I am a songwriter from St. Cloud, Minnesota. I have released two full length folk-rock albums, opening for bands including Dawes and Shovels and Rope. In addition, I have released a highly reviewed family album that NPR called "an ode to books and stories, and to the families who nurture them." I play everything from solo acoustic sets to festivals with my band while also performing family concerts in libraries and parks.
For the past 10 years, I have performed original indie folk music around Minnesota and the U.S. I have made two albums with an acoustic trio, 3 full length albums as a solo artist, and have played hundreds of shows. My style was somewhat original in it’s lyrical content and melody, but fit snugly into the genre of acoustic indie folk music. I strummed steel string acoustic guitar songs in the style of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Then, in January of 2013, I began relearning nylon string classical guitar. I had studied it in high school with a member of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, but stopped my studies when I graduated in 2007. Over the past 2 years, I have rededicated myself to studying of classical guitar in private lessons and practice. While rehearsing pieces by Tarrega, Albeniz, and Bach, I have been composing my own instrumental fingerstyle songs inspired by the voicing, form, and technique learned. I dedicated myself to writing one song a week.
Now, I strive to compose and perform unique indie folk that builds off refined finger style guitar technique and surprising instrumental arrangements. Instead of playing with the standard folk rock ensemble, I have reached out to woodwinds, synthesizers, drum machines, and auxiliary percussion arrangements. There is a strong presence of Baroque Folk music in the last decade with artists like Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens, and Joanna Newsom. I see it’s popularity growing, and more artists combining classical and folk elements. While I see and am inspired by their experimentations in arrangement and form, I do not see any popular indie folk musician who builds off of classical guitar composition and technique. I have developed what I believe to be a unique voice. In addition to blending classical guitar and indie folk, my lyrics focus on free verse poetics and take on my surrounding central Minnesotan environment for subject matter. As the ninth of ten children, many of my songs are about family relationships as well as a sense of place. I try to illustrate the many beautiful natural landscapes of MN.
In the fall of 2014 I recorded an album of 11 songs with all the characteristics described above. I worked with Homer Steinweiss, a drummer and producer who has worked with the likes of Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, Amy Winehouse, and St. Vincent. In Minnesota and at his studio in Brooklyn, we experimented with different instruments and musicians including a talented horn player named Leon Michels. During this fall’s recording process, certain drum machines, horns, and synthesizers we used inspired me. I want to continue exploring these elements in my compositions. After the album’s release in April, I aim to play shows around the state and country in support of the songs. In the meantime, I have continued lessons developing my classical guitar technique and writing songs in my evolving style. I intend to record a new album by the end of 2015, and gain a larger local and national audience.