Michel Lelong’s musical bio

Michel Lelong et John Jackson Exeter

Michel Lelong with John Jackson Exeter – GB 2001

Michel Lelong, born in 1961 in Tours (France), started practising guitar at the age of 13, influenced by his older brothers; all are fond of American traditional music. First, with the help of his older brother Jean-Marc, a self taught, talented, guitar player, Michel learned different by ear country blues in the styles of Mississippi John Hurt, John Jackson, Big Bill Broonzy, Gary Davis, to Doc Watson… After these great blues and ragtime influences, Michel learned “note-by-note” by ear the traditional “Kentucky style”, often called “Travis style”. At 17, he started to teach guitar and, after having recorded his first LP in 1983, he was noticed by the American guitar player/musicologist/music publisher Stefan Grossman (one of the most renowned acoustic blues guitar pioneer teachers in the world).

In the 1980/90’s, Michel released four tuition books with audiotapes on three legends of Country Guitar; Merle Travis, Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins. These books were published by
The Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop
, USA during the 80-90’s.

He recorded his first C.D. in 1996 with some of the best French blues and bluegrass musicians.  The same year, Michel made his first tuition video on the country/blues styles for a French music.  He followed this up in 1997 with a tuition video on Celtic guitar techniques.   In 1999, Michel produced a country blues guitar method (a book of 75 pages with CD showing ninety-nine examples and blues studies). A large range of country blues techniques are explained in detail. The music magazine critics consider this “pedagogic” book a “bible”.

Michel’s very busy schedule includes performing at many of the music festivals throughout France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, England, Belgium and Holland performing alongside the likes of Michael Roach, John Jackson, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, Louisiana Red, John Miller, Michael Messer, Jerry Ricks, Paul Geremia, Bob Hall, and many other European artists; while also finding time to teach guitar, organise guitar workshops, and writes guitar methods.

Michel is an established solo artist playing many styles that require his skills on the guitar, banjo and fiddle.  His versatility also leads him to participating with and being invited to play alongside many other artists of all levels.  He is truly a guitarist’s guitarist.


Michel Lelong Publications (Non-exhaustive list)

  • 1982 – Vinyl LP – “Guitar Instrumental” – with tablatures – production at the author.
  • 1988 – The Guitar Of Merle Travis – transcriptions booklet with six audio cassettes – Editions to Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (USA).
  • 1989 – The Guitar Of Chet Atkins – transcriptions booklet with six audio tapes – Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (USA)
  • 1990 – The Guitar Of Jerry Reed- transcriptions boolket with three audio tapes – Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (USA)
  • 1992 – Guitar Rag – transcription booklet with three audio cassettes – “The Music Of Merle Travis Vol II” –  Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (USA).
  • 1996 – CD album “Black & White” booklet with tablature – Publisher : Mailody association.
  • 1996 – Instructional Video with tablatures booklet – “Plans & Techniques Guitar Country” – Play-Publishing music – Paris
  • 1998 – Instructional Video with tablatures booklet – “Plans & Techniques Celtic Guitar” – Play-Publishing music – Paris
  • 1999 – Method ‘The Acoustic Blues “(150 pages book with CD:  99 of life examples and exercises) – Play-Publishing music – Paris
  • 2007 – CD album “Home Cookin ‘” – production-distribution Z Association mailody production – recorded in duet with bassist Anicet Debien.


In addition to his more than 30 years of teaching music in his guitar workshop in Tours (France), Michel Lelong taught for several music workshops in France and abroad (England, Holland, USA …)

From 2001 to 2003 – BLUES WEEK “organized by the European Blues Association in unniversité Exeter (England), Michel Lelong taught in company of John Jackson, John Cephas & Phil Wiggins, Jerry Ricks, Sam Mitchell, John Miller, Bob Hall, Danna Gillespie, Johnny March …

  • 2003 – exhibition of blues and folk musicians portraits made by Michel’s oldest brother Jean-Marc, a famous artist in France. This exibition called “Blues & Co” is a lecture by Michel on the history of North American music “instruments in his hands.” This exhibition has been realised in many french blues folk festivals.
  • 2011 – The famous American harmonica player Phil Wiggins invited Michel Lelong at Augusta Blues Week in Elkins (West Virginia) USA.