Upcoming Shows



After soaking up the sounds of Brazil and jammin' with some incredible musicians, this piece was composed as a sort of musical postcard from Rio de Janeiro - The Marvelous City. Filming was done in a villa in the Catete neighborhood of Rio.


A Night with Janis joplin

Michael was a guitarist in Janis's band for the Houston run of this award winning Broadway musical.


"Play a part" live with erica fox

Recorded during a house concert at Studio Sassafras.


Earth Day Fest Highlights

Coming at you live from Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston. Here are some highlights from the festival performance.


Interview and performance on TV show "Is it Art Yet"

Michael appears on this local Houston TV with host Brittaney Wilmore as he performs a few songs and talks about songwriting, his album Shankster Style and how to play harmonica!

press, bio, photos

Houston Press:

Michael was featured in the Houston Press blog Rocks off 200, "a portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community" 

''Shanks's writing enjoys a good pun; his latest ensemble spins a wide orbit of jazz, funk, Latin sounds and folk music around a nucleus of the blues, all with awesome guitar solos." - Chris Gray

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Michael is an intrepid young musician who likes to groove! Cool in the act of musical performance, his vision of music is expanding very fast and I wish him success and luck in the musical universe.
— Jovino Santos Neto, 3-time Grammy nominee

Sessions Music Blog:

"Funk, folk and everything in between…Since the turn of the millennium Michael Anthony “The Shankster” Shanks has been grooving his way through the music business..."

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Michael’s another great reason the Houston music scene rocks!
— Roark Smith, host of "Wide Open Spaces" on KPFT and 3-time Texas Music Awards DJ of the year


Michael Anthony Shanks is an extraordinary guitarist, musician, singer and songwriter hailing from “The Bayou City” of Houston, Texas. And it’s precisely from the sounds of this Gulf Coast Texas city where Michael has forged his unique musical style of bayou folk, funk and blues. His live shows have captured audiences all over the United States and beyond with passionate shredding guitar solos, funky world beat jams and bluesy songwriting that makes you want to dance, laugh and cry all at the same time. Three-time Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto calls Shanks “An intrepid young musician who loves to groove.”

Born in the wildly diverse city of Houston, Shanks grew up listening to music from all over the world. While being raised by his family on the likes of the Doors, CCR and Steve Miller, in high school he and his friends would frequent a plethora of live music events from psychedelic rock festivals to Indian classical concerts to Broadway musicals in Houston’s thriving arts scene.

Hearing such different sounds has led Shanks all around the world always in search of the next enthralling sonic landscape. In 2002 he moved to Austin to hone his skills as a guitarist and songwriter. That’s where Shanks created Ruby’s Jazz Garage, his first project as a bandleader. In 2008 he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he quickly inserted himself into a thriving blues scene. After touring a bit of South America as a solo artist, Shanks flew back to the States and settled in Seattle. There he performed with some amazing musicians such as Jovino Santos Neto and Down North.

In 2011 Shanks returned to Houston to find the city’s music scene growing and has since shared the stage with notable musicians such as Mando Saenz, Stephen Hunley, Caretta Bell and Kacee Clanton. At the House of Blues Houston he has opened for Reverend Peyton’s Big Band and Graceland Ninjaz. Recently Shanks was the guitarist in the hit Broadway show “A Night with Janis Joplin.” He continues to write and perform music throughout the region with numerous artists and a new album is in the works for 2017!


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Buy Michael's 2013 EP Shankster Style. Available at all online stores

Shirts available! Also get a CD copy of Shankster Style.

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Michael Anthony Shanks



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