Welcome to Michael Stadler Music

Northern California musician, writer and teacher, Michael Stadler, gives a glimpse of his personal and musical roots on the great central seas of North America in his Little Dead / Fiddling Cricket release North Country.

The liner notes sum it up nicely: "Michael Stadler was raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A sparsely populated, starkly beautiful place, the U.P. is bordered by Lake Superior, empty sand beaches, and nearly unbroken expanses of forest. Life there requires perseverance and luck, since, as in many rural areas, underemployment is a given. That's why one of the area's chief exports is people. Whether vocals, guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin or bass, Michael's passion for his music is immediately obvious."

Michael is available for performances - solo and group - and teaching - individual and classes/workshops.

Reviews of Michael Stadler's music

We look forward to reviews. If you have a new one, please let us know.

Bill Frater: Stadler is a Bay Area multi-instrumentalist whose CD looks and sounds like the work of an acoustic veteran rather than a debut release. Tastefully mixing elements of folk, old timey, bluegrass and a respectful dash of classic country to make a unique blend that's fits as comfortably as a well-worn pair of jeans. His smoky voice exudes a humble confidence, going from a soft whisper to a moaning wail. The title and a few of the songs pay homage to his northern Michigan roots where they have real winters. Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum help out on a few tracks and Jon Mitguard adds some fine steel. The bottom line is always the songs and I like the mix here- a few instrumentals, some nice originals, Nick Lowe's Rose of England and an obscure Buck Owens tune all combine to make it a great ride. He closes with a cool triple fiddle tune Chop Another Cord (all played by Stadler) that is a highlight. -- See Review

Ian Zack: Clawhammer * is an old-time banjo picking style, but over the last 25 years a few adventuresome guitarists have adapted the thumb-based technique to the six-string box. This collection features 13 clawhammer solos by Steve Baughman, Jody Stecher, Michael Stadler, and Alec Stone Sweet and is billed as the first full album devoted to the style. Because of the guitar's greater resonance, playing it clawhammer fashion often results in an airier sound than that of the open-backed banjo. Thus Stone Sweet's "Shady Grove" feels more explorative and less solemn than the typical old-time rendition of this standard. Stadler's original "Dogs in the Creekbed/Gator in the Lap Lane" is a haunting, rhythmic tour de force. There's no telling where clawhammer guitar technique will go from here, but these musicians have set the bar high." *Wikipedia Clawhammer discussion -- See Review

Rootsrock.com: An East Bay bluegrass stalwart known for his tasteful and restrained musicianship. -- See Review

Mary Tilson: Michael Stadler has the voice of a very loud, articulate angel. He's a master interpreter with a beautiful voice, a thoughtful and humorous songwriter. And he's an accomplished and sophisticated player of just about anything with strings. A total pleasure. Don't miss him! -- See Review

Laurie Lewis, SF Bay Area bluegrass musician: ...all-round musician Michael Stadler (one hell of a country singer).

Larry Kelp: ...a typically eclectic set on any number of instruments; he's one of those musicians who believes you don't have to be flashy to be good - and he's much better than good.

Acoustic Guitar magazine: Stadler's original "Dogs in the Creekbed/Gator in the Lap Lane" is a haunting, rhythmic tour de force. -- See Review

About Michael Stadler

Michael appears solo on various broadcast outlets and in such venues as Berkeley, CA's, Freight & Salvage, where he's shared the bill with John Gorka, Greg Brown, Peppino D'Agostino,  John McCormick and Joel Mabus, and in the Fiddling Cricket concert series in San Jose, CA.

Michael's powerful and distinctive voice is featured on recordings by Sylvia Herold, Lisa Redfern's No Small Thing and Soundtracks and Matt Lax and Nearly Beloved's Wanderer's Dream, Hurricane and a Tumbleweed and This House of Mine. 

Michael's2005 solo recording project features bandmates Mary Gibbons, Jon Mitguard and Paul Knight; backing vocals from Veronica Lustre, Tom Rozum and Jim Mintun; fiddling from Laurie Lewis; electric mandolin from Tom Rozum; percussion from Wake the Dead's Brian Rice.

