I'd like to think most musicians obsess over their craft. Some musicians write and play music out of a love of the hobby; others study music in school, arguably one of the more challenging educational pursuits. Either way, it gets to be an obsession that requires a hell of a lot of practice.
Local singer-songwriter Cyle Talley has been both. He started his college career studying music in Oregon, but is now an English major at Fort Lewis College. Talley will host a release party for his debut CD "Little Victories" at 7 p.m. today in the ballroom at the College Union Building at Fort Lewis College.
For Talley, it wasn't hard to switch his college education away from music.
"I wanted to leave music as my hobby, not something that I wanted to know so much about that it became boring," said Talley from the KDUR studios last week. "Nothing against music majors; they have the hardest major on campus. It wasn't for me personally because I didn't want to be that guy criticizing stuff. That's a natural byproduct of academia."
Colin Rooney will open the show tonight for Talley. Tom Murray on bass and Jason Uhl on drums and percussion will join Talley on stage. Talley is usually a one-man band, playing solo shows with loop pedals and different effects. This is a rare time out with a band.
"It's a completely different thing to react off musicians. It's one of those feelings where it's all actualized and thrilling" said Talley. "Being the boss is a weird feeling, I'm a drummer primarily, which is why I'll let the band run wild, so I can see what they'll do."
His music is a cross between folk and minimalist indie-pop. The minimalist part is because he recorded all the tracks in his house on the program "Garage Band." He also played all the instruments and handled all the vocals with the exception of backing vocals by local singer Annie Brooks.
He then sent the music off to be mixed and mastered at Red Cliff Studios by Gary Cook. Cook may be best known as the guitar player for the Bar D Wranglers, but he's also a sound engineer and an award-winning musician who can play just about anything with strings.
Releasing a CD on which you play all the instruments is an ambitious goal when you started out as a drummer.
"Playing guitar started off as kind of a fun thing, but it's like driving a Maserati: Just because you are behind the wheel of a great car, doesn't make you a great driver" said Talley. "I had this race car in my hands, and at first, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I'm more comfortable playing out live. It's fun and a blast because it's hard."
Liggettb@fortlewis.eduBryant Liggett is a freelance writer and program director of KDUR.