I was born in Austin, MN (you know, where SPAM is made) and moved to the small town of Buena Vista, CO. I first started playing guitar when I was about 11 or 12 years old when my brother Greg and I both chipped in $5 to buy a $10 acoustic guitar from a guy named Herbie. We didn’t know where to start so we picked up a guitar magazine and learned how to play a song by Metallica. Although I was not a fan of heavy metal, that was what I originally learned to play, on acoustic guitar of course. Shortly after, I learned how to play some chords and songs like Johnny B. Goode and various Def Leppard hits.
I could never afford lessons so everything I learned was on my own, learning other people’s songs, making up my own stuff, etc. I became very interested in why music sounds good and why different notes and chords seem to work together. This got me very interested in music theory. I started to figure out the patterns that exist in most music, and started to put names to my discoveries like “Trace’s 7 chord theory”, etc. (later in college I took a basic music theory class and found that all of my discoveries already existed and had big important sounding names). The more music theory I learned, the more I started writing my own songs, trying to incorporate my new discoveries into my music.
I met Jonah Werner (now a rising acoustic folk songwriter star) in high school and started playing with him at the (only) local coffee shop in Buena Vista - mostly Jackopierce and other various folky songs. I then hooked up with Tim from Newcomers Home and started playing old Dylan and Cat Stevens tunes. We all attended CU in Boulder, CO and still continue to play together from time to time. Meanwhile, my style of playing started gaining influence from a variety of musicians such as David Wilcox, Ani Difranco, and Phil Keaggy. I stopped using a pick when I realized I could play more complex music using all five of my fingers. My musical style continues to change as I experiment with different ideas and explore new territories.
It’s been such a great journey from the time when I first played that old acoustic guitar (thanks Herbie). I truly enjoy the guitar and look forward to the times throughout the day when I can pull it out and try out some new stuff. I have so much fun whenever I play and consider it a blessing to get to share my music with other people. I hope you enjoy!