Petrolia’s crooner kicks it up a notch


Call it crooning with a kick.

Petrolia singer and actor Michael Vanhevel released his newest album On The Rocks in Grand Bend recently with an on-the-beach concert.

Vanhevel, who is known for singing the standards from classic artist such as Frank Sinatra, is taking on some of the more upbeat music from the crooners of that era.

“My last album – Intimate – was very easy listening; this one has a bit more of an edge to it,” he tells The Independent. “It is towing the line between the crooner sound to the rock and roll on the 1950s sides.”

He says while his first album was well received, his listeners were :missing some of the faster stuff like Bobby Darien and Mack the Knife…which have a more aggressive sound.”

Vanhevel sings those tunes at concerts but didn’t include them in the last album. “This album, I wanted to try some more of that.

“it’s still keeping in that crooner style…it’s not like it is putting on a different act.

“As an artist, you’re always experimenting a little bit…and this is nothing you wouldn’t see me perform at a gig…This is me saying ‘this is part of my sound now that I’m embracing. This is my tribute to this kind of music.”

And the experiment seems to be well received. The beachfront concert in his hometown was packed and a number of people told him “how bold it was” to release the album with a different feel.

“You have to take risks; you have to be trying new things. As much as I’ve gained my recognition as being a crooner, then saying I want to try this I want to try that…if you enjoy someone’s voice…they can try different things and take different risks. Frank (Sinatra) did a lot of weird things… As long as you have a performer you can relate to and is singing the music with a true heart and it means something to it they can latch onto it.”

On The Rocks will be available during Vanhevel’s performances at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia of Outlaw, starting in August and his September Show The Fiddler and The Crooner with Jesse Grandmont.


  1. Hi Michael saw your show on Saturday I am in love with Jesse and you for sure. What a show. The fiddler and the Crooner should be on Broadway. 4 girls from Windsor have been following Mark and David first in Imperial Theather in Sarnia and now in Petrolia knowing it is going to be first class performance and it was better than that. Congratulation hope to see you again Libby Rennie

Comments are closed.