My Dad gave me my guitar for Christmas when I was 16 years old, along with the Simon & Garfunkel Music Collection complete with chords. I started playing immediately, practising my chords over and over again until my fingers would be throbbing in pain. I loved it. I always loved singing, sang in choirs and school musicals, and my guitar was my way into deepening my expression. I started writing songs shortly after, and songwriting, singing and playing my guitar became a fundamental part of who I am. My guitar came everywhere with me through my 20s. In my last year of university, I decided to give away all of my possessions, except for my guitar. After university, I hitchhiked across Canada with my guitar in hand. I performed in bars and open stages across the country, not with any ambition to become famous, but because it truly was my favourite thing in the world to do. When I sing, I feel alive.
But life gets busy and practical priorities sometimes overshadow passion. By my late-20s, my wife and I were planning the next phase of our life, of becoming moms. And my 30s was consumed with motherhood – making children (which we learned was not easy for us…), creating our family (non-traditional, solidifying our relationship with the fathers of our children), trying to figure out to balance motherhood and work ambition and exercise and finding time for self-care. And in the midst of this, my passion for singing fell off my radar. I was too tired and completely consumed with family life.
I realized, on the night of my 39th birthday, that I needed to start a band. I felt intense, realizing that this was my last year of this decade, and I reflected on what my 40s decade would look like. I realized that I had done so much in my life so far, I have two beautiful, amazing boys and a loving family, and my job is fulfilling. My 30s has been full and wonderful, but music is missing. And I realized that I had never been in a band, and I wanted to play music with others. When I sing, I feel alive. When I harmonize, I feel like I’m in heaven.
There is research showing that major life changes happen at the ‘end of decade’ years – 29/39/49 etc. Starting a band is certainly not as extreme as the examples in the article, of having an affair or attempting suicide. But I believe my band represents the idea that this is a 12-month transition to a new life stage. I am transitioning to my 40s, where life will be a little bit lighter and more full with song.
We’ve called ourselves ‘Folked Up’, because with a guitar, flute and ukulele, we’re really folky. We play a mix of folk songs and other tunes, with the aim to ‘folkify’ pop/rock songs. Here’s a few clips from our first performance for your enjoyment!
p.s. I imagine my band to be ‘kitchen-sink’ style – the more, the merrier, lots of jamming in the kitchen. I am inspired by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I would like lots more instruments and voice. I am practicing harmonic and tambourine to add more instrumental diversity. So…if you are interested in jamming, let me know – the more, the merrier!