Michael-Ann started her musical journey at an early age. Her best memories are from visiting her friend's musical family in the Ozarks of Missouri. It was there she learned to play guitar with strings 1/2" off the fret... a painful but rewarding experience. She would go every weekend and savor the flavor of down-home hospitality and song. Each weekend included a musical performance with various members of the extended family. She then decided she wanted to dip her toes in the waters of Nashville. Several record labels were interested in her music, but she chose to travel overseas first, to broaden her life experience. Since returning to the States, she has been involved with various productions including New York's "Woody Guthrie's American Song" (a touring show about the life of Woody Guthrie), and has had her original music featured in the play "Sweet Bye and Bye".
Now living in Los Angeles, Michael Ann has been seen singing with the likes of Ricky Skaggs,
The Rainmakers, and the Ravens, and has been heard on several music compilations as well. She has opened for Paula Nelson in Kansas City, Blake Shelton, and most recently for Joan Osborne, Don McLean, Mark Chesnutt, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Bridges, Eddie Money, Judy Collins and Richie Furay. She has performed with her band at various clubs including The Coach House, The Saban Theater, Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, The Canyon Club, The Hotel Cafe, The Viper Room, Ranch Party, Room 5, Genghis Cohen, and Three of Clubs. Her new release Heavy Load is already receiving airplay on several radio stations nationally and internationally. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in the works!
reviews for Michael-Ann
Robert Oermann, Music Row
"This L.A. singer-songwriter emotes beautifully on the title tune of her CD. Her moaning alto breaks in all the right places while dobro, fiddle and her own acoustic guitar drawl along in a bluesy river of sound. The rest of the album proves this track isn't a fluke: These are all first-rate songs. Extremely promising."
Terry Roland, Turnstyled Junkpiled
"Heavy Load stands in the stream of the great tradition of honky-tonk torch music and vintage country rock with a natural inheritance from Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. Her vocal performance and song artistry puts her at the front of singer-songwriters in Los Angeles with a clear pathway to Nashville and Austin." Full review.
Lee Zimmerman, Country Standard Time
"While echoes of Emmylou, Lucinda Williams and Patti Griffin offer a sure sense of familiarity, Michael-Ann's sturdy, freewheeling sensibility makes it apparent she's completely at ease on her own... All it takes to further convince is a listen to any – if not all – the songs on this impressive debut." Full review.
Duane Verh, Roots Music Report
"Robust, earthy vocals combine with originals equally true to the roots on Michael-Ann's first full-length release. That said, the Missouri-bred, LA-based singer/songwriter on occasion graces her classic country melodies with fresh, low-key touches, as simple as an unexpected chord change." Full review.
"Overall this is a solid, accomplished, enjoyable album from a singer and writer who knows how to express her inner feelings in a way that uplifts and endures. It is Americana that is conscious of its roots but seeks to be as vital as possible in a world when much is fabricated just for fame." Full review.
"...The whole thing is garnished also with a settled somewhere between Patty Loveless, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt's voice. Bright lights the singer is a new star in the sky country." Full review.
Greg Victor, Parcbench
"The first thing you notice is the voice. How could you not? It sings with the authority of a bonafide movie star from a classic film and it fills each note with emotion and meaning. It's a storytelling instrument that has an appealing quality to it that always leaves you wanting more." Full review.
William Phoenix, LA Music Examiner
"It's been said before but bears repeating – when Michael-Ann gets onstage her 'down home' sound sets a tone. Suddenly you feel like you're just hangin' out with a pretty gal with a guitar who's pickin' and singin' while you're drinkin' and grinnin'. Ya just gotta love that." Full review.
Stewart Fenwick, Stewart's CD Reviews
"Next up, a new CD from Michael-Ann, a young lady from Kansas, who certainly packs a full sound into her first full album called Heavy Load. She has written all but one of the tracks, and certainly impressed me with the range of material. Altogether, this was a delightful album to listen to." Full review.
Gary Schwind, AXS
"Michael-Ann is a singer songwriter in Los Angeles. She discusses her musical roots in the Ozarks, some 'Wow!' moments in her career, and what we can expect from her next."
North County Bluegrass & Folk Club
"Growing up in Kansas City, Michael-Ann embraces the salt-of-the-earth aesthetics of the Ozarks that is not often found in her adopted home of Los Angeles. Heavy Load is a tribute to those roots and a long time in the making."
Chuck Dauphin, Music News Nashville
"All in all, there's a lot here to choose from, with the pure emotional touch of 'Bring It On Home' being the emotional, lyrical, and vocal masterpiece that is going to earn Michael-Ann many more chances to impress a crowd. Needless to say, she's on her way!" Full review.
Cybergrass, The Bluegrass News Network
"If you've not yet heard of Michael-Ann, you certainly will. The artist has opened for music heavies Kenny Rogers, Blake Shelton, Joan Osborne, Mark Chesnutt and Don McLean... Michael-Ann's new record, Heavy Load will definitely appeal to fans of traditional Country and Bluegrass music, and still keep devotees of Americana music happy." Full review.
Louis Fowler, Red Dirt Report
"Michael-Ann's is the first Americana album in a long time that I not only listened to all the way through, but am getting ready to do so all over again. This Heavy Load is definitely worth picking up." Full review.
Music Morsels Reviews
"If Nashville is going to wake up and step further away from the generic pop country of too many recent years,
Michael-Ann could be someone who helps them take those steps."
Riveting Riffs Magazine
"'I Would' is unmistakably the most beautiful song from Michael-Ann Azoulai's new album
Heavy Load." Full review.
William Phoenix, LA Music Examiner
"Michael-Ann has something that just might find her headlining in Osborne's place.
In fact, don't be surprised if one day your indie-inspired author one day writes about
Michael-Ann's opening act." Full review.
Tony Haynes: Award-winning writer for Earth Wind and Fire, and numerous gold records
"Michael Ann's music is classic and contemporary all at once. It moves me and makes me feel...
I enjoy the texture of her vocals, her lyrics and her melodic soul".
Females on Fire 2
"Michael-Ann is a true performer, who delivered a fiery performance, and got the crowd
"...this artist has a voice that is reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, but has a depth and quality that is undeniable. She transcends the mundane in music to touch the depths of a person's soul."