ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Schoolteacher by day, a performer at night. Audiences might recognize him from playing weekly shows at the Sawmill Market over the summer or at breweries. From the moment he picked up a guitar in fourth grade, JD Nash knew he was meant to share music with people.
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Nash says his father and older brother were the catalysts that made him start learning music. The first song he remembers learning was Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes, and that same day he brought his guitar to school and played it for his friends. “It was immediate. I just wanted to show and share with everybody. The same way my dad played music for us, I wanted to play for other people,” Nash said.
Having grown up in Moriarty, where Nash says there were very few local bands in the area, influenced his decision to study music theory at the University of New Mexico. “It’s impacted me in any way you could think it could impact me. I don’t actually do a lot of formal thinking about music when I play anymore, and I think that’s probably a big part of it,” Nash said. “I just kind of relax and let the songs come whenever they do.”
While he describes his music as a fusion between alternative country, folk and rock, Nash says he has experience playing all different genres of music. He started out doing punk-rock, went on to metal and ended up doing more indie-rock before finding a home within the alternative genre.
“I just always told myself that I would take myself on these journeys and go through those places. I’ve toured around the U.S. until I could have a good story to tell. Once I could tell a good story, I was going to be a country musician,” Nash said.
Having visited many other cities and states, Nash still believes New Mexico is a unique place for musicians and songwriters to thrive in. “It’s the amount of natural influences that I think come into what we do. That’s the artistic answer. Another answer is that we can afford to live here. I can play gigs around town at breweries and bars and still afford to live here. I think when it comes down to it, our community here has that same ability to thrive in an environment like this.”
“Albuquerque is special. We’re so disconnected from other parts that we don’t have outside influence the same way that may be a bigger city in the Midwest or east coast does. We just have that isolation here, we are part of the actual Wild West,” Nash said.
Another thing Nash says makes New Mexico such an impactful place for local musicians is the community support. “We know each other, we support each other, we go to each other’s shows, we buy each other’s albums. It’s such a tight-knit community. I’ve never been anywhere else where you can see musicians from the time that they were in their 20s to when they’re in their 70s still playing in town and still garnering the same support,” Nash said.
With an eye to the future, Nash hopes to continue recording songs, playing for not only New Mexican audiences but audiences all around the country. For now, he’s working on putting together a full album, which he hopes will be out in late 2022.