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A Musical Life: Nikki Moddelmog

Courtesy photo

Nikki Moddelmog has released two solo albums and one EP with The Mischief Makers. She lives and frequently plays live in Wichita.

I didn’t find the guitar until about 23-24. I didn’t really find my voice until about 23-24. Some friends of mine in Lawrence taught me my first five chords. I learned “Elderly Woman Standing Behind The Counter” by Pearl Jam and sang it over and over again. Taking those chords and learning new songs and just getting used to the guitar.

Then I made some friends. Really, my friends are why I’m sitting here today. I met Terry Quiett and Guinn Walker. Both of them amazing songwriters. They really pushed me. I said, “They’re normal guys. They’re writing songs. I’m gonna take a stab at it.” I played the songs for them and they seemed to like them so I kept doing it. Their friends liked my songs too.

All the friends, they’re the ones who said, “Yes, do this. You’re good at it. You’re doing the right thing.” And it felt good. It was a great outlet. I was going through a divorce at the time. It was a great outlet for that but also for growing into who Nikki was because I went straight from college into marriage. It was a transition and Nikki never really got to be Nikki.

It was a great outlet to write and grow. And write in a style that was very vulnerable. And yet I didn’t have to talk to anyone about it. I could just say it.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.