Michael Braunfeld is, first and foremost, a storyteller. His songs capture the everyday triumphs and struggles of ordinary people. From the child growing up without a parent lost in the war in “Over There” to the down-on-his luck ski bum in “The Local,” his characters – though trapped in the particular circumstances of their own lives – appeal to a universal audience. Michael has been garnering critical acclaim and industry recognition including a prestigious slot on the 2013 Emerging Artists Showcase at The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival – where he received honorable mentions in audience voting (one of the only solo performers to do so) - and a coveted Quad Showcase at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance that same year. In 2014, he was welcomed into the Writers' Night Family at The Bluebird Cafe. From sold out listening rooms to folk festivals up and down the East Coast, Michael has been delighting old fans and winning over new audiences at every stop.
Michael recorded his debut album, "Some Things Aren’t Worth Crying For" in 1991, when he was just 16 years old. Despite his youth, he was unafraid to tackle topical issues such as homelessness and the environment. His love songs on that release, written when he was a sophomore in high school, took listeners back to a time when everything mattered and nothing was unimportant. While still addressing issues that mattered to him, such as child abuse and coming of age in a nation at war, the songs on "When It All Comes Down" definitely became more personal. “Circles” and “Tonight” received national airplay and are still crowd favorites 20 years later. "Steel City" was recorded before a packed Steel City Coffee House and captured the communion between artist and audience that came to be the hallmark of Michael’s shows. These albums and his intense performances propelled Michael onto the stages of some of the most prestigious venues and festivals around. He continued performing and honing his craft, headlining on the coffeehouse circuit and opening for acts like Jonatha Brooke, Bill Morrissey, John Wesley Harding, Bill Miller and Eric Andersen. And then, in 2001 … he walked away from it all.
Trading life on the road for the stability of marriage and family life, Michael seldom left the solitude of his studio. While occasionally coming out of retirement for offers that truly meant something to him on a personal level, he channeled his creative energy into working with Philadelphia area arts organizations and began producing and promoting artists and events.
In 2011, Michael was invited to perform at the 50th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival. From there, the calls from his fans (and arm twisting from his peers) for him to return to the stage never stopped. Three years, two EPs, a slew of shows, thousands of miles and countless songs later, Michael is currently in the studio recording his long-awaited fourth album.
Whether addressing topical issues or sharing personal stories that often leave his audiences feeling that he has somehow, in some way, invaded their privacy, Michael’s performances combine a powerful guitar style with a seemingly endless supply of urgency. And he has a pretty sneaky sense of humor too.