February 18, 2024
When I was just a young boy the Clearwater band became a big inspiration in my life. Clearwater was a local band led by Dan Utz. They also had a yodeler on the team named Lee Schwartz. When I heard the combination of country, gospel, and yodeling together, something came alive within me. I started listening, learning, and singing along to these songs, but the ones I listened to most were the yodeling songs. I would press play, rewind, and play again. Little by little, I started catching on. I would practice daily in my free time and gradually figured out how to make that unique sound. From listening to their music, Lee, the yodeler, became someone I really looked up to. As a first grader, it meant a lot to me when Lee showed up at my school talent show to listen to me sing one of the yodeling songs that I learned through him. When I was 9 years old, my world was crushed when Lee was killed in a car accident. It was a very sad day for many, but he left an impact in my life that I will always be grateful for.
At the age of 14, I started playing drums, and played for the church worship team throughout most of my teen years. I still loved to sing and yodel, but my main focus with music was being a drummer. I got to a point where I felt like I hit a plateau with my yodeling and didn't know what else to do with it. Little did I know that a few years down the road, the Lord was going to open some big doors for me with singing and yodeling. In my late teens, I strayed away from my relationship with Jesus and went my own way. It wasn't until I rededicated my life to Him, that He opened the doors that brought true satisfaction, through what I loved to do. When I was 21, I was asked to yodel at a church that was hosting a Swiss alps night. At that time, I didn't play guitar, so I asked the Lee's brother, Chris Schwartz, to help me out on the guitar. Chris taught me a new yodel that night, which opened a whole new book of what I could do with yodeling.
After that event, I taught myself to play guitar and started learning and memorizing songs. My uncle Kenny hosted a monthly jam session that started shaping me as a singer and musician, leading me to where I am today. In 2013, I released my first album called "The Yodeler." It features songs that I learned growing up, lots of yodeling, and also some that I wrote. In the summer of 2015, I had the privilege to record my second project called “Man I Am Today." It includes songs about my childhood, and songs that I feel have in some way, made me who I am today. It also features some yodeling and a few originals. In February of 2019, the band and myself recorded our latest album called “Cross Your Heart.” This is a high energy Bluegrass/Gospel album featuring three-part harmonies, along with yodeling and a few upbeat instrumentals. As a dad it brought much joy to have my sons Wesley (6) and Walker (5) help sing on the song “Daniel Prayed.” Songs that draw me in are songs with a good story line or message behind them. My goal is to continue in the path the Lord has called me to and bring Him glory through it. I am very thankful for my family, friends, and all of the people out there who support my music. Most of all, I praise the Lord Jesus for blessing me with this talent, and I pray that all who listen to my music will enjoy it and be blessed. Thank You!