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I discovered, while cleaning a closet recently, this thumb drive containing 5 one-man-band tracks I recorded alone when I was 14 years old.  I used an early-digital-era audio workstation from off the shelf of a Best Buy circa 2003.

Up to this point I had gotten as far as I could appearing as a cute pre-adolescent fiddler busking at tailgate markets.  I would play in exchange for free cinnamon rolls and kale.  Suddenly, I became an awkward teenager overnight, which brought about a first ever realization that I just might need to work out a more sustainable life plan beyond this increasingly less effective routine.  

So, at age 14, I decided the thing I needed to do was retreat into my teenage bedroom to teach myself how to record music.  

Today, incredibly, performing has remained my main career, but I’ll forever and always consider Audio Recording to be the most true-to-myself form of expression, and it was from this moment in my life when this would become really clear to me of the first time.

I was lucky to have a lot of instruments and equipment around the house back in those days.  My dad was (and still is) a recording artist and owned some microphones, a multi track cassette machine, guitars (a 12-string, nylon string and bass guitar, and an Alvarez dreadnaught that my brother Grayson still uses today to play bluegrass gigs). That guitar is a special old Wickel family heriloom.  It even has a gash at the base of the neck from when I was a teething toddler.

My mother, had given us all violins and lessons as young children, and I was able to buy a set of uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) thanks to a grant organized by a dear friend.  There was also a viola lying around, and I purchased various other things like Susato whistles and percussion instruments using change I had made playing gigs around town.

I performed produced, recorded and mixed these tracks alone in my bedroom between the ages of 13-14.  Ive left them exactly as they were created back then, and I mastered them this week.  They are available for the first time ever, 20 years later, on all DSP’s.  

These recordings, and for that matter, my entire music career would not have been possible without the nurturing support of Beanie Odell and John Doyle.

Thank you Lily Henley, Leah Song, and Mariana Rittenhouse for assistance in the final (and first ever) presentation of this project 20 years after its production.  

Thank you also to, Daniele Odell, Marcus Wickel, Vincent Fogarty and to all my mentors and peers who shared their présence in the Irish music scene in and around Asheville in the early 2000s


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