Saturday, June 28, 2008

Local Musician - Michael Doman

While checking in on MySpace yesterday I noticed a bulletin from one of the local musicians in my "friends" list - Michael Doman (a singer/songwriter with a very distinctive voice and quality acoustic guitar) was to be performing in my area. I had to go and check it out.

The venue was Caffe Bella in downtown Ventura. The last time I walked in this place it was a little coffee shop off Main Street. It's now basically a wine bar that also serves Guinness, martinis, a small selection of appetizers, and (of course) live music.

Michael Doman was there with Michael Ann (a female singer/songwriter), and the two of them worked off each other to good affect - occasionally doing duets, at other times trading off on solo performances. Ms. Ann carried herself well with vocals somewhat of a cross between Sarah McLachlan and Reba McIntyre.

Mr. Doman was every bit as good live as he is on the recordings on his MySpace page, playing on a small-scale acoustic single-cut Fender guitar - which had amazing tonal quality for it's small size, made to appear even smaller in comparison to the tall Doman, who himself was made to appear even taller due to his proudly displayed afro.

I had the chance to speak with Michael for a bit while Ms. Ann was doing a solo performance. He was surprised that downtown Ventura had changed since the last time he'd been up this way, and asked if I was from here. When I told him I was originally from Philly he said, "I could tell from your accent."


Fourteen years living in SoCal, and people can still make out my Philly accent from a mile away. Not that I'm ashamed of it. It just cracks me up when it happens, a lot of times by people from the same region of PA. Sure enough, Michael was originally from Bucks County, PA - a northern Philly suburb.

He'd been involved in music for about a decade, but had been out of the scene for awhile. The music industry has been in an absolute shambles for quite some time. But this breakup of the industry, along with the explosion of technology, has opened up opportunities for performers to go DYI.

For the past year or so, Doman has gotten back into performing again and is taking things at a casual pace. No pipe dreams. No chasing the brass ring. No losing tons of cash trying to hustle your band from one big-name club to another. No convoluted contracts from a faceless major label.

Just enjoying the moments when they come, performing in varied intimate venues throughout the region and the country. Whatever happens happens. In the meantime, he just goes about doing what he loves to do - being independent, writing and performing his own music.

Go check out his page, and give a listen to the handful of tracks. "Shine" is a particularly strong selection.

Good Luck, MD!

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