thunder heaven light




“Michael Gulezian might be the most accomplished pure guitarist on the planet. compositional genius. …astounding.”

– Fred Kraus, Minor 7th.com

“spectacular… startling … extraordinary acoustic guitar playing” – the best of echoes – top 25 albums of 2019

– John Diliberto, Producer / Host, ECHOES / Public Radio International

thunder heaven light

  1.  Spirit Hovering
  2.  And There Was Light
  3.  Back Home to Sacred Ground
  4.  Orchard Whispering to Winter Sky
  5.  Cloudburst Over the Gunnison
  6.  There Were Angels, So Many Angels
  7.  Becoming the Flame
  8.  Wild Honey and Locusts
  9.  Unfailing Love
  10.  She Carries My Soul to God
Concert at St Olaf College




“…exquisite … amazing…”

– All Songs Considered / National Public Radio

Concert at St. Olaf College

  1.  Mile High Country
  2.  Watermelon
  3.  Little Meggie
  4.  Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  5. Slugbug
  6. Tumbledweeb
  7. My Trampoline Heart
  8. Whale in the Sky
  9.  Meandering Jellique
Language of the Flame




“… stunningly beautiful … breathtaking … a completely resonant singularity …”

– MUZE Reviews

Language of the Flame

  1.  “I’m No Seismologist,” Chortled the Metrognome
  2. Little Meggie
  3. Undo the Buncombe
  4.  The Room of Doom
  5.  Oh Suzannah
  6. Jello Moves
  7.  My Trampoline Heart
  8. All We’ll Never Be
  9.  Michael Hedges Goes to Heaven
The Dare of an Angel




“… uncommonly thoughtful and provocative…tremendous…”

– Jazz Times

The Dare of an Angel

  1.  Faith, Hope, and Love
  2. Slugbug
  3.  He Planned to Expand
  4.  The House that Blocked Kansas
  5. Whale in the Sky
  6. Mile High Country
  7.  Answer Silence With Silence
  8.  Nothing is Always Anything
  9. Tumbledweeb
  10. Love Is As Love Does
  11. I Remember Walnut Avenue
Distant Memories and Dreams




runner-up “Disc Of The Year”

– CD Review Magazine

Distant Memories and Dreams

  1.  Five Loaves, Two Fish
  2.  Mood Rub a Dub
  3.  Zucchini Beach
  4.  Almost Made it to Guam
  5. Morning Star
  6. Owatonna Moon
  7. Sunrise Over Lock & Dam # 5A
  8. Amber Waves Goodbye
Unpsoken Intentions



“…an epoch breaking record.”

– John Fahey

Unspoken Intentions

  1.  Wet Hair, Lather, Rinse, Repeat
  2. Arcosanti
  3.  Café on the Rings of Saturn
  4. Ian and Nisa
  5.  The Moon Under Her Feet
  6. Without You
  7.  20 Park Avenue
  8. Meandering Jelly
  9. A Nice Place to Visit
  10.  Ninth and Main
  11. Goodbye My Friend
  12. Stepping on my Thumbs
  13. Golgotha


This is Michael’s exceptionally rare limited edition first album. Snow was among the first audiophile instrumental solo acoustic guitar LPs ever released (along with a handful of titles on Windham Hill and ECM). It was recorded with state of the art technology, and pressed on virgin vinyl.

We have only a handful of these albums, still in their original factory sealing. Michael’s CDs sell for a modest $15; copies of Snow are virtually impossible to find. They are available – to collectors only – for $300 each. For inquiries please click HERE. Thank you!

Michael Appears On The Following Compilation Recordings

Fahey Tribute, The Revenge of Blind Joe Death

The Revenge of Blind Joe Death – The John Fahey Tribute Album

John Fahey has been called everything from the “Father of Alternative Guitar,” to the “Godfather of American Primitive Guitar.” One thing is certain: he was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century. This CD is a loving tribute from many of the artists who knew and worked with him throughout his career, including George Winston, Peter Lang, Country Joe McDonald, Terry Robb, Alex de Grassi, and Stefan Grossman.

