My parents are both musicians and always filled our house with music. They were close friends with two other musicians named Bill and Leslie who lived in a small town near Mt Rainier called Ashford. Although our homes were more than 2 hours apart, they set an intention to bring our families together again and again throughout my younger years to share community and music. Bill and Leslie, along with my parents, would often play on the train that went from Elbe through the lower foothills of Mt. Rainier to make their wages in the summer. I often rode along and listened, pondering the experience of musical performers engaging with an audience. This was my first window into the performance world and traditional folk music. In the evening we would retire back to the house and just hang together, playing more tunes and singing our stories. It felt so special that we had this place where we could all be together. Growing up with people who trusted in pursuing their passion inspired me to do the same. That environment and the true joy these loving family members got from playing tunes together helped me discover my own musical voice and to believe in it. Ashford begins the album as a testament to these early roots.