Michael is starring in...

the hit broadway musical is here in houston

See Michael on guitar and vocals!

Tickets on sale now

click here to buy


Upcoming Shows


A Night With Janis Joplin @ the Alley Theatre (615 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX)

Shows are every night of the week except Monday and there will be matinee shows (2:30pm) each Saturday and Sunday


Michael's other upcoming shows:


Voodoo Child @ Earth Day Fest 2015

Michael and his band live from Discovery Green in Houston, TX



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.


creature of the night - official video

Part funk song, part cautionary tale about one conniving member of the opposite sex.


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!

News, press clippings, bio

Houston Press:

Michael was featured in the 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...'' - 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

Funk, folk and everything in between...

Michael Anthony Shanks is a Texas musician on an international express. His songs, while deeply rooted in jazz and blues, tend to wander into more exotic territories with improvisations conjuring up the sounds of South America or the Far East. Three-time Grammy nominee and Brazilian jazz legend Jovino Santos Neto calls Michael “an intrepid young musician who loves to groove!”

Michael’s 2013 record Shankster Style, is a celebration of styles and soundscapes all unified around Shanks’s chosen instrument. Whether acoustic or electric, ‘’the guitar is very powerful and at every corner it seduces you, manipulates you…’’ (Scatter Records). Recorded with Paul Cox (Macey Gray, Stanley Clarke) at 226 Recordings right in the iconic neighborhood of the Houston Heights, Shankster Style explores such diverse genres as Latin jazz and storytelling folk tunes. The success of the album has led Michael to perform several regional tours throughout Texas and beyond as well as land opening gigs for Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Graceland Ninjaz at the House of Blues.

The inspiration behind Michael’s unique musical style lies within his world travels. From the dingy tango bars of Buenos Aires to the gaudy hipster hideouts of Seattle, Michael has met and worked with people from all walks of life. His songwriting reflects the characters, landscapes and melodies that he has encountered while out on the trail. His forte is melding all these distinct experiences together to create something soulful and fresh to the ears. 

Born in Houston and raised on Beethoven and CCR, he moved to Austin in 2002 to pursue a degree in ethnomusicology, the study of world music, at the University of Texas. In Austin, Michael was the founder and chief songwriter of Ruby’s Jazz Garage, a trio that opened for blues legend Pinetop Perkins at the 311 Club. In 2008 he left Austin to perform with the Mr. Jones Blues Band in Argentina. After his stint with Mr. Jones, Michael stayed there for several years touring the country with Latin pop bands and enjoying Argentine barbecue .

Since 2010, he’s been back in the States and his writing and performing have taken off considerably. In 2012, Michael headlined the Katy Guitar Fest and his original music was featured in Brain: the Musical, which had a three night run in the Houston Fringe Festival. In 2013 Shankster Style landed him a spot on the Houston television show Is it Art Yet. And 2013-14 he completed the first Trippin’ Texas Tour playing a dozen cities across the state. He has also been a sideman for many renowned artists such as Down NorthMando Saenz and Jovino Santos Neto. In 2015 Michael performed at two huge local festivals, Earth Day Houston and Waterway Arts Festival. Also in 2015 Michael ventured off to Brazil to record with Caetano Veloso’s guitarist Luiz Brasil.

Michael continues to tour throughout the region and traverse the intersection of many different sounds, genres and cultures through his music that he calls “funk, folk and everything in between.”



2013 album Shankster Style

"If your going to listen to this album, be forewarned! The guitar is very powerful and at every corner it seduces you, manipulates you..." - Adrian Quevedo, Scatter Records


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

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Michael Anthony Shanks



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Facebook - /ShanksterMusic
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