Michael’s track: “St. Louis Blues.”

www.johnfahey.com ::: www.revenantrecords.com

Basket Full of Dragons

Basket Full of Dragons – A Tribute to Robbie Basho Vol. II

Robbie Basho was one of the most brilliantly gifted guitarist /composers of the late 20th century, as well as a unique and dynamic vocalist. He was deeply influenced by Persian, Indian, and Native American cultures, and earned a reputation as the “Father of the American Raga.” The profoundly spiritual nature of his music continues to influence musicians all over the world.

Michael’s track is a duet with avant-garde genius guitarist Henry Kaiser: “Enigmatic Eagle.”

CD Baby

Lights Out, Volume Nine

Lights Out, Volume Nine

This is the most recent in an annual series of CDs produced by KINK-FM in Portland, benefitting the Oregon Food Bank. Artists include Daniel Lanois, Moby, Acoustic Alchemy, George Winston, B-Tribe, and Mark Isham.

Michael’s track: “Michael Hedges Goes to Heaven.”


156 Strings

156 Strings

Some of the edgiest, most original, and challenging solo acoustic guitar music ever recorded. Artists include Fred Frith, Janet Feder, Henry Kaiser, Richard Thompson, Steffen Basho-Junghans, and Nels Cline. Nineteen radical, visionary artists. Proceeds from this CD benefit the HEAR Foundation.

Michael’s track: “Excerpt From ‘Plook the Asbestos Lobster'”


Takoma Eclectic Sampler, Volume 2

Takoma Eclectic

Not only did John Fahey’s Takoma Records do more than any other label to form our understanding of contemporary solo acoustic guitar and composition, but it also served as creative incubator to an array of seminal artists in the genre known today as Americana. This CD includes music from T-Bone Burnett, Norman Blake, Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Spencer Davis, Doug Sahm, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Michael’s track: “Meandering Jelly”


Takoma Slide

Takoma Slide

The artists on this disc are among the most influential slide guitarists of the 20th century: Son House, Rev. Robert Wilkens, Bukka White, Michael Bloomfield, and Leo Kottke.

Michael’s track: “Goodbye My Friend”


Bridges, Volume 9


Volume 9 of the Echoes Living Room Concerts series, from the popular NPR show Echoes. Artists include Pat Metheny, Michael Hewett, Barbara Higbie, and Erik Wollo.

Michael’s track: “Tumbledweeb”


The KUMD Sessions, Volume 2

The KUMD Sessions

Live in-studio performances recorded at KUMD-FM in Duluth, Minnesota. Artists include Rory Block, David Wilcox, A.J. Croce, Rob Wasserman, and Carrie Newcomer.

Michael’s track: “‘I’m No Seismologist,’ Chortled the Metrognome.”


Lights Out, Volume Five

Lights Out, Volume Five

Michael’s first appearance in the Lights Out Series. Artists include Bill Evans (yes, the Bill Evans), Bruce Hornsby, Bob James, Billy McLaughlin, Tim Story, and Peter Kater.

Michael’s track: “Mile High Country”


Lagrimas de arpa y luna

Lágrimas de arpa y luna

Released only in Spain, this beautiful CD of ambient instrumentals includes music from Armenian duduk virtuoso Gevorg Dabagian, world renowned flutists Nicholas Gunn and Rhonda Larson, jazz-rock guitarist Joaquin Liévano, world music visionary Prem Joshua, and vocalist extraordinaire Kate Price.

Michael’s track: “Mile High Country”

Liner Notes

The Best of John Fahey

Best of John Fahey

This CD is an obvious starting point for anyone interested in the American solo acoustic guitar tradition. Besides Michael’s notes, there are contributions from Leo Kottke, Henry Kaiser, Peter Lang, Jim O’Rourke, Terry Robb, and George Winston. Read Michael’s commentary

The Best of John Fahey

John Fahey changed my life. I’d been playing guitar since I was seven years old, but it didn’t resonate in my heart, in my soul, in my bones, until seven years later, when I heard John’s music for the first time. It was a crystallizing moment – I was suddenly able to distinguish the difference between noise, and music.

Today, the world is more full of noise than ever. The music business (my favorite oxymoron) is all about noise. And sadly, the guitar world is almost completely polluted with the noise of ego, image, ambition, endorsement deals, product positioning, marketing research, and all the other bullshit that signifies the presence of fear. Fear and music do not mix. Music, in it’s purest form, is the absence of fear.

