Just before the morning, while the nervous sun hesitates beyond the horizon, Cedarwell wakes up at the bottom of the ocean. Slowly gasping for a breath and swimming towards the surface Joel Philip Stokdyk (drums, percussion, harmonica) realizes they are far away from home. Erik G. Neave (acoustic guitar, voice) gets sucked up behind him and grabs a glossy tuft of seaweed peeking out from a slit of darkness and screams up to his shrinking partner "I will never let go. I can never let go."
Sheboygan WI is not necessarily known as a hotbed for new music but it does border the great Lake Michigan. In the spring of 2000, rolling waves bruised the shore and spread to meet the toes of four young shaky dreamers as if they stood somehow closer through shivering at the same cool water. Naturally, they picked up instruments and began to write and record music under the name amalgam. (http://www.purevolume.com/amalgam
) During the 4 years of learning and maturing as musicians in amalgam, they recorded two full length CDs of original material, played hundreds of shows, and built a loyal Midwest fan base. Lake Michigan could probably swallow Sheboygan, but they longed for a swirling pool of unknown to explore and fill. In 2004, they packed up a van and drove to the edge of America to live and play music in Boston for one year. Amalgam was starting to develop a moderate but equally loyal fan base on the east coast when a tragic afternoon pulled the four to the border of the beach. They stood for a moment or two teetering between options and tracing out possibilities. Joel and Erik dove in one wave too soon and never saw the rest of amalgam again.
Infinite depth sucked and spit them back and forth through the openings in this the mother of their own Lake Michigan. "Water creates! Water will destroy!" They screamed again and again and again as though fear breeds repetition. Finally, after a struggle against the inevitable, they spun through the darkness and the current laid them softly on the ocean floor and named them Cedarwell. Soaked in weight and blackness, they slept for a summer and dreamt of colored glass, dry land walking, crimson leaves, Wisconsin skies, and lighthouses that point to heaven but are rooted in hell. Here on the mossy sand Erik first muttered out the opening lines to Cedarwell`s first single "Breathe Underwater" in the state where dreams and open eyes collide to create an un-nameable. "Walk until we fall and you see bruises. I saw submarines but could not speak. And we both saw angels blooming into another week where we breathe underwater."
Joel spiraled up the same way he had come and heard the faint cry of stubbornness from far below. "I can never let go." Flipping his direction and struggling against the gas building in his lungs, he finally reached Erik and saw that he had mistaken the tuft of seaweed for a wandering thread of all reality. Thinking that the daylight was just beyond this slit of immeasurable darkness, he fought with equal parts courage and futility to clench the tangled seaweed in his shaking fists and stuttered a weak melody of false hope; "Wait until tomorrow comes. Wait until tomorrow." Joel attempted to pry his fingers and forced his own phrase through the density of deep sea black and blue; "Look up my friend, look up. The daylight is breaking." At that moment a snap echoed across the fallen ocean as the slit of darkness lost its grip on illusions and sent Cedarwell tumbling up towards the ever growing light to penetrate the glassy surface and whisper; "Good morning sun. We are called Cedarwell."
In the fall of 2005, Cedarwell released a three song EP and began touring extensively between their two homes, Sheboygan, WI and Boston, MA. Cedarwell pleasantly surprises audiences in each city with a dynamic performance based around Erik`s songwriting and vocals and augmented by Joel`s amalgam of subtle percussion, energetic drumming, and backing harmonica and vocals. Their music draws on influences from early rock and roll, modern pop-rock, and singer songwriter sensibility with thought provoking lyrics on observations from time at the bottom of darkness and the journey home. Cedarwell, an acoustic pop-rock duo with really good songs; you will enjoy them.