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Alex Woodard

Alex Woodard emerged in the early 2000s playing a rugged blend of folk, Americana, and jangling rock intertwined with heartfelt narratives and personal introspection. An avid surfer and former child actor, the California native eventually found his voice through song, releasing a succession of critically lauded albums like 2004's Mile High and a 2008 self-titled set. He later parlayed his natural storytelling gifts into a parallel career as an author, binding together his two passions with the unique 2012 book and companion album For the Sender. The inspirational project became an ongoing series yielding two more For the Sender books and albums including 2015's Love Letters from Vietnam. While continuing his writing career with the 2020 book Living Halfway, Woodard maintained his songwriting output on a series of EPs. Born on June 27, 1972 and raised in Long Beach, California, Woodard began acting as a child, appearing in a handful of small television roles. By his teenage years, however, he'd developed a passion for surfing and music, teaching himself to play the piano and guitar and joining a local band. His focus shifted toward songwriting while at college and after graduation from U.C.L.A. he spent a year in Boston playing local clubs. A subsequent cross-country move to Seattle resulted in the 1996 release of Woodard, an eight-song EP that earned him regional airplay and some media attention. By 2000, he'd put together a strong backing band featuring members of the Posies and Fountains of Wayne and released his full-length debut Nowhere Near Here. Playing a mix of earnest singer/songwriter pop and organic-leaning folk-rock, Woodard followed it up with 2002's Saturn Returns before relocating to San Diego. Produced by singer/songwriter Pete Droge, his third album, 2004's Mile High found a wider audience, though he remained independent. Two more albums followed, 2006's Up with the Sun and 2008's eponymous Alex Woodard, as the singer toured the country, racking up miles and experiences without breaking into the mainstream. Heading into the next decade, Woodard landed on a unique concept that helped invigorate his music and launch a satisfying new phase of his career. The singer offered to write a song to anyone who wrote him a letter sharing their story. Released in 2012, For the Sender was presented as both a book and album, with Woodard and a group of collaborators uniting to tell the poignant stories of strangers. Earthy, honest, and inspirational, For the Sender was a success and kicked off a series of album and book combos that included 2014's For the Sender: Love Is (Not a Feeling) and 2015's For the Sender: Love Letters from Vietnam. Fueled by this new path, Woodard authored the 2020 motivational book Living Halfway, and kicked off a string of EPs with 2018's Stop Making Me Cry, followed in 2021 by Start Making Me Laugh and Black Eye Blue.
© Timothy Monger /TiVo
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