Reader Spotlight: Darren Michaels

Darren MichaelsMeet bassist Darren Michaels, our player in the spotlight for September 8th, 2009.


Since graduating with honors from Atlanta Institute of Music in 2000, I have performed and recorded in a plethora of styles and have released three albums as a solo bassist, green (2002), equilibrium (2004), and Cumulo (2008). While many others have taken the solo bass path, I try to put a different spin on things. I have performed and toured alongside several other big names in the world of bass including Jeff Schmidt, Adam Nitti, Trip Wamsley, Steve Lawson, Stew McKinsey, Christopher “C3” Cardone, Brady Muckelroy, Edo Castro, Todd Johnson, Jean Baudin, Jay Terrien, and Yves Carbone to name a few. I am also an artist for Jerzy Drozd Basses and can sometimes be found performing for Jerzy at NAMM shows.


Atlanta, GA USA

Day gig:

Setup Tech at Atlanta Bass Gallery and Private Lessons Teacher

Years experience:

15 years

Bands & Gigs:

Mostly I perform as a singing solo bassist, but I work as a sideman and perform regularly with Atlanta based rock band Cinetrope.


  • Jerzy Drozd Obsession Excellency IV Custom (with Detuners)
  • Jerzy Drozd Obsession Basic V
  • Warwick Thumb Bolt-on VI
  • Jay Turser JTB-134 Hollowbody IV
  • Italia Mondial Classic IV
  • Frankenstein Fretless
  • Glockenklang Soul top Head
  • Glockenklang Space Deluxe 1x12s
  • Gibson Echoplex
  • Digitech Jamman
  • Digitech Bass Synth Wah
  • Ebow Plus
  • Boss VF-1

Why I play the bass:

The sound was completely enthralling and remains so to this day. Having played tuba, I cound read bass clef. The choice seemed obvious. Once I picked up a bass and started plucking, I became physically addicted to the rumble of the bass against my guts. Got to have it!

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I used to organize an all bass centric show in Atlanta called BassUp! which surrounded me with players who were WAY more knowledgeable and experienced then me. It was AWESOME.

My influences

Lifewise: My wife, my grandmother, Ben Franklin, Temple Grandin, Nicola Tesla, Goyathlay (Geronimo), and my ’89 Volvo Wagon (The Blue Dream).

Musically: Michael Manring, Dean Dinning, Stuart Zender, Trip Wamsley, Glen Phillips, Flea, Beck, Victor Wooten, Beta Band, Beatles, The Cure, Steve Bailey, Chuck Rainey, Tony Levin, Anthony Wellington, Dave Welsch,Phoenix, and the AC compressor outside my bedroom as a kid.

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