His playing is featured on Clawhammer Guitar: The Collection, which features the playing of Steve Baughman, Jody Stecher and Alec Stone Sweet. Michael's article on the style was published in the December 2007 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.

In addition to performing solo, Michael plays and sings with the Mike Stadler-Mary Gibbons band, featuring Jon Mitguard on dobro and pedal steel, and Chuck Ervin on bass. Among others the band has played the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival and the Great American Music Hall.

Michael frequently appears in Sonoma County's Kevin Russell's various configurations, which often include some quite well-known artists.

He contributed instrumental backup on San Francisco singer / songwriter Veronica Lustre's recording project  and lap steel to Burke's CD The Year of You.

Michael is a creative, articulate and patient teacher of fingerstyle and flatpicked guitar, and mandolin, clawhammer banjo, dobro and fiddle. He has taught a variety of classes at the California Coast Music Camp beginning in 2002.

Michael was raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on the south shore of  Lake Superior and has lived in the San Francisco area since the early 80s.


Listen to a sampling of Michael Stadler's work.

Traditional Finnish medley - Renki Jussi and Raatikkoon
Original tune medley - Dogs in the Creek Bed / Gator in the Lap Lane
With the Stadler Gibbons Band: The Flame in My Heart (George Jones-Bernard Spurlock)

With the Stadler Gibbons Band: I Won't Be Home (Hank Williams)
With the Stadler Gibbons Band: Tell Me True (Mary Gibbons)

Live performance schedule

Check often for updates.

Mike Stadler & Mary Gibbons Band

This fine gathering of highly experienced musicians pulls together to find the common ground between early Country and Bluegrass and to include original material and contemporary songs suited to such a goal. The band features the clean, intricate harmonies - up to four parts - stacked atop a bed of dynamic acoustic instruments and pedal steel guitar. 

Mike Stadler



"...Stadler's original ' Dogs in the Creekbed/Gator in the Lap Lane' is a haunting rhythmic tour de fource." - Acoustic Guitar magazine

"... all-round musician Michael Stadler (one hell of a country singer)."  - Laurie Lewis, SF Bay Area bluegrass musician

"Michael Stadler has the voice of a very loud, articulate angel. He's a master interpreter with a beautiful voice, a thoughtful and humorous songwriter. And he's an accomplished and sophisticated player of just about anything with strings. A total pleasure. Don't miss him!"  - Mary Tilson, Berkeley, CA, KPFA 94.1 (www.kpfa.org), America's Back Forty

"... a typically eclectic set on any number of instruments; he's one of those musicians who believes you don't have to be flashy to be good - and he's much better than good. " - Larry Kelp, East Bay Express, San Francisco area

"...an East Bay bluegrass stalwart known for his tasteful and restrained musicianship."  - Nearly Beloved CD review - Rootsrock.com

Mike has been in music since age six. His is a powerful voice well suited to American roots forms: Country, Bluegrass, Old Time and Folk. A multi-instrumentalist, Mike mainly sticks to mandolin and lead guitar with this group, though fiddle or clawhammer banjo might also put in an appearance. His solo CD North Country features nearly all of the band members. His clawhammer style guitar playing is featured on a Solid Air Records (www.solidairrecords.com) release, Clawhammer Guitar: The Collection, which also features Steve Baughman, Jody Stecher and Alec Stone Sweet.

Duet with Mary, Jon on dobro - Flame in My Heart

Mary Gibbons



[Mary Gibbons] is a strong, stylish singer, whether burning through some bluesy bluegrass or wearing out a country weeper. - Bluegrass Unlimited

Distinctive original material and lead vocals by Mary Gibbons key the debut - International Bluegrass

Mary has a great sense of rhythm and is dedicated to rhythm guitar, a valuable asset to any band. She doesn't play wimpy guitar: she gets in there with well-placed runs and a lot of power in her playing. - Laurie Lewis

Mary has played and sung bluegrass and country music for decades. Born in San Francisco and a lifelong Bay Area resident, she has played, recorded, and toured with The All Girl Boys, Laurie Lewis and Her Bluegrass Pals and The Fog City Ramblers.

