Canadian singer/songwriter Michael Rule survived eight surgeries and a twister
With his ruggedly handsome looks – a cross between the boyish appeal of Kevin Bacon and the rebellious persona of James Dean – and high-maintenance music video, Michael Rule (http://www.michaelrule.net) could easily be mistaken for a major-label artist. His new single, “For Loving You,” certainly has the radio-friendliness of a Nashville hit, his deep, brooding voice detailing the real price of love with palpable angst. But the reality is that Rule is doing it all by himself; Nashville A&R representatives haven’t flown to see him in his native Canada yet.
However, that soon might change. “For Loving You” is currently getting picked up by commercial country stations in Canada, and Rule has just hired the Los Angeles-based radio promotions firm Wavelength (http://www.wavelengthradiopromotion.com) to track the song on the Americana Music Association and Roots Music Report charts in the U.S.
Rule is a man of ambition, but he’s also a survivor, too. Three days after he was born, he was diagnosed with a dysfunctional heart; he’s had eight major operations then, including open-heart surgery. He’s also had to deal with epilepsy. Such experiences can either weaken a person or empower them; in Rule’s case, it’s the latter. In 2007, after a twister destroyed his car and the trailer it pulled with all of his belongings, he was only left with his guitar. You know music is your destiny when even Mother Nature tells you so.
Rule has been a country-music buff since he was a kid. “I grew up with Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Elvis Presley,” Rule revealed. But his biggest inspiration was closer to home. “My biggest influence was my dad, who sang and played guitar. When I was growing up, music was always in my life, and it became my passion. It was my dad that always said I can do anything.”
Rule’s independent spirit is at the core of his latest album, Just Me Talking. The music is true to Rule’s tough-guy roots, the two-fisted storytelling of Cash and Waylon Jennings; however, they’re polished with a contemporary sheen, too, combining the grit of alt-country with the mainstream accessibility of the Nashville sound. Rule is hoping that stateside success will open doors for other Canadian country acts. “There is some amazing talent up here,” he said.