A Musical Life

KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin interviews Wichitans who live a musical life... as a full-time vocation or a part-time passion.

A Musical Life is also available through iTunes.

Courtesy photo

Lacey Cruse’s first album, Turn Me On, is the culmination of years of singing and songwriting. Cruse’s blend of rootsy blues music can be attributed to a wide range of influences, including Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow.

My sister-in-law sent me a Christmas card a couple of years ago. And I thought to myself, ‘I don’t send Christmas cards. A lot of people do and I just don’t. So, what kind of girl am I?’

It morphed into "What kind of girl I’m not," rather than "what kind of girl I am."

Courtesy photo

Bob Hamrick plays accordion with the Wichita band Pop and The Boys. He regularly attends the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas and is a loyal fan of the Grateful Dead. He explains that a gentleman is one who can play the accordion but chooses not to.

“My name is Bob Hamrick and I play the accordion.

Courtesy photo

Nikki Moddelmog has released two solo albums and one EP with The Mischief Makers. She lives and frequently plays live in Wichita.

I didn’t find the guitar until about 23-24. I didn’t really find my voice until about 23-24. Some friends of mine in Lawrence taught me my first five chords. I learned “Elderly Woman Standing Behind The Counter” by Pearl Jam and sang it over and over again. Taking those chords and learning new songs and just getting used to the guitar.

Courtesy photo

David “Davy” Trechak is a Wichita music scene veteran with membership in bands such as White Lando, Somber Arrows and, more recently, Postboy. That group has just released a self-titled EP.

My name is David Trechak. I am currently the guitarist, pianist and lead vocalist of the band Postboy and lead guitarist of the band Somber Arrows, with my friend Weston.

We just want to hear what we want to hear from any other band that we enjoy. So, most of the writing is just what we want to hear.

Courtesy photo

White is a Wichita-based musician and producer, and current member of Zsa Zsa Ketzner (bass) and The Flaming Wailers (guitar) – who are both releasing EPs this fall. In the past he has played with Vehicles, Aaron Lee Martin and The Taylor Martin Band, in addition to playing in bands while living in Chicago and Honduras. Originally a guitarist, his repertoire of instruments has expanded as his musical taste has grown, as evidenced by his ever-increasing collection of Craigslist instruments.

  Shane Marler has been involved in Wichita-area music for more than two decades, including tenures in acts such as Ophil, Nouveau Quintet, as a solo artist and, more recently, as a member of The Mischief Makers

My name is Shane Marler I’m a local guitar player and singer-songwriter.

I first took an interest in gypsy jazz and Django Reinhardt in about 2004 or so.

Courtesy photo

“My name is Dee Starkey and I’ve been in Wichita most of my life.

My parents, Jim and Sally, were musicians and educators. Dad had a dance band would let me help set up stands at the Trig Ballroom, Lassen, Allis and Broadview Hotels. Mom was an early pioneer in music therapy and education for special needs children, teaching at the Institute of Logopedics, along with Betty Welsbacher and Marilyn Pirtle.

I suppose it says a lot about my upbringing that the favorite magazines at the Starkey house were Saturday Review and Down Beat.

Courtesy photo

Kendall Wohaska is a local musician, composer, and teacher in Wichita where he has performed with his own band, The Luna Copii Trio, as well as The Bodo Ensemble, The Small Container Ensemble, and Allison Miller. Primarily interested in noise rock and avant-garde music in his teens, Wohaska continues to pursue aural textures as an essential part of composition and improvisation. Wohaska recently graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Music Performance.

“My name is Kendall Wohaska and I play guitar in the band the Luna Copii Trio.

Courtesy photo

Rachel Phares is a cellist, viola da gambist, and teacher in the Wichita area. She graduated with a degree in cello performance from Wichita State University in 2012. Though still an active gigging cellist, her current musical focus is with an early music group called the Ad Astra Consort, who dedicates its creative focus to spreading sweet Renaissance-style grooves around the area. She is interested in music and how it relates to human connection, books, and her dog.

My name is Rachel Phares. I play the cello and the viola da gamba in the Wichita area.

Singer/songwriter Curt Mitchell was raised in rural Kansas. His music is rooted firmly in the Alt-Country, Americana genre. Today he makes his home in Wichita where he continues to write and perform.

At a young age Curt developed an appreciation for the likes of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and George Jones through his father and was exposed to the likes of Bob Dylan, The Band and The Rolling Stones through his uncles. Both his uncles and father were musicians.