The Tale Of BCF
It all began in a small 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California
Actually, it really began in Cedar Falls, IA, where I was born. I spent the first 23 years of my life in Cedar Falls. I did my best to steer clear of the typical Iowan stereotypes. (For example, I have no idea how to tip a cow, much less milk one). I started teaching myself to play piano when I was 7. I'd figure out how to play themes to my favorite Godzilla movies, Nintendo games or TV Shows (Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers was a real crowd pleaser), and the occasional Beach Boy or Simon & Garfunkel song.
Eventually, I started writing instrumental pieces, performing them at Sunday church services and variety shows. I even submitted a couple tunes to the Young Iowa Composers Forum, earning 2nd place statewide both times! I also studied percussion and voice in high school. Went to All-State for voice once. (The prestige choir, not the insurance firm.) Those were some good times.
Once I got to college, I decided to combine my myriad musical interests, and started writing songs with lyrics that I could sing, while playing piano or drums. (Not all at the same time. That doesn't really work. I have tried.) I'd play in coffee shops around town, occasionally supporting other artistic folk, while studying percussion at the University of Northern Iowa. When I moved to Minneapolis in 2004, to study record production at McNally Smith College of Music, I discovered a whole world of like-minded folk, fantastic musicians who shared a penchant for Ween songs and playing late night shows at dive bars for very little compensation.
I put a band together, the gist of which has stayed the same for roughly 15 years now (Cole Mickelson on guitar, Andy Schuster on bass, Jim Crimmings on drums). Over the years, we've developed a solid ethos: We do things other bands only joke about. We want to play great music - but just as importantly, we want you to have fun. If you walk away with a smile on your face, and a couple of my tunes stuck in your head, well sir we've done our job right.
I also do a lot of work as a side player. I am a full-fledged member of the Mother Banjo Band, Art Vandalay, and Benjamin Miller's band. Additionally, I have been known to sit in with Jon Rodine, Matt French, Haley Rydell, Sarah Morris, Dan Gaarder, Vicky Emerson and more. To me, balancing my time as a band leader and side guy are two sides of an incredibly gratifying coin. I get to work with a lot of wonderful musicians, and I get to play a lot of wonderful songs. Winner winner, lemon somethingorother.
What it all comes down to is, I love making music. It makes me feel alive, and it gives me so much joy. I am thrilled by any chance I get to share that joy with other people.