Big Ditch Road

There are lots of reasons to start writing songs. Some people write to work through difficult times, some write to tell a story, and some write out of an inherent necessity, like they were born with a knack for musical expression in their bones. Darin Wald, lead singer of local band Big Ditch Road, seems to fall into the born in the bones camp of songwriters, having penned his first songs at an extremely young age. I think the first song I wrote was when I was five,” he says. Sitting on the kitchen floor of his farm house outside of Thief River Falls, five-year-old Wald sang his first songs to the beat of pots and pans. It wasn't until years later that he would learn to play an instrument, but the need to create was realized early on. “We had a little radio in the kitchen, and it was always on,” he continues, “So I guess I was exposed to music at an early age. Mostly classic country music... And my family is very musical. My aunts and uncles are very musical. Everyone was able to play piano and harmonize. When he was a teenager his parents suggested he try the acoustic guitar. “I didn't want to have any of that. I wanted an electric guitar because I was into metal,” he says with a chuckle. But he tried it out anyway, feeling out the chords as he went. “It's obvious that I have taught myself. I'm not very good. That's the great thing about Minneapolis—you don't have to be the greatest musician in the world. And really, all I ever wanted to ge...

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