A couple miles up an unmarked dusty road sat Paul Graves, a man whose music has been shaped by the vast landscape and stories of the North Cascades.

Graves picked up his guitar.

“Let’s do a little love song,” he said.

Something about the mountains deeply moves Graves.

Nature and the surrounding environment are definitely an inspiration, he said. His latest album, a 2018 release titled “Enchantments of a Mountain,” is a collection of one-take guitar tracks. The album has no vocals or splicing. It’s purely acoustic guitar.

Graves does not just stick to one type of music, though. Playing multiple genres has always been enjoyable, he said.

“Anybody can really do anything they want with music,” he said.

The focus for most songs tends to be more, “Hey, it’s going to be OK,” rather than, “Doom and gloom,” he said. When Graves was playing with his band, Moss Dog, in the early ‘90s they wrote about UFOs, cows, ghosts, Bigfoot and, of course, cow ghosts.

“We were like science rockers,” he said. Back then it was just about taking different ideas and going with it.

Bigfoot is one topic Graves has expanded on quite a lot. Bigfoot is a lot of fun to write about, he said.

Graves has been researching the creature since 1988, after hearing about a Wenatchee man’s encounter. He has also collected stories from hunters, fishermen and others from the Valley who have spotted Bigfoot in some manner.

Graves moved to Wenatchee with his family after his father was offered a job at Wenatchee Valley College in 1963.

“This has been my base,” he said.

He was 12 when he started playing guitar after receiving one as a Christmas present from his parents.

“It’s something that’s been with me my whole life,” he said. “It’s almost like a third arm.”

In the past four to five years Graves started getting into solo acoustic shows, which is how he first started performing years back. It has gone full circle, he said.

As far as creating original songs to play at these shows, “music comes to me all the time,” he said. “Everyday I probably write something.”

Lyrics do not come quite as easily, but they are always second to the music, he said.

Graves said his acoustic music has a folk, alternative feel to it. The music can still go one way or another and is pretty wide open as far as genres are concerned.

As a musician, “You just kind of find your own niche … there’s only one Paul Graves in the world,” he said.

A lot of times certain topics will immediately inspire lyrics and music, he said. Those are definitely the best songs. They are written in just 10 to 15 minutes.

One song that came to Graves in the moment was “Bigfoot and Butterflies.”

Graves was reading a Bigfoot book written by butterfly expert Robert Pyle. Those two words together just clicked something, he said.

Graves has been working on a new album at the Resonate Audio Recording studio in Wenatchee. Trips to the studio were happening on a weekly basis, but then COVID-19 hit town, he said.

This next album is going to have more production on it, he said. The new album has a bunch of good songs. It is just a matter of getting them finished up and paying for the studio time.

Holding the guitar, he said, and strumming a couple cords will bring comfort when one is feeling down.

“I don’t know what I would do without a guitar, it is such a big part of my life,” Graves said.

Graves’ music can be found on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music. He can also be seen playing at shows around the Wenatchee Valley.

Luke Hollister: 665-1172

hollister@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @lukeholli

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