Her voice and guitar are featured on other recordings by Lewis, as well as those of Tom Rozum and singer-songwriter Erica Wheeler. 

Described as a "strong, stylish singer" in Bluegrass Unlimited, Mary is a member of a short list of soulful California-bred, female bluegrass vocalists that includes Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick and Kate Brislin. Her powerful voice adapts easily to any style: emotive country, gutsy blues or straight-ahead bluegrass.

Her highly regarded rhythm guitar playing has earned her teaching slots at major music camps and a feature article in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. She adds her original songs to the quartet's carefully chosen repertoire.

A Mary original - Tell Me True

Jon Mitguard



Jon's steel playing is equal parts soulful honky tonk and smoky jazz. - Mary Tilson, Berkeley, CA, KPFA 94.1, America's Back Forty

Jon grew up at the foot of the Colorado Rockies and handles pedal steel and dobro for the band. A diverse stylist, Jon has a Masters from the Honky Tonk University. In addition applying the sweet liquid steel, Mitguard sings lead and harmony.

Jon is a cofounder of Barbwyre, a project near and dear to his heart featuring originals by Jon and also by fine mandolinist, guitarist and singer Dana Rath.

Jon on pedal steel - I Won't Be Home No More

Michael Leal Price



Michael Price is a bassist and music educator based in Santa Rosa. As a teenager he immersed himself in Rock, Blues, Folk, and related styles by playing with friends in a band that achieved local notoriety and had a lot of fun jamming.

As a young adult he went on to study music from many wonderful teachers at Santa Rosa Junior College, Cabrillo College, UC Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, and the Ali Akbar College of Music. During those years he played the bass in orchestras, jazz combos, big bands, concert bands, musical theater productions, Bluegrass and Old Time bands, Latin American ensembles, North Indian Classical music settings, and countless performances and jam sessions. It’s all got bass.

These days he teaches piano, guitar, and of course bass, while continuing to perform several times a week. Michael performs with numerous bands in the Bay Area such as Lulu and The Rent Party and the Lonestar Retrobates to name but a few. He was especially honored to be a member of Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks during Dan’s last years. He can be heard most Thursdays at the Jazz Gathering at The Fern Bar in Sebastopol.

He is the newest member of the Stadler Gibbons Band, admirably filling some mighty big bass player boots. 

Learn to play stringed instruments

Michael Stadler says:

I took up music at the age of six. Instead of the fiddle or guitar I wanted, I was given an accordion. The reason for this, however, was a good one: the best teacher of kids in my home town taught only accordion.  Still, a broken arm at age eight gave me the escape I craved and eventually set free my lifelong affinity for strings.

While I have played professionally for more than forty years, I have also taught for more than thirty such things as:

  • guitar, acoustic and electric (fingerstyle, flatpicked, clawhammer, lead, rhythm, open-tuned, beginning to advanced)
  • mandolin (rhythm & lead in a variety of styles, beginning to advanced)
  • old-time banjo (clawhammer, not Bluegrass Scruggs style & its offshoots, beginning to advanced)
  • fiddle (old-time, Bluegrass, swing, blues, beginning to intermediate)
  • mountain dulcimer (fingerstyle or picked, fingered or using a noter, beginning to advanced)

I've taught private students & classes. Private lessons are in the home, mine or yours; I teach classes in schools and at festivals & music camps. I also offer workshops and group classes in private homes, most often followed by house concerts.

I have taught at the Strawberry Music Festival,  California Coast Music Camp & Fiddle Kids.

A 10 Day Improvement Plan

Fret Hand Exercise - all plucked instruments If you follow the steps outlined in the link below, I'm sure you'll see improvements in your playing of any plucked stringed instrument.

View PDF

Clawhammer Guitar Basics

Adapted from a handout distributed at clawhammer guitar workshops offered by Michael Stadler. 

View Lesson PDF

Contents © 2010-2022  Michael Stadler | Design/Programming Biz-comm.com © 2010-2022| Sitemap |