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Buckeye Knoll, Ten Years in the Making

I was born and raised in a small town in the Napa Valley called St. Helena. There was no scene there, no other bands to look up to and as you can imagine no venues to support a young group of kids trying to make music. So, as you can imagine we did it all ourselves. We built stages in barns and fields, borrowed antiquated sound equipment and invited people to come to watch us play music in random found locations. We wrote all of our own songs and began playing them as often as possible.
One show led to another and with a bit of confidence built up, we began to set our musical sights on possibilities outside of our small hometown. We ventured out slowly into the Bay Area, playing small shows anywhere a someone would let us. Looking back most of those shows were at some of the worst venues with bands that sounded nothing like us. It wasn’t exactly the dream coming true we’d all hoped for but we had each other and for those 30 minutes on stage, we had our music.

As the years went on people peeled off to college and other interests. We all grew up and the band fell apart. I carried the torch with one of my best friends until I was about 20 but then it was time for even the final two remaining original band members to go their separate ways. I decided it was time for a break from music, from school, from whatever life I thought I knew. I threw on a backpack, jumped in a huge cargo van and headed to the wilderness for a summer. In the mountains of California I fell in love again; with music, writing, reading, life in general. I came back from that summer with a journal full of possibilities ready to be realized.

This marked the beginning of Buckeye Knoll, a project that sprung from a reawakening and freshness that you get when you break away from what you know and begin to discover the rest of what’s out there.

A lot has happened since then. I’ve written some more music and recorded dozens of tracks, put out an EP in 2007 and toured the western US in support. I finished up an Anthropology degree at UC Santa Cruz, then got a Masters in Environmental Education while traveling the country for two years in an old school bus. I feel like I’ve been around the world and back and in a lot of ways I have, yet I’m coming back to music.

In reality, I’ve always been “coming back” to music and always will. It comes and goes in my life in variable intensities but it’s always there like a constant melody evolving through the years. And now I’m on the verge of something beautiful. After two years traveling, writing and recording over 20 tracks with my best friend, engineer Cian Riordan, I’m putting out a Buckeye Knoll full-length album this Spring. It reflects the people and places I spent the better part of two years with.

Ready to jump back into music and see if I can start a fire. Here goes.

– Doug

 


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