|Wade & me at The Fatmoose In Woodland for his breast cancer awareness show.|
With a rockstar name like that, how can you not be a musician? I met Wade just this last year. He plays at a lot of the same places locally, and he walked up and introduced himself at Woodland's infamous Fatmoose Bar & Grill, in between one of my sets there. What I love most about this guy is that he is all about his family. While he is passionate about music, he is mostly passionate about his kids. He is extremely generous, sincere, and quite jolly. See for yourself what’s so amazing about this down home local rocker. (If you're smart, you'll grab some tissue...)
How long have you been playing the guitar?
I started playing guitar in the 7th grade, so over 30 years. Have played off and on since then.
How long have you been performing?
I had done a few performances for friends and coworkers starting about ten years ago. I joined my first band Riverside in 2009 which lasted about a year. In 2011 I did my first solo acoustic public performance at a Farmers Market and was hooked. The solo deal has been growing like crazy these last few years. I also joined Jenny Creek Band in Nov 2012 and really enjoy performing in the band setting (there is nothing quite like strapping on my Les Paul and firing up my Marshall Haze 40 tube amp!).
What inspired you to start performing?
I have always enjoyed playing guitar, but when I get in front of a good crowd and they are enjoying the music, it is just electric! I get such a high on what I feel from the crowd. I also really enjoy playing at new and different venues.
Where do you perform?
Some of the regular places I play, for either solo or band, are Fat Moose Bar and Grill in Woodland, Rusty Grape Vineyard in Battleground, English Estate Winery in Vancouver, East Fork Cellars in Ridgefield, Jollies Lounge in Ridgefield, Bones Steak and Chop House in Battleground, and Casa Tapatia in La Center. I have played at Farmers Markets in La Center and Woodland, as well as the Lewis River Fall Fest in Woodland, and two years I played for the Clark County Parade of Homes VIP Night. I have also played many private events.
Do you perform as a soloist or with a group?
I currently do both solo acoustic performances and play in the Jenny Creek Band (vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar).
Most people who perform have bios...I’m more interested in telling a bit of your story... If you were to pick three highlights (defining moments) in your life that best represent you and your story, what would they be?
The biggest single defining moment in my life happened in 2008 when I lost my best friend, my wife Tonya of 22 years to breast cancer. My daughter was 14 and my son was 12 at the time. These last five years have been full of a lot of good days, but more full of my darkest days up until about a year ago when I took a big step back to allow myself to really get to know myself, gain some never before found independence, and to be a better father for my children. My daughter is almost 20 and plans to go to college to be a gaming animator and my son just turned 18 and is looking at going to college to play football or basketball and earn a degree in Business or the Medical field. I am happy to say that my relationship with both of them is better than it has ever been. I am heavily rewarded today at the amazing young adults our children have become, and how their earlier days with us spending a lot of time in their classrooms, helping with homework, coaching, being there during sports and loving them has shaped them to be awesome people. During this time is when I actually found music to be one of my main escapes, to do something for myself that gives me peace and balance. If Tonya were alive today, I likely would not have discovered the “performer” side of me that I enjoy today, but I would gladly give it up to have her here where she belongs, to watch our amazing children grow up and grow old together.
What do you do for work?
I work for USNR (US Natural Resources) in Woodland, WA. I worked here for 15 years right out of college, left in 2004 and returned a few years ago. USNR manufactures machinery and control systems for the sawmill industry. When I left USNR in 2004 I was the Electrical Engineering Manager. I returned in the Electrical Engineering group and now am moving into a leadership position for our Electrical Manufacturing group.
What inspired you to invest in the Heart & Soul Tour?
I work with an acquaintance of Amber’s and she kept telling me I needed to go see Amber perform. I finally had the chance to catch an Amber Sweeney show at the Fat Moose in Woodland, she was doing a solo show, I was an instant fan. I was blown away at her amazing vocals, but she is also an amazing musician, using so many cool effects that I had not witnessed on this level by creating layers of looped sounds she did on the fly with vocals, shakers and guitar. I am always inspired to support and help out local fellow musicians in any way I can so was honored to be a part of helping Amber realize one of her goals and dreams.
Find out more about Wade here:
band website: www.jennycreekband.com