I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.
Hello friends. We are from the prairies of southern Alberta where it is sparse and dry, kind of like us. We don’t know what we’re doing or what we want, but we think we will continue. Join us as we try not to suck, but also don’t worry too much about being great. We’re just trying to be ok.
The different settings for my latest album, Desert Cities – Part One, span from Denver to Seoul. Track three, Brooklyn, is a love song for the gritty and enigmatic Bushwick neighborhood and track four, Coming Home, rides the metro north to Midtown where home is not a place but a person (and a lovely oasis at that). Track two, Lost in Seoul, reflects on the foreign shores of South Korea, “the crowded streets, the angry East Sea, don’t mind if I belong here for a while.”
Only track one, Hold out Thirst, mentions a dry, barren, lifeless, sandy desert. Its brief and stark first refrain, “I went to the desert and held out my thirst,” captured something much bigger in me when I first listened back to the completed album. The desert, in this case, is where one goes to reflect deeply, to test themselves against the elements, physically and emotionally and to experience thirst as a fundamental sensation of life, to feel acutely alive. The remainder of the album (part two included, TBR Fall 2019) is born of this same desire.
I first found Naomi Ruth when I was 14. I’d built up the courage to take what my grandmother had taught me about guitar chords and fuse it with the inspiration of pop-divas and bluesy women, blended together with the help of my teenage brain to produce an emotive mess. Out of it all emerged a sound that was bluesy but somehow country, angsty but emotional, and despite the lo-fi quality and cringey lyrics, I somehow liked it a lot.
Music is a reflection of experiences – your own experiences, the things you see, the things you hear, the things you do, the things that happen to you, the things that happen to the people you are connected to. To me, making music has become a way of taking what is so deep inside and/or what is so out of of grasp outside and turning it into something that does its best to conceptualize what is impossible for me to understand at the time. And then, hopefully, people can connect with the emotion and relate to it.
What to write about? I am a singer-songwriter. I play solo, with an acoustic trio or a five-piece electric band called The Key Collective. My compositions cover everything from political, thought-provoking folk (the Bob Dylan’s of the 2000s) to what has been coined “LA Grunge,” an electric alternative sound. In the last few years, I have been working at getting “back to the garden,” to creativity. I am a writer, an artist, and musician; my Expressive Therapy side.
I talk to so many people who feel that they are powerless; that their actions do not impact society. While I can understand their feelings, I know that this is not true. I have seen so many instances of how small actions can have a major impact. As I pondered this, a series of songs emerged that offer a sense of hope and power. These songs became the CD Light One Candle.
I’m on a break from my usual hip hop producing/rapping, and I’ve recently dug up my Folk/Bluegrass roots. When I am not recording music on my tape recorder, I build the first composite houses made from 100% recycled plastic in my hometown of Clare, Nova Scotia.
“Waiting For” was written alongside producer/writer Abraham Hovey. I had been wanting to release a single for a while, and let something sit on its own… this finally felt like the track that could do just that.