Michael Averill is an adventurous Canadian troubadour who delivers stories and songs of serendipity around the country by foot. Through heartfelt Roots, Folk, and Blues, Michael captivates his audiences and invites them to connect deeper within themselves and their communities.
A concertgoer described Michael as “a steady I.V. of goodness to the world, and born to bring people together.”
The Kelowna, BC native’s album project, “I’d Rather Walk,” inspired by his late singer/songwriting father, Garry Averill, has led to Michael literally strolling through Canada. It is a tribute to his father (an avid walker), and an initiative to encourage conversation around the country regarding life, loss, and wellness.
The tour began on July 1st 2013 in Charlottetown, PEI, and is ongoing. So far, Michael has walked just over 3200 km through Newfoundland, PEI, Nova Scotia, BC, Alberta, and Ontario, sharing his father’s original songs along with his own.
In January 2013, a chance encounter in an Edmonton Irish pub led to the discovery of his father’s unknown collection of music recorded in the 70’s with CBC in the Yukon. With this came the unveiling of the depth of his father’s musical impact, particularly in the north, but also around Canada with the placement of one of Garry’s songs as a theme on the nation-wide broadcasted CBC show, “This Country in the Morning.”
Following the rabbit hole of his father’s past has unlocked new pathways into cross-country community building, and has inclusively warmed the hearts of all those Michael meets on his journey. He has interviewed with CBC across the country, and various regional publications have shared his story.
He will carry on intermittently with his walkabout until every province and territory has been visited, covering 3000 miles as the title track, “I’d Rather Walk,” states.
Onstage, Michael’s performance versatility ranges from southern lap steel slide blues, to intricate finger-style folk, to driving Celtic. He combines buttery guitar licks and philosophical wordplay into an intriguing musical experience. Inevitably, show-goers leave with joy filled hearts, new friends, and positively charged minds.
Michael has had the fortunate opportunities to be mentored by Victor Wooten (5-time Grammy award winner and Author of critically acclaimed “The Music Lesson”), David Francey (3-time Juno award winning storytelling songwriter), and a host of incredible change makers, in and out of the music industry.
Over the last few years, Michael has shared his experiences as a mentor himself with Vancouver based youth organizations The Saint James Music Academy and the Access to Music Foundation, as well as the Nelson based BC Touring Council. He also facilitates his own workshops for musicians on songwriting, jam language, music business, community building, and performance technique.
Previous musical endeavors have led Michael into documentary projects in Nepal, community education growth through arts in China, and across Canada 6 times on Via Rail’s Artist’s Onboard Entertainment program.
He is currently devising plans for his next album project, due out in Spring 2017, a collection of songs focusing on the diversity of relationships.