Biography

Michael Woods is a Fingerpicking, Ragtime, Bottleneck & Blues guitarist who has been performing for about 33 years, inspired by the great country blues guitarists like Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller & Rev. Gary Davis.

His first floor spot was at the Big Jug folk club in Durham, England. He has guested in clubs across the UK, from Cardiff, Ashington, Gainford, Consett and Cramlington to more high profile appearances, sharing the stage with Dave Peabody & Brendan Power at the Blue Front Blues Room in the Forest of Dean, supporting Jacques Stotzem at Cambridge Folk Club finishing the night at both the first Durham Blues Festival and the Cleethorpes Blues Festival in 2011. and performing at the Durham & Cleethorpes blues festivals for a second time in 2016

M Woods Live

His appearance at Cambridge, alongside J Stotzem, Woody Mann and John Renbourn was described as:

“two nights that will inspire any guitarist” (Guitarist, Nov 2000)


At the Colne Blues Festival (Jim's cafe-1996), reviews included:

“…sensitive East Coast guitar blues ... The stand out was a haunting Weeping Willow Blues from Blind Boy Fuller. Beautiful, Mike!”
(Acoustic Blues Magazine)


M Woods B&W

In 1998 he released his first CD “By a River”, ten original solo guitar instrumentals incorporating elements of country blues & ragtime. The title track has a more traditional flavour and earned him a place as one of only six finalists in the Acoustic Guitarist of the Year competition (1998), held at the National Music Show, Wembley Exhibition Centre where his performance was described as:

“full of lilting passion”. (Guitarist magazine)

“sounds like two guitarists” (Julia Hankin during a live interview on BBC Radio Newcastle)

Recent bookings include Roots North Festival (Cropton), headlining at Minsteracres Summer festival, 2 appearances at Durham Blues Festival (Durham Students Union(2011)/Durham Gala theatre(2016)), & Cleethorpes Blues festival (Pleasure Island 2011 & 2016), Big Blues Festival, Southport (The Atkinson 2016), Saltburn Blues Club(2017), and The Great British Rock & Blues Festival, Butlin's Skegness (Blues Matters!Stage, Jak's bar(2017)

In 2009 he released his second CD "Fingerpicking Ragtime, Bottleneck and Blues", - 14 solo acoustic blues songs which illustrate another facet of his live set.

Reviews included:

“Might on this evidence give some of our transatlantic cousins a run for their money…”
“His powerful picking really shines on a whole shackload of classic blues”(Acoustic Magazine)

“One original is a blistering tribute to Blind Blake, and indeed, Michael is a terrifically accomplished player” (Blues Matters)

“Michael's fingerpicking has an infectious sense of the pulse of the music, making light of his technical perfection”(www.netrhythms.com)

 “Michael's dexterity and overall sense of oneness with his chosen idiom is never less than impressive” (Folk Roundabout)

“Here is a musician that has a lot to offer and long may it last!” Bob Tilling (Blues in Britain)


In February 2014 he released his third CD "East Coast Fret" fourteen original solo guitar instrumentals inspired by the North East of England

Reviews included:

“An immensely enjoyable record” (Folk Roundabout / Fatea)

“wonderfully evocative”(NE:MM)

"An album possessed of a bucketload of class" (R2 - April 2014)

"Very classy indeed, and highly recommended " (fRoots-May 2014)


Michael was invited to be a part of the Fatea Showcase Sessions Summer 14 (Magnetism) and was awarded the James Hill Trophy for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. One of his award winning tunes is Blink of an Eye, featured on his third album, East Coast Fret.

His new Album "Bottleneck Ahead", 14 bottleneck/ slide tunes and songs was released in 2016. It was featured as Album of the week on Ian McKenzie's "Acoustic Blues Club" #175 in March on Kansas city online radio, where he described the album as "absolutely terrific". A huge thank you to members of independent blues broadcasters like Ian Mckenzie and Ashwyn Smyth at digitalblues for all the support and airplay Michael has received this year. Bottleneck Ahead reached #31 in the IBBA charts in March 2016

Many thanks also go to all the reviewers who took the time to listen to and review Bottleneck Ahead including:

“Michael is an exquisite bottleneck, fingerpicking,blues and ragtime guitarist with a dexterity to be admired"(R2 -June '16)

“Michael really is one of today's most inspirational performers ploughing this rootsy furrow, and his latest offering is thoroughly recommended” (Folk Roundabout/ Fatea magazine -Feb '16)

“Michael's grootste troef is zijn fenomenaal gitaarspiel de Resonator, Dobroen zelfs uitzonderlijk een 12 snarig akoestisch model, de slide, ze kennen geen geheimmen voor hem.”(rootstime.be- Feb. '16)

“the disc oozes a wonderfully understanding interpretation of both classic and less regarded songs and delightful arrangements by Michael..a very pleasing listen to relax to (over and over) and to be recommended” (Blues Matters!- Oct./Nov 2016)

In October 2016 he played on the Little Blues Stage hosted by Blues Matters! at the Atkinson in Southport (a wonderful venue).He was mentioned in a detailed review of the festival:

"The final bit of icing on the Atkinson's cake, came in the form of Michael Woods, playing exceptional blues, finger picking on acoustic resonator for a second time, but this time in the bar" (Rosy Greer — Lancashire Blues Archive/ Blues in Britain Dec 2016)

Michael is looking forward to playing Redcar Blues club with the Hitman Blues band & the New York City horns in 2017.