Michaelson's is the treacle-thick Cash/Cohen croon that fronts up the melancholy alt-folk-indie-pop of Absentee. So far so good, but he's now raised the game with Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards, in which with the aid of a group of friends including members of the Magic Numbers, the Rumble Strips and the Broken Family Band he lets the storytelling mask slip and goes into downbeat, close at heart territory, the album Saltwater (released 9th March) more delicate, built around plangent piano or unshowy guitar to great slow burn effect. The only thing we know to do presented with such a body of work is of course ask the same old questions:
First single bought: Mirror Man by The Human League
First album bought: Pet Shop Boys - Disco, Via Britania discount music club.
First gig voluntarily attended: Spiritualized at the Roadmender, Northampton. Consequently this made up my next five voluntary gigs also... they were local and I was crazy about them.
The record that most made you want to get into music: Transformer by Lou Reed
The three headliners at a festival you were curating: Super Furry Animals, Radiohead, Leonard Cohen
A song not enough people know about but everyone should hear: Obviously I would have to say Bust by Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards. Vanity is very becoming I've heard.
A song you'd play to get people dancing: Kentucky Rain by Elvis Presley, at an Elvis Presley look-a-like contest where only line dancing is allowed.
The last great thing you heard: Dion - Born To Be With You. It's the album he did with Spector that seemed to disappear for a while. He thought it was terrible. It's brilliant.
Your key non-musical influences: Stews... the long and slow process of tenderizing meat.
Your favourite new artist: Sam Amidon. His All Is Well album was given to me by the guy who produced my album (Valgeir Sigurdsson). It's traditional American folk re-imagined by a young American.