel-string acoustic guitar. His debut album "VETIVER" is available here. The opening track Celandine was recently used on an award-winning short film.
Michael is also a lover of really f*cking loud electric guitars and gnarly fuzz pedals, and his thoughts on many of them can be read in the pages of The Guitar Magazine in addition to interviews with guitarists such as Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas, Al Di Meola, Michael Landau, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana and others.
Described as a "Gentleman Renegade" and an acknowledged expert in the field of the luthier-built guitar, Michael is regularly invited to give lectures and masterclasses, and demonstrate the work of guitar builders around the world. More often than not, he accepts.
When it comes to writing about himself in the third person Michael admits he lacks stamina. However, if you would like to learn more, you can check out this podcast interview with The Fretboard Journal.