How do you really tell the story of how someone came to music? For me, I think this story is not that dissimilar to the one a lot of musicians would tell, but it’s unique to me, and that’s enough.
For as long as I can remember music has been there for me. Maybe not always good music - TLC and Shania Twain albums that for some reason my dad loved - or the dusty Eagles records in the attic. Since I can remember I was THAT kid singing obnoxiously to the songs on my Walkman or the radio.
My grandfather is one of the most talented musicians I know. He bought me a drum set when I was 12. I beat on that thing until the heads went dead.
Eventually I turned to teaching myself how to play the piano and the guitar.
And now comes the horribly cliche yet unflinchingly true line that everyone in music says, "music has saved my life." More times than I can count.
I was never a lonely kid. But sometimes I was alone. And in those times I started sketching out songs in my basement. They were terrible songs about things I thought I'd experienced, like heartbreak and losing friends.
But eventually I experienced heartbreak. I lost friends. And music was the thing that got me through those times.
When I decided to start writing songs for the Cattaraugus Creek project (yes I thought it would probably be one solo album and done), I'd graduated from college and moved back into my parent's house. A band that I loved being a part of came to an end. I drank in just about every shitty bar I could find.
And then the songs came. And I couldn't just put them away. I'd been spending time with friends who were in the studio working on new music, and I decided I had to make my first album.
I'm in marketing, so I know that this isn't what you are supposed to do on a page like this. But as I write this the world is in flux with the coronavirus pandemic, and frankly I've had enough sugar-coated, insincere bull shit to last a lifetime.
All the rambling above is to say this -- I am beyond blessed to be able to make music and to make music with friends. Music that matters to me. And I hope matters to others.
I like to say that I'm from the kind of place that the rest of the world forgets exists a lot of the time. Every word I've ever put in a song, every chord I've ever written are for the people like me. I've had a love/hate relationship with growing up in rural WNY my entire life. But one thing that has become abundantly clear in my journey in music is this: The people I grew up around fought for everything they had. And I will always make my music for them.
And that's the real story.
Cattaraugus Creek are currently writing their second album, now as a full band. The band hopes to release that album in 2021.