People often ask me how long I’ve been “doing this,” and I never know how to answer them.
The short answer? Pretty much always. I really don’t know what else to do with myself.
I’ve been around music my whole life. My dad played guitar and shared a lot of great artists with me, including: Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, The Allman Brothers Band, Fleetwood Mac, and Heart. I’ve been singing in front of people since I was about six and I learned to play piano around the age of eleven. I taught myself guitar at fifteen, which is when I started writing songs, though most of those were about Harry Potter at the time. (Please ask me about my wizard rock accolades.)
I placed third in the Bushman World Ukulele Contest a few years ago, which led to me learning “War Pigs” on ukulele, to which my brother said, “You can’t DO that!” So I went on to develop my own renditions of grunge rock and heavy metal songs because ukuleles are supposed to make people happy, right?
I have written many songs over the years, and even recorded some DIY albums. I just finished recording my first proper album, which will be released this fall and followed by a small Midwest tour. I’ve been a full-time musician for a year and almost every weekend I can be found in a Michigan brewery, singing my folk-rock songs and some covers, like “Mercedes-Benz” by Janis Joplin; a tribute to my father.
I have always loved playing acoustic guitar but I fell in love with bass when I started performing with Talk Radio. My intention was to be a singer/rhythm guitarist, nothing more, but there is just something about that feeling in my chest where bass tones hit me, and the energy in good ole rock ‘n’ roll.
I am often a hired gun, and have collaborated with some of my favorite local artists. I regularly accompany my dear friend, Sandra Effert, as a backup vocalist, bassist, and guitarist. I’m also starting a new band with El Brandino and Conrad Shock. Every other week, I have a radio show on WYCE, which introduces me to so much new music, especially from the vibrant local music scene in Grand Rapids.
I am very grateful for the things I’ve been able to do so far and, while I have no idea where I’m going to end up, I know I’ll be writing songs about it along the way.