Article about the 12th Annual Jeff Buckley Tribute Concert held at Uncommon Ground in Chicago featured on Jeff 

Spencer Michaud

Next up was four-year Tribute veteran, pop/soul vocalist & songwriter Spencer Michaud from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Influences: Motown, tin-pan alley, folk 

Check Out:

Releases: Never Can Say Goodbye
The Chaos We’ve Become
Tribute Covers: So Real
Lost Highway (orig. Hank Williams) 

Michaud teaches songwriting at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, MI. He was introduced to Jeff Buckley’s music by a former girlfriend, an “older woman” Michaud dated in college who turned him on to the album Grace and the song Mojo Pinin particular.

Michaud said he “could relate” to Buckley’s “childhood pain”, having come from a split household himself and that Jeff Buckley was “singing everything I was feeling, He made it okay to be me”. Michaud came from a non-musical household where it was “not cool to sing”. He says that Buckley taught him “how to use falsetto and brought an androgynous quality to music that I hadn't experienced before”.

Michaud said he was “obsessed for 3 years” with Jeff Buckley, during the heyday of Napster and sought out any recording he could find. He said he beat himself up “for not being Jeff Buckley”, but learned over time that, “his real essence is just being yourself.” Michaud credits Buckley for “being a huge stepping stone” towards finding his own authenticity.

In immersing himself in Jeff Buckley’s body of work, Michaud likened his experience to the Yogic practice of “Samyama”, a complete psychological absorption in the object of meditation . In 2001, Michaud undertook what he called a “pilgrimage” to Mud Island in Memphis . After a 10 hour drive, he skipped stones at the foot of the Wolf River , visited Jeff Buckley’s house, and ate a meal at the Vietnamese restaurant Jeff Buckley used to frequent. The trip inspired him to compose The Chaos We’ve Become; a song about transitions, which he has played at previous Jeff Buckley Tributes.

When he began covering Jeff Buckley’s work, Michaud said he found that audiences “really responded” to the honesty in Jeff's music. For Michaud, Jeff Buckley is and continues to be a “spiritual companion”. Michaud enjoys a standing invitation to cover Jeff’s songs at the annual Tribute.

Jeff Buckley Newsletter Photographer Leslie Spencer with Spencer Michaud
Photo By Amanda Lowe

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