About Mr. Rowley
Mr. Rowley grew up in a musical family where everyone played and sang. By the time he had finished elementary school, he was performing in front of hundreds of people at local social functions. Through his high school and college years, Michael learned to play the harmonica and he sat in with professional blues bands on the harp and regularly was a guest with the band Backwaters. Always surrounded by musicians, Michael started picking up their guitars.
By the mid-nineties he had started to re-discover his voice in private. What he found was a familiarity with the soul of blues-based rock, blues, folk, funk, jazz, and reggae. Mr. Rowley was regularly singing songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and Bob Marley. One day it all came together when Joe Vadala invited him up on stage to give it a shot. He closed his eyes and let it hang out….when he opened them, the song was over and people were whooping and hollering. Since then, he was "discovered" by the likes of Mike Galicia (in Freudian Slip at the time) and they formed Mahatma, which would be a successful gigging machine for almost a decade, playing as many as fifteen nights a month at their peak as either a duo or a full band which included some of the NJ area's best musicians.
a little bit o' history
Sometime in the early 2000s, Michael branched off of Mahatma and eventually left it behind for what is likely his favorite project thus far: Orogeny. Orogeny gigged for a good four or five years bringing their blend of soulrockjazzbluesfolkfunkreggae to the Jersey Shore and the hub city, New Brunswick. Orogeny managed to record a couple of songs and have a small archive of yet-unreleased live performances.
Mr. Rowley has been teaching guitar for almost fifteen years. He has a unique approach to teaching he calls "Kung-fu Guitar". It incorporates his education in learning and memory along with his many years as an educator in schools. Mr. Rowley has taught a wide variety of subjects in his lifetime, from calculus to swimming. While he continues to teach swimming every summer, teaching the guitar is his greatest love. He has a sincere belief in his approach, and has maintained enough of a reputation in the area that he has earned all of his students through word-of-mouth alone. He is very happy to be a part of Mill Pond Arts, as he lays his roots even deeper in Allentown, and can now walk home from lessons.