Michael Gray conceived the idea of The River City Sessions as a result of being invited to do a reading
at The Chattanooga Writer’s Guild Christmas Party. After beginning he realized that four of eight pages were missing from his manuscript and began telling the story instead. Afterwards, several people commented that he should tell his stories, they had an “at home feel” as spoken word. When he began to look for an outlet he found there were very few places a beginning story teller could perform. Further investigation showed that this was the case in many of the arts; music, literature, poetry, etc. A quick call to The Camp House resulted in a partnership to kick start The River City Sessions. The format of placing emerging artists with more widely known faces, on stage in one show, has proven highly successful.
Author of the book, Life; Through a Child’s Eyes, his short stories/essays have appeared in Trout Unlimited, Land of Waterfalls, Chattanooga Parent and The Chattanooga Times Free Press. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Times Free Press and as web features for The Wilderness Society, Tennessee Wild and The Pew Charitable Trust. He wrote for The Morristown Gazette as a youth sports reporter and pinned the column Life Through The Eyes of the Soul for the Web Site, Religion and Spirituality. At Wildacres, Little Switzerland, NC in September of 2013, he was privileged to perform several stories from the upcoming series The Promised Land at the foot of Mount Mitchell surrounded by The Pisgah National Forest, the source of their inspiration.
Spoken Word Performer author, musician, and humorist, Mike first performed as a spoken word artist in1984, presenting an original piece at The Knoxville Barbeque Contest and a year later by invitation at Memphis in May. After a long absence from the stage, he began performing again in 2010 and since then he has appeared at The Camp House, Wide Open Floor, The Chattanooga Writer’s Guild, The Mountain Festival, Audubon Acres, The Little Owl
Festival (MC and performer), Ketner’s Mill Fair (MC and performer) and on the air with WUTC. As producer, director and performer he developed the concept for The River City Sessions a collaboration of spoken word and traditional music, a once a month live show that is recorded and broadcast over WUTC the fourth Sunday of each month.