Childhood move forced alt-country's Votolato to pursue music

But singer/songwriter and guitarist Rocky Votolato moved to Seattle from Dallas when he was 15, thrusting him into an "entirely different world" that made an impression in his voice and his songs that one still can hear more than a decade later.

"Oh, I put up a fight," Votolato, now 30, said about the forced relocation. "I got my first guitar that year, so I just immersed myself in it. Being the new kid at school with no friends, I just locked my self up for eight hours a day and wrote songs."

The social awkwardness of starting a new school and the huge change from life in the middle of Texas to the Seattle punk scene gave Votolato a reason to write and different cultures to explore.

Votolato will deliver his brand of country-twinged Americana to audiences at The Conservatory next Wednesday, Oct. 17, along with Portugal. The Man and The Great Depression.  

The music Votolato makes might never create an "explosion" or become a huge commercial success " a fact that he recognizes and shrugs off.

"I don't know if I do it on purpose, but it's just not real flashy. But people seem to like it, even though it's not trendy type music," he said. —Joe Wertz