Between 2000-2002, Michael worked almost exclusively with his good friend and former bandmate Rick Beyer on material that would eventually fill three CDs, as Jeremiah Ellsworth. All the songs were written by Rick (except for If I Lose My Faith from the Branded album, with lyrics by Mike), and recorded at Rick’s 8-track studio in Florida. Rick did all the vocal and guitar parts, Mike did all the bass and keyboard duties.
“Rick and I were in bands off and on for many years, but hadn’t worked together in some time. I had played him some stuff I came up with (I Caught A Train and Make You Go), and we fell into recording some songs he had. It went really well, so we just kept going.”
The first album, Tomb Of Time (2000), used Michael’s keyboard as a drum machine. Branded (2001) had Stan Soloko on real skins, and In Stride (2002) featured Mica Parenti handling the percussion chores. All the albums were mixed and mastered at TGIF Studio in Florida, under the direction of Chris Hattingh.
The JE CDs proved to be surprisingly popular, with requests for airplay copies coming as far away as France, and sales on the Internet even out to Japan.
Mike and Rick discussed recording a fourth JE album together, but eventually the plans came to naught. Rick has continued to write and record as Jeremiah Ellsworth, however.
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