Music may have saved his life. After surviving cancer at age 16, music became his helpmate in processing the ‘big questions’ that came to him at an early age. At 18, he took his newly found passion for life and music traveling the country in a van with a group of wacky Catholic hippies giving retreats to young people. College found him criss-crossing through Europe with his guitar. His creativity blossomed and matured in very unconventional ways, finding Tiernan hanging with monks deep in desert monasteries and later living in the Vatican as a seminarian in his 20’s on the way to becoming a priest. Yet he left that calling for a higher one - music. Years later, now a seasoned performer and award-winning songwriter - what would a person like this have to say about life? Plenty, especially when magnified through the prism of a song.
Meet Michael Tiernan. Through the experiences of what could be ten lifetimes, Michael is an artist who has plunged into and explored the deep spaces of personal and worldly conflict, the beauty of love and nature, as well as the meaning of suffering and pervasive unhappiness that threatens our human experience on all sides. In his music, he resurfaces from these depths beaming with a positive outlook for all of us.
Throughout Tiernan’s career, he has seamlessly melded elements of folk, reggae, bluegrass, blues, soul, and modern pop rock into his own brand of acoustic guitar-centric music.
Bart Mendoza from the San Diego reader comments, “Tiernan’s rep grows with each release. Crucial to his success is that he’s a great all-around entertainer, from musicianship to between-song banter. All of his albums to date have won or been nominated for music awards around the country, but it’s his live set that’s helped Tiernan become one the area’s most popular singer-songwriters." The San Diego Troubadour notes Tiernan's releases are "relentlessly catchy, slickly produced pop that reflects Michael Tiernan’s ability as a master of hooks - and it has something to say.” Tiernan has received international airplay of many of his releases over the years, as well as several placements of his music in national TV shows.
2020 finds Michael fresh of his March release of his 7th studio album, "Trading Cards For the Faithful", a deeply personal journey into Michael's compelling story.
Michael is also a gifted speaker/presenter and offers keynote concert addresses for companies and associations, bringing inspiration through story and song to audiences of all types.
Michael lives in Northern San Diego County with his wife Tracy and 2 kids, Elizabeth and Jacob.
Some of Michael’s songwriting and performing accomplishments have included:
- 2-time Los Angeles Music Awards winner for Winner for: Male Singer/Songwriter of the Year and Triple-A Album of the Year
- Songwriter of the Year, Pacific Songwriting Competition
- International Acoustic Music Awards Male Artist of the Year Runner-Up
- International Songwriting Competition Finalist
- Great American Song Contest Finalist
- Best of San Diego, San Diego Magazine
- Falcon Ridge Festival Songwriting Finalist
- Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition Finalist