John Fahey created and played music. Fearless music. Original music. It was music that expanded your conception of time and space, and tore at the superficial canvas of objective illusion. He spoke his mind, conscious and unconscious. He touched peoples’ hearts and souls because he played from his heart and soul. When John played guitar, you knew it was him, because he did it all in his own voice.

John spent his lifetime becoming himself. It was a full lifetime of creative self-expression. We are all called to choose between making music (audible or metaphorical), or simply adding to the world’s noise level. The decision we make defines who we are as human beings.

– Michael Gulezian, July 2002

John Fahey died yesterday morning, February 22, after sextuple bypass surgery. In his last couple days he was unable to see, speak, or move. But he could hear and comprehend. His ex-wife Melody had been allowed to visit him. She and a group of friends watched over him. And said good-bye.

In a country full of crap, John created living, generative culture. With his guitar and his spellbound witness, he synthesized all the strains in American music and found a new happiness for all of us. With John, we have a voice only he could have given us; without him, no one will sound the same.

By choice, John lived a difficult life. He made my life what it is. He recorded me, supported me and remained my friend for over thirty years. I remember his beard in my ear, when we were both playing the Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, and his stretched voice whispering, “Sing something! You have a great voice!” He hated my voice. I remember turtles, tons of them, around his office, his home. We built a turtle sanctuary in his backyard in LA – on Palms Boulevard, a breezy name for a concrete noise. Even the turtles were unhappy. And I remember his Prairie State guitars, his knowledge and understanding, and much early tape: John as a youngster playing in a different voice. Like Robbie Basho, he seems to have been two people – and to have made a permanent break with the first, somewhere in his twenties.

But it is his vision that enriches us. He saw who we are. He wasn’t happy about it, but he told our story. And we fell down laughing, moved by what we had missed. Thank you, John.

– Leo Kottke, 23 February 2001

“To imagine the world without Fahey is something I had never contemplated. I had this crazy Idea that John might live forever. In reflection I realize I knew two Faheys, the mythical and the human. John shined remarkable as both.

Mythology captivated John. It was in the UCLA Department of Folklore and Mythology (not the Music Department) that he published his Master’s Thesis on Charlie Patton, “Founder of the Delta Blues.” Mythology permeated his creative works as he draped himself in the cloaks of “Blind Joe Death,” “Blind Thomas,” and eventually the “Legendary John Fahey” himself.

When I went to work at Takoma in 1972, I was terrified by his mythical persona. It took me months to discover the real John, whom I found to be kind, caring, and very human. He became a mentor, and friend.

To me, the most magnificent thing about John was his courage to persevere in our regimented world. John never allowed himself to be categorized, compartmentalized, or crushed. John took life on his own terms and remained unbridled and unbroken to the end. John’s crowning achievements are the result of a fierce struggle to become sublime (a struggle which we all share). His efforts produced an immense bounty of creative work which radiates John’s mesmerizing artistry and perspective. This volume includes many of those works.”

– Peter Lang, July 2002

In Print

Between The Strings

Between the Strings – The Secret Lives of Guitars

This compilation of highly personal essays was written by some of the biggest names in the world of guitar music: B.B. King, the Edge, Les Paul, George Benson, Doc Watson, John Williams, Taj Mahal, Robbie Robertson, Phil Keaggy, Alex deGrassi, and many more. Michael’s Gulezian’s poignant essay illuminates the evolution and depth of the friendship between himself and Michael Hedges. Read the full story

Michael Gulezian

The more a man knows, the more he forgives.
Catherine the Great

Early in my career as a professional solo guitarist, I knew I was very, very good. I was signed to a big record label, and big record labels have a way of making their artists feel like they are more important than they usually are. I don’t think I ever bought into that mentality completely, but I’m sure it did have at least some effect on me. The big record companies certainly do not have anything to teach their artists about humility.

So there I was, this young kid, out on tour, totally independent, playing concerts all over the country, getting great reviews, blah blah blah blah blah. In the early 1980s, Michael Hedges’ first album, Breakfast In the Field, was released. I thought it was good, but it didn’t knock me out.

I was scheduled to perform at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma. I received a call from Ray Parker, the Dean of Students, asking me to approve an opening artist, who happened to be a graduate of Phillips University. He was also an acoustic guitarist; he was a big fan of mine, and loved my recorded work. His name was Michael Hedges. I’ll never forget what I said (and Ray will never forget what I said either). I replied that I would probably blow him off the stage, that I might make him look bad. I turned him down.

