“O God, it’s happening again. I turn on the news – I can’t keep watching. Buildings on fire, people are crying, desperate because there’s no solution. Where do you run, between Love and a Gun?”
San Diego veteran Singer/Songwriter Michael Tiernan lays out a stark choice in the title track of his new 5-song EP album, in this intimate CD release show at Brick 15. “It’s impossible to have watched the news at any point this past year and not have your heart broken and your hope challenged”, says Tiernan, usually known as a songwriter who employs songs to try to look at the brighter side of life. “Music has always helped me process the things that break my heart.”
Fortunately, it’s not just the bad stuff that can break hearts. “Thankfully, hearts can be broken wide open with brimming love, too”. In his new EP, the cancer survivor and former seminary student, and at one time, almost an ordained Catholic priest, Tiernan vacillates between tender acoustic love songs, like the one to his kids (“Best Love”) that would melt any parent’s heart, to heavy electric guitar-laden blasters that cautiously criticize the surrounding culture, such as the track, “Your Attention”, where Tiernan goes after our modern addiction to our personal electronic devices when he writes, “Dog on a leash, tied to the beat, and each new piece leaves you hungry. But you gotta know every post in some stratosphere. Craning your neck, lack of respect, you presence is a preset I never get, what’s it gonna take for you to put that goddamn thing down?” Overall, the album is a mix of steel and heart, as the title suggests – the heavy mixed with the light-hearted, the hopeless mixed with the hopeful.
Tiernan’s 6th studio release, Love and a Gun, was produced by Andre de Santanna, who is currently nominated for 2 Grammy’s at this year’s awards for his production, performance, and writing work with Herb Alpert and Ziggy Marley. Santanna has produced Tiernan’s last 3 albums, and this outing features the talents of keyboardist Will Herrington (Lukas Graham), electric guitarist Jaco Caraco (Miley Cyrus), Andre de Santanna on bass (Sergio Mendes, Herb Alpert, Jason Mraz, Bushwalla), Tamir Barzilay on drums (Macy Grey, Tal), along with Gabe Steiner and Aaron Leibowitz on trumpet and saxophone (the Vibrometers), with a feature by Armenian cellist Artyom Manukyan.
“Tiernan’s rep grows with each release. Crucial to his success is that he’s a great all-around entertainer, from musicianship to between-song banter. All of his albums to date have won or been nominated for music awards around the country, but it’s his live set that’s helped Tiernan become one the area’s most popular singer-songwriters.”-Bart Mendoza, San Diego Reader
– 2-time Los Angeles Music Awards winner for Winner for: Male Singer/Songwriter of the Year and Triple-A Album of the Year
– Songwriter of the Year, Pacific Songwriting Competition
– International Acoustic Music Awards Male Artist of the Year Runner-Up
– International Songwriting Competition Finalist
– Great American Song Contest Finalist
– Best of San Diego, San Diego Magazine
– Falcon Ridge Festival Songwriting Finalist
– Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition Finalist