Music & Words | Michael de Jong

Michael de Jong

Michael de Jong was born in France in 1945, his father was a Dutchman, his mother a French Basque woman. After the war they moved to the Netherlands and later emigrated to the US in 1950. At the age of 13 Michael started to learn to play the guitar and 5 years he started The Nightwalkers, a band which backed Bobby Bare.
In 1965 he moved to Detroit and became a regular at the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. Between 1970 and 1974 he toured the US ending up in New Orleans, where he played the stripclubs, often sharing the stage with Professor Longhair or The Neville Brothers.
For the next 10 years he lived in San Francisco and played with or supported artists like Jerry Garcia, Paul Butterfield, Albert Collins, John Lee Hooker, Maria Muldaur, Country Joe, Charlie Musselwhite, Albert King and many others, soon earning the respect of local top music critic Phillip Elwood.
During the time Michael played in Jimmy Reed's bluesband he started to write his own songs, something which Jimmy Reed strongly supported. Having lived a ‘colourful' life, he had plenty to write about.
Michael recorded his first album All Night Long in 1981, it was produced by Nick Gravenitis and featured Norton Buffalo and Greg Douglas (Steve Miller Band). Three years later he returned to Europe and after spending time in various countries, he went back to roots and settled himself in the Netherlands, where he still lives.
He is a superb live performer and in recent years supported Van Morrison, Clannad, Jethro Tull and others. His shows are full of energy and emotions, heartfelt and without pretentions, on stage and on his albums. In Europe he recorded several albums, including Fugitive Love Songs (Tombstone), Who's Fooling Who, Alive, Grown Man Moan, The Waiting Game, Immaculate Deception and Park Bench Serenade (Munich Records). Amongst the guests on his albums were artists like Kevin Russell (Gourds), John Dee Graham (Calvin Russell) and Glen Fukanaga (Bob Dylan).
Michael de Jong's personal and musical life stories are the stuff of legends and nightmares. He was lucky to survive OD's, madness and violence, alcohol and drugs. He was not so lucky as to escape the scars and scathing that come from living such a live. It's understandable that he is in a hurry. He recorded eight albums in eight years and all his songs are autobiographical or about things he witnessed. From eating out of garbage cans and sleeping behind a bus station or the street of Amsterdam to jail, insane asylum, religion and politics. Words filled with demons and darkness so deep that there is only one way out... and that is to sing.

During a sabbatical in his second house in Ireland he was ‘waiting for the cosmic dice to roll' and finally he recorded his latest album The Great Illusion. One man and his guitar in 12 bare to the bone songs recorded in a Dutch studio. No well known guests or producers, but an honest and moving album, from a man who lives a remarkable life.


In 2008 he released Le Voyageur Solitaire. It contains studio versions of the songs Michael wrote in Ireland and recorded in a live version on 'Echo From The Mountain'. This album was hardly sold outside the Benelux, therefore Michael decided to record these again. The cd is released in a beautiful digipack with a 24 page booklet, containing all the songtexts in English, French and German.
Michael says about this album: ‘You know, all the interviews I do ask about my life, not my music and I am so proud of what I have achieved. My songs have now been translated in four languages, they will live longer than I will. This way I have slightly touched immortality.’


In 2009 For Madmen Only was released, on cd (MWCD 1022) and on 180 grs vinyl (6S 229008). This album too was hailed by the press as a masterpiece. Michael toured the Dutch clubs extensively after the release of this album.


In 2012 another acoustic solo album is released: Life in d-minor (MWCD 1025). ‘Can’t fit in, I can’t break out’, one of the lines in the opening song is a good description of the theme of this album.

spatie spatie spatie artiest