Songwriter of the Month: Michael Boehnlein

By Jean Metcalfe

With his Alvarez guitar stashed in his Nissan pickup, Mike Boehnlein climbs behind the wheel and heads for the Kennedy Bridge.

It's a Monday night and, as LASC's Membership Committee chair, Mike will be in charge of the meeting. He takes his responsibilities — and his songwriting — seriously. And it shows.

Mike Boehnlein. Photo by Jean Metcalfe

On this particular evening, several members have brought an original song for critique. Although the evening has been set aside for songwriting tips, Mike allows time at the end of the planned program for each of the songs to be heard and discussed.

At meeting's end, Mike takes his turn with the five or so other guitar-playing songwriters who participate in the guitar pull. He plays an original number written by his 20-year-old son Kevin with a little help from Dad. It is a very good song, and the other songwriters pay it compliments. On his next turn Mike introduces "Mona Lisa," and the obvious enjoyment of the song by his peers brings a shy, proud smile to his kindly face.

Mike Boehnlein is a quiet, conscientious man. When the urgent need for new Board members became apparent earlier this year, he somewhat reluctantly agreed to serve. Naturally, he was welcomed by the Board, which tapped him for the Membership Committee.

Born in Nashville, Tenn., his family moved to Louisville while Mike was a child. He now lives in Jeffersonville, Ind., with his wife Donna and their twins Kevin and Kerry. They also have a married daughter, Christy, who is 22.

According to Donna Boehnlein, her husband at one time thought he would like to play in a band, but changed his mind and decided his participation in the music business would be as a songwriter. Since he doesn't yet have that No. 1 hit, Mike works for a printing company to support his songwriting.

On the wall of the Boehnlein family room hangs Mike's first guitar — a Kay — which his mother purchased for him with S&H green stamps.