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Interview:
Passenger enjoys juxtaposition of studio and live stage
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Michael Rosenberg, aka Passenger, likes to drive on both sides of the musical highway.

In the studio, and especially on his last two albums -- 2012's "All the Little Lights" and this year's "Whipsers" -- he embraces full-scale production and full-bodies soundscapes, employing a wide array of instrumentation in his arrangements. But he still tours as a solo act with an acoustic guitar, and he has no problem moving from one format to the other.

"The beauty is that all of these songs were written just with an acoustic guitar, so it's not really a matter of breaking them down in (the studio). It's more matter of building them up," Rosenberg, 30, explains. "When I play them live it's very obvious how they need to be played; it's usually how they were written.

"I really like the juxtaposition, and I like that the show is muchmore intimate. It's vulnerable. It's honest. It's very direct. It's very different to the record, but I really like it."

Rosenberg's fans seem to be following suit, snatching up concert tickets and his music with equal enthusiasm. "Whispers" even debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard folk albums chart, which Rosenberg feels is as appropriate a designation for his music as anything else.

"It's funny, mate; I never had any expectations," he says. "I was independent for so long and kind of on the cusp of things for so long, I never thought I'd have commerciall success. So it's come as such a shock -- such a wonderful, wonderful shock.

"Now it just feels liek the pressure is off. I feel like I've achieved more than I ever thought I would. Now all that's left to do is make music that I love and am really proud of, real and honest and not try to pull the wool over people's eyes. It's a great place to be in."

Passenger, Stu Larsen and The Once

Sunday, Aug. 17. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave.

Tickets are $35 and $25

Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com

Web Site: www.livenation.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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