That is the truth. I refused to allow Michael Hedges to be my opening act, on the grounds that my own playing was so good, Michael would be embarrassed.

Looking back on it today, it seems like the most preposterous statement I could have possibly made in my entire life.

Soon afterward, I met Michael for the first time, at a concert in Santa Cruz. He was playing with Preston Reed and John Fahey. We were backstage, and John introduced me as (I am not kidding) the best guitar player in the world (remember, John was working for Chrysalis Records at the time). Michael was very gracious, and played some new compositions for me. I was startled to see and hear him doing things on the guitar that seemed impossible. I asked him, “How do you DO that?” He just laughed. We didn’t talk about my refusal to let him appear with me at Phillips University.

A couple years later, Windham Hill released Michael’s Aerial Boundaries album. I would not be exaggerating to say that upon hearing it, I went into a state of mild shock. This was the most powerful, majestic, original and beautiful solo guitar music I had ever heard. It was nothing short of revolutionary. I still remember that day very clearly. I was on tour, in Oneonta, New York. I was staying at a cabin on a lake. I repeated the first side of the album all afternoon, and all night.

As awed as I was by that recording, nothing could have prepared me for hearing Michael live in concert. It was a completely transcendent experience. There are no words to describe the hugeness of that sound, the technical command he held over his instrument, the grace of his music, and his utter authority on stage. It was 1986, in Tucson, Arizona. The concert promoter happened to be my old friend Larry Berle, from SRO Productions. He had flown in from Minneapolis for the night. We sat together, and he saw how deeply I was moved. So I told Larry the whole story of how I had once said the most absurd, arrogant and awful thing possible about Michael, and how heavily it had been weighing upon me.

Thank God for friends like Larry. He didn’t tell me what he was planning to do. After the concert, Michael, Larry and I were all gathered in Michael’s hotel room. Larry turned to Michael and said, “Michael has something he wants to tell you.” So I told him the exact words I had spoken to Ray Parker years before. I confessed it all. By the time I finished I was practically in tears. And once again, I was not prepared for what happened next. Michael smiled and shook his head, then walked over to me, gave me the biggest hug, and started laughing, and kept on laughing until all I could do was laugh with him. I laughed at my own stupidity, I laughed because the burden was gone, I laughed because it was all so funny.

Michael and I went on and became good friends. We would bump into each other whenever our paths crossed when we were on the road. We saw each other every time he came to Arizona. Michael died very tragically in a car accident in December 1997. As far as his place in the world of guitar music is concerned, I believe he was by far and away the greatest musician ever to touch an acoustic guitar. As a human being, he was a gentle, kind soul. He taught me the true meaning of humility. And he taught me a lesson in the power of forgiveness.

Life is fragile. Life is short. Life is precious. If we need to reconcile ourselves to the ones we love, the time to do it is now.

Pioneers of American Folk Guitar

Pioneers of American Folk Guitar

This book presents twelve timeless classics of the folk guitar repertoire, plus artist biographies. Transcripts reflect the original recordings, in the original keys, in TAB and standard notation: “Candy Man Blues” by Mississippi John Hurt, “Embryonic Journey” by Jorma Kaukonen, “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotton, Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” plus music by John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Paul Simon, Robbie Basho, and Peter Lang, among others. The book features a transcription for Michael’s composition “Ian and Nisa.”

Film / Soundtrack Credits

My Red Umbrella, produced and directed by Debra Smith.
Song: A Nice Place to Visit.

The Scar, produced and directed by Peter Neff, Nashville International Film Festival.
Song: Mile High Country.

Acting on Faith: Women and New Religious Activism in America, produced and directed by independent Bay Area filmmaker Rachel Antell.
Songs: Little Meggie, Undo the Buncombe, Jello Moves, All We’ll Never Be, Michael Hedges Goes to Heaven


Stropes Editions Image

Visit Michael’s “tunings” page at the Stropes Editions website. This is where you’ll find the most accurate and comprehensive information on the tunings for Michael’s recorded work.

Stropes Editions is the official transcription source for the music of Michael Gulezian, along with many other great solo acoustic guitarists. Click HERE if you’re interested in accurate, detailed transcriptions in standard notation and tablature.

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