Starting his musical journey as a drummer and eventually finding his way to the guitar, Minneapolis-based folk/country artist Michael Gay (f/k/a Almighty American) draws inspiration from his dad’s record collection. With the sounds of Willie Nelson, John Prine and Jerry Jeff Walker deep within his heart, this week Michael is releasing the first two new singles under his own name.

A matched set, “Long, Cold Winter” is about persevering through the cold hard winter while “Good Night” is about enjoying a summer night by the Mississippi River.

According to Michael: “It is my little ode to Minnesota, celebrating both sides of the coin. Living here has taught me to embrace seasons in life even when you’re looking for that chapter to close. We’re stronger for it.”

The sentiment resonates with a lot of us this year, just as we enter what is likely to be an unusually long, lonely winter for many.

Although inspired by the northland, “Long, Cold Winter” was actually recorded down south in Nashville at Electric Nature Studios. Recording everything live in one room, he and a close group of musicians spent a week making music and hanging out with a sweet, old dog named Luna. Twelve tracks came out of those sessions–the singles “Good Night” and “Long, Cold Winter” as well as ten others that will make up Michael Gay’s forthcoming full-length album “Make It Right”.