Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen has been involved in making music and art in one form or another since way back in the 20th century.

He began writing lyrics while still in High School in Los Angeles in the late '60's. After taking up guitar he started writing his own material, but focused more on blues and ragtime finger-picking. He played in a number of Washington State cover bands in the '70's and early '80s. In 1988 Michael formed the band Lip Service to perform his newly written original material. Over the next decade Lip Service played at festivals and coffee houses across the Pacific Northwest. Their music could be heard on radio programs in the greater Seattle area, and they appeared on Sandy Bradley's Potluck, broadcast nationwide on NPR. Lip Service recorded two albums of original music, "Love & Romance Game" and "Like Magic" produced by guitar master, Rick Ruskin, at Lion Dog Studio in Seattle.

In 1994 Michael and fellow Lip Service member Liz Sumner moved to New England and settled in Marlborough, NH. They discovered the area's thriving folk music scene and began performing as Fuzzy Logic. In 2000 they released their first CD “Doing The Best I Can”. The group has expanded and morphed over the years, and now includes vocalists Elizabeth Niekoski and Traci Booth, drummer Steve Bourque, and guitarist/percussionist Michael Niekoski.

More recently Michael has combined his interests in composing and storytelling into writing musicals. “Moon Fever” debuted in September 2003 followed by “The Neon Coconut” (November 2005), a reworked “Moon Fever” (August 2006), the score for Mario Cossa's musical “Sex Tapes For Seniors” (August 2006), and “Amelia Rules!” (December 2007) adapting the popular graphic novel series by Jimmy Gownley. In the works are another original musical “Transference” slated for May 2008 and a musical production of “Gift of the Magi” by San Diego composer Wade Ward, for which Michael wrote the lyrics.

Michael was music director for Branch River Theater's production of Spoon River Anthology (October 2004). In 2005 he also helped found the cabaret performance group “The Neon Coconut Cabaret” and is a member of Small Pond Productions, a community theater production company.

Througout all this Michael has been supporting himself as a free-lance artist. In 1973, after studying art at Cal State Northridge and U.C. Berkeley, he moved to Bellingham, Washington, and began doing scrimshaw for the Alaska Silver and Ivory Company. Since 1976 he has been marketing his scrimshaw independently to Alaska, Hawaii, and New England. In 2002 and 2003 he won awards at the Mystic Scrimshanders Competition. He specializes in nautical scenes, fantasy scenes, and native american portraits.

His other chosen media is colored pencil, and his fantasy art has graced the covers of various magazines as well as the book “Kinsmen of the Grail”. One piece was included in the book “Spectrum 1994 The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art”.

His other art passion has always been comic books, but he wasn't published until 1993 when he and Mark Sherman came out with the retro science fiction series Strange Attractors, which ran for 17 issues. In 1996 Michael started Bardic Press and published 8 issues of the fantasy anthology Mythography, for which he did the covers and an ongoing series Empyrean Tales. He is currently Senior Editor at Renaissance Press, his latest projects being The Forbidden Book, an anthology of stories about magic, and Amelia Rules, a kid's comic created by Jimmy Gownley.

Musically his main influences are Antonio Carlos Jobim, Leonard Bernstein,
Lennon & McCartney and Gilbert & Sullivan.