The Power of Two

I’ve been listening to “Fishtails,” a song by the Indigo Girls from their upcoming album “One Lost Day.” When I hear the song, I can’t help but reminisce how I found their music and how it affected my life, both musically and personally.

It all started when I was in 8th grade. At the time, a new educational TV network called “Channel 1” was introduced into every classroom at my middle school. During Earth Week, Channel 1 showcased bands with songs that spoke about resource conservation and whose activism included earth-friendly activities. If I remember it right, it was Tuesday of such week when I first caught a glimpse of the Indigo Girls on our classroom TV screen. They were shown in the talking box for only a few minutes, and they were promoting a song off their album “Nomads, Indians, Saints.” The song was “Hammer and a Nail,” and it’s exposure was just long enough for me to be intrigued by their sound. But it was my BFF Marie who actually looked them up for more information. She – a sonic guru well ahead of her time in our tiny town – bought their self-titled album and let me borrowed it for my own appreciation. And there it all began.

indigo girls

My fandom for the Indigo Girls began to morph to an obsession – the kind that is needed by a teenage girl wrestling with the charged socio-political climate of a tiny Texas town. I loved their songs so much that it’s as if I heard them with fresh ears every single time I listen. I also attended “Live at the Uptown Lounge” as if it was an extra-curricular activity that I really had to be a part of. Shortly after the start of my freshman year in high school, a friend told me that they were gay, and I was both taken aback and secretly relieved by the news. Little did I knew that the discovery would hit close to home as I began my own coming out process in the next few years.

It felt that my situation was easier because I knew two people — whose music I could relate to — shared something similar with my own life. I never expected that in a world that could make you feel so alone, all you need is the power of two to get by. :)

About Me

If I remember it right, my first ever guitar was below the price of two budget meals and had Disney characters on its top. My second axe had bonafide steel strings, but still, the weird finish and a fake knob on its Stratocaster wannabe body hindered my head banging potential. My first “real” guitar didn’t came until I was around eleven. That’s when my folks realized that my Amy Grant obsession indeed deserved an acoustic guitar as an upcoming birthday surprise. That’s when my music journey finally progressed one note at a time.

Wannabe rockstar
Wannabe rockstar

After finishing high school, I went to northern Germany to further my studies. During my stay in Oldenburg, I began to seriously experiment with fingerstyle guitar and its beautiful complexities. When I got back to the US, I started playing in Southwest university and community venues. While a college student at Penn State, I became a regular performer at university events and nearby bars and coffeehouses. After completing my philosophy degree around 2001, I started to concentrate much more of my energy on my music.

Around May 2002, I went to Provincetown, Massachusetts and performed on the streets and in local clubs and bars. My experience in Provincetown have been so awesome that I kept coming back in the next three summers. I had a blast getting steady gigs during those summers, which included a mix of show hosting and as a headlining performer. Soon thereafter, I was finally considered as a feature acoustic folk-rock musician on Lower Cape Cod. I then moved to Richmond, Virginia to pursue a life immersed in Americana music, with a healthy dose of some folk-rock flavor.

I still play anywhere from coffee shops and clubs, to colleges and community centers. But in addition, I now also teach music on the side, particularly acoustic guitar playing.