A Story Through Music
I love music. I always have. For as far back as I can remember, all the way back to Austin, TX, where I was born, where my mama used to rock me to sleep to Stevie Wonder. It wasn’t so much that she wanted to expose me to that kind of music as it was the only thing that worked. Music soothed me to sleep. That was my first encounter with the healing effects of music.
In preschool I used to make up songs at the playground, swinging on the swings, or riding around in the back seat of my parents’ car, or improvising on a little toy piano that my parents got me for Christmas one year. It felt right. It comforted me. It’s how I best related to the world.
We moved to Boulder, CO when I was five. I took piano lessons for a while. I remember getting an electric Casio piano. I loved all the various sounds it created. I’d sit around and improvise for hours. It also had prerecorded music by various Classical composers. I loved those songs and would sing them all the time. I took choir in elementary and middle school, which exposed me to new songs and allowed me to explore my voice.
I was always musical, but when my father was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was thirteen, I started reaching for an outlet to express what I was feeling and experiencing. That’s when I took up the guitar and started writing songs. My father died six months later. Writing music got me through a difficult time in my life. Music truly is healing. It soothed me when I needed soothing. It picked me up when I was down. And in sharing it with others I found it offered them the same healing effects. It connected me to other people. I had found my purpose in life.
I studied music in our high school jazz band. I made a lot of new like-minded friends and formed my first band, Uncle Dave. We’d rehearse in the space above our bassist’s parents’ garage. We’d write songs and record our rehearsals. We played some shows, most notable the Boulder Creek Festival and the Battle of The Bands held at The Boulder Bandshell. It was a great learning experience and some great friendships were born.
After Highschool, I kept writing music and started performing at the open mic at a little cafe in Boulder called Penny Lane. There I honed my singer-songwriter and performance chops and made a bunch of great friendships with other musicians including Gregory Alan Isakov. Another musician friend I met there was Ramaya Soskin. He used to record my live shows, and the first album I released was a collection of those performances, called Live @ Penny Lane. It’s a singer-songwriter, ballad-heavy album, with a lot of emotional, heartfelt material. Much of it about love and loss. Though there are a good collection of songs on this album, I was unable to include all the songs I had written up to that point. Recording in a studio was costly and a live album was the best way for me to get my recorded material out to the world.