MARQUETTE - Since he was 7 years old, Michael Hozz has had a dream.
That dream has now come true.
"When I was a kid growing up in Houghton, I would be in my room writing songs and using two cassette players to record them. I dreamed of making a record of my own songs," he said. "I always wanted to make a record where I played every instrument."
The disc: “Turn Around” CDs can be purchased at all eight Snyder Drug Stores in the Upper Peninsula; at Jim’s Music in Marquette; at Good Times Music in Houghton; and at any Hozz or Slave to Gravity gig. They can also be purchased online through CD Baby and iTunes, or ordered through the hozz.com website.
With the release of the CD "Turn Around," that dream has come to life. The disc, which has 10 original songs, was recently released.
First, to alleviate any confusion, about the name: Most people know the singer-guitarist-songwriter as Michael Hauswirth, the name he grew up with and has gone by as he has played through the years in bands like Uncle Ugly, Slave to Gravity and Hozz.
"I always say John Denver would never have made it as John Deutschendorf (his real name)," Hozz said. "It's not that I am not proud of Hauswirth. It's my family name. But Hozz is my nickname and it's easier to remember."
Many songs Hozz has written have been recorded in the past, the most well-known being the radio hit "You're The One" from Uncle Ugly in the 1990s. But this new CD project has been a special effort for him.
"I've written so many songs and recorded them in my (Marquette-area) home studio through the years," he said. "So with this, I took a handful of my songs and took them to the next level of production. Each song was written, produced and mixed here, in my home studio, but then I took them to Jerry Kippola at North Star Studio for mastering."
Mastering, Hozz explained, involves equalizing the sound.
"It optimizes the sound of the recording," he said. "Nowadays, that's something that's necessary to make it something that can be played on the radio."
Hozz said the title song from the CD has already been playing on some local stations in anticipation of a formal CD release party which is going to take place in January.
While he does play guitar, drums and most of bass tracks on the disc - and does all the vocals - there is a special guest artist on the CD.
"Dave Ziegner came in and laid down some tracks on bass, organ and piano," Hozz said. "Dave's an awesome musician and did a great job."
Ziegner is a bandmate in Slave To Gravity, one of three bands Hozz currently plays in. In addition to Ziegner, the rock band Slave includes drummer Dan Stevens. The other two bands are Hozz, which is the namesake and Stevens doing acoustic music; and Uncle Ugly, with brothers Charlie and Wyndham Reager, playing rock and pop.
While Hozz writes songs in many genres, the music on "Turn Around" is rather hard to describe, he said.
"I don't really know if I want to label it, but it's heartfelt music," he said. "It's deeper stuff. But there are some fun songs, too."
Hozz has already started work on next project.
"I am about halfway through another CD. It's 10 acoustical songs and I hope to have it done by summer," he said.
The present CD is dedicated to someone special, Hozz's late mother, Janet Hauswirth of Houghton.
"My mom hands down was my biggest fan," he said. "Whenever I'd get a song done, I would email it her and she'd give me her critique. It always made me feel good when she liked a song, because she was an avid music lover. She was an amazing woman."
"Turn Around" is now on sale at Jim's Music in Marquette; Good Times Music in Houghton; all Snyder Drug stores in the Upper Peninsula; through online sites like CD Baby and ITunes; and at Hozz and Slave to Gravity gigs.
For more information, visit hozz.com.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.