DeGreve a Natural at Making Music
by Tim VanSchmidt The Coloradoan

Singer-songwriter Michael DeGreve has California in his blood, but Wyoming is in his soul. DeGreve moved to Cheyenne in 1977 from Los Angeles and has been there ever since.

“ A friend talked me into coming to Wyoming to do just a two week gig, and it stretched into 22 years,” DeGreve said. “ The people in Cheyenne have always treated me well and it’s a place where you can make a difference. I easily get as much as I give out.”

DeGreve is famous in Cheyenne for his regular six night a week gig in the Hitching Post. He maintains a list of 450 – 500 classic acoustic songs that range from original material to tunes by artists such as Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Beatles and many others.

But more than just classics, DeGreve includes current hits by bands such as Green day, the GOO GOO Dolls, and Hootie and the Blowfish. Though the amount of material he is able to play on his twelve string guitar is staggering, DeGreve insists that it comes to him with a natural ease.

“ It’s what I do, “ DeGreve said. “ If someone is a good math teacher, people might ask how they are able to do it. But maybe they have a good memory or just a knack for numbers. For me, I’m lucky enough to be able to play music that I love.”

DeGreve lived in the Los Angeles area in the mid 1960’s. Visits to such as the Whiskey-A-Go-Go to see such bands as the Byrds and The Doors laid a foundation for a lifelong passion for music that touched an entire generation. DeGreve played in a rock band called Lid, did a short stint as a music reviewer for the Los Angeles Times and developed the dreams that he continues to pursue in Wyoming.

“ Back in 6 8, everyone was talking about how they were going to make it someday. They were going to make records and maybe build their own studio. That part is coming true for me now,” DeGreve said.

DeGreve just finished creating his own 32-track recording studio on his property north of Cheyenne. With the help of engineer Don Gooch, who had recorded such artist as the Jefferson Airplane and a full roster of Motown greats, DeGreve has taken advantage of digital technology to put together a state-of the-art facility that not only serves his own recording purposes, but also of others.

DeGreve just started tracking his third album release. He also has created his own recording label Spirit Wind Records, and has been producing material for other local artists such as Fatt Cat Freddy. “To have a 24-track, two inch analog studio in the old days would have been just too expensive. But when digital technology came in, it became a different world. Before, you might have found a few small demo studios around in the area, but now musicians don’t have to settle for that,” he said.

Though DeGreve had never called in sick in 22 years during his tenure at the Hitching Post, he has found the time to do other special gigs. That means putting together a flood relief benefit concert in 1985 with Neil Young in Cheyenne, opening for acts such as Donovan, and Kenny Rankin in regional shows and touring in Russia, where he his song Ground Zero became a hit in 1992. His roster also includes an annual date at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre , where DeGreve will be performing Sunday.

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