In My Own Words

I'm not convinced that this personal biography is needed, but I have been convinced by "those who know best" that to really appreciate my music it could be helpful to know a bit about me. My story is really both quite simple and complicated. To truly understand me as a person and as a musician, it helps to understand the impact a personal tragedy has had on my life. Three weeks into my freshman year of high school, I lost the love of my life. It sounds a bit cliché, but it is the simplest truest way to say it. She was my special someone. She was there for me and with me from the day I was born. She was funny, beautiful and smart . . . a light that really shined in this world. Kimmy was not just like my older sister . . . she was also like my mother, my aunt and my best friend all rolled into one person.

I could go on for a long time talking about all that we did together and how much of a part she played in my musical world, but I will try to summarize. I actually played viola and electric guitar first (funny combination I know). Kimmy opened my world up to so many different kinds of music, and music was so much a part of our lives together. She also handed my first acoustic guitar and took me to my first concert—Dave Matthews—of course.

I think about the moment every day when my family told me that the love of my life was gone forever . . . died in her sleep and only in her twenties. She was just beginning to live a real grown up life. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to grow as a person and as a musician, but much of this growth has been interwoven with coping with tragedy and loss.

It is tragically ironic that music is what saved me and the music just seems to continue to pour out of me. The devastation in exchange for inspiration is like a joke that the universe thinks is funny. When I was 10, my family used to joke that I had a perfect life and that my soul wasn't tortured enough for me to become a true musician. I still have difficulty talking about her death, but when I sit down with my guitar and write, play and sing about life, love, loss, happiness and sadness, I get the same feeling as most do after a good cry. I also feel that even if others don't know exactly what one of my songs mean, they find their own meaning.

My first love is the guitar – acoustic, classical, steel resonator, electric – along with the mandolin and ukulele, but I play several other instruments including the piano, viola, violin, and ukulele. I love to perform my own music as a singer/songwriter as well as perform the music of other artists. I have performed in many concerts, including for academic shows, festivals and charities.

The bottom line for me is that I am on a journey, and music is at the center of everything I do. I'm not sure where this journey will take me, but so far it's been quite an adventure.