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RealTracks Artist Bio: Michael Thompson

Top studio guitarist Michael Thompson's early career had some stops and starts, literally, working as a cab driver between tours with Joe Cocker and Cher, before gaining a foothold in the Los Angeles recording, TV, and movie industry with a 4-year house gig on the hit series Fame. During those early struggling days he gained a reputation as "the demo king," recording as many as a dozen demo sessions a week. He also started getting called back for the master sessions. Since then, Michael has been on a limo ride with producers like David Foster, Babyface, and Quincy Jones calling on him for sessions with many of the top Rock, Pop, R&B, Country, and Latin artists of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Throughout Junior High and High School in his hometown of Port Washington, New York, Michael played guitar in a band called Stonefeather with his brother Todd. Immediately after graduating from high school he enrolled in The Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Pat Metheny before leaving to tour and record. In 2001, Berklee recognized his career achievements with its Distinguished Alumni award, noting that "he is widely regarded as being among the elite studio session players, and his amazing list of credits includes such prominent names as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, 'N Sync, Toni Braxton, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, Joe Sample, the Scorpions, Vince Neil, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, Bette Midler, Madonna, Babyface, En Vogue, Gloria Estefan, Stanley Clarke, and Ricky Martin." Today, that list could be updated to add Michael Bublé, Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Boyz II Men, Patti Labelle, The Eagles, Alanis Morrisette, Josh Groban, LeAnn Rimes, Backstreet Boys, Reba McEntire, Michael McDonald, and many more... even The Simpsons!

Michael has also released albums with his own Michael Thompson Band (MTB), charting a Billboard hit single with "Can't Miss," and with TRW, his recent collaboration with Mark Williamson and John Robinson. He has also released two solo albums, "The World According to M.T." and "M.T. Speaks."

Over the years, Michael has earned a reputation for producing whatever guitar sound might be called for, whether it's any of the myriad Fender and Gibson electric sounds, baritone guitar, electric sitar, a Rickenbacker 12-string, steel-string or nylon-string acoustics. In the recording industry, he is said to have "the platinum touch." His list of credits at also includes many movie and TV soundtracks.

Visit Michael Thompson's web site at or his Myspace page at You'll also find some great videos on YouTube, including lessons and tips.

Michael Thompson plays these RealTracks:

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