Slacker Logo


Michael Hedges

One of the most innovative and acclaimed solo guitarists of his era, self-described "violent acoustic" artist Michael Hedges rose to success on the strength of a unique performing style that utilized harmonics and picking to create the impression of multiple guitars playing simultaneously. Born in Sacramento, CA, in 1953, Hedges studied classical guitar while in college, subsequently earning a degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In 1980, he enrolled in Stanford University's renowned electronic music department, and while performing in nearby Palo Alto was spotted by Windham Hill label founder Will Ackerman, who immediately signed him to a contract; Hedges' debut LP, Breakfast in the Field, appeared in 1981. In the years to follow, Hedges began developing his so-called "man-band" performances, which favored a two-handed tapping style of soloing achieved with the use of a custom-made, double-necked acoustic/bass guitar. His affiliation with Windham Hill prompted many to label him a new age musician, but he bristled at such categorizations and instead offered "violent acoustic," "heavy mental," "new edge," and "deep-tissue gladiator guitar." He often flirted with rock and pop, and included in his repertoire acclaimed covers of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower." With his second album, 1984's Aerial Boundaries, Hedges earned his first Grammy nomination, and with the release of 1985's Watching My Life Go By, Windham Hill agreed to create a subsidiary imprint, Open Air, to further distance his music from the increasing confinements of the new age tag. With 1987's concert LP Live on the Double Planet, Hedges debuted a pair of compositions performed on the rare harp guitar, and on 1990's Taproot, he delivered his first vocal performance since his 1985 release, Watching My Life Go By. The record was Hedges' last for four years, however, and when he resurfaced with The Road to Return, his music was significantly different -- vocals were now the rule, not the exception, and in addition to acoustic guitar, he played flute, drums, synthesizer, harmonica, and electric guitar. 1996's Oracle signified a return to acoustic performance, but the record was the last to be issued during Hedges' own lifetime. On December 2, 1997, his body was discovered near the wreckage of a car accident just outside of his native Mendocino, CA; he was only 43 at the time of his death. His final recording, the acoustic "Java Man," appeared on the 1998 compilation The Sounds of Wood and Steel. Torched followed a year later. The compilations Best of Michael Hedges (2000), Platinum & Gold Collection (2003), and Pure Michael Hedges (2006) were all released posthumously on Windham Hill. ~ Jason Ankeny
Read More Read Less

Stations Featuring
Michael Hedges


    2 songs

    New Age

    New Age
    4 songs


    4 songs


    6 songs

    Romantic Jazz

    1 song

Albums by
Michael Hedges

Top Songs by
Michael Hedges

  1.   Song
  2.   Bensusan
  3.   When I Was 4
  4.   Aerial Boundaries
  5.   Rickover's Dream
  6.   After the Gold Rush
  7.   The Unexpected Visitor
  8.   Jitterboogie
  9.   Eleven Small Roaches
  10.   Ragamuffin
  11.   Ménage a Trois
  12.   Ritual Dance
  13.   Arrowhead
  14.   Ursa Major
  15.   Silent Anticipations
  16.   Baby Toes
  17.   Spare Change
  18.   Point B
  19.   Two Days Old
  20.   Scenes
  21.   Point A
  22.   Because It's There
  23.   Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major
  24.   Woman of the World
  25.   Watching My Life Go By
  26.   Torched
  27.   The Naked Stalk
  28.   The Magic Farmer
  29.   The Jade Stalk
  30.   The Happy Couple
  31.   The Funky Avocado
  32.   The First Cutting
  33.   The Double Planet
  34.   The 2nd Law
  35.   Song of the Spirit Farmer
  36.   Running Blind
  37.   Rough Wind in Oklahoma
  38.   Rikki's Shuffle
  39.   Phoenix Fire
  40.   Peg Leg Speed King
  41.   Out on the Parkway
  42.   Nomad Land
  43.   I Want You
  44.   Hot Type
  45.   Gospel of Mary/The Holy Flame
  46.   Gospel
  47.   Fusion of the Five Elements
  48.   Free Swinging Soul
  49.   Face Yourself
  50.   Come Together
  51.   Breakfast in the Field
  52.   All Along the Watchtower
  53.   Oracle
  54.   Baal T'Shuvah
  55.   Lenono
  56.   Ignition
  57.   Chava's Song
  58.   Sapphire
  59.   Theme from Hatari!
  60.   I'm Coming Home
  61.   Sofa No. 1
  62.   Layover
  63.   Java Man
  64.   Dirge
  65.   A Love Bizarre
  66.   The Streamlined Man
  67.   The Rootwitch
  68.   Shell Shock Venus
  69.   Promised Land
  70.   Aura Müünta
  71.   Holiday
  72.   I Carry Your Heart
  73.   Fantasia
  74.   The Jealous Tunnel/About Face
  75.   Dream Beach
  76.   Tomorrow Never Knows
  77.   What Child Is This?
  78.   If I Needed Someone
  79.   Ready or Not
  80.   Spring Buds featuring David Crosby

Artists Related to Michael Hedges

Loading Sliders...
  1. + -



Casting to |