I remember I didn't like him much at first — in fact, I think I sort of hated him.

Yet because of the close proximity of our childhood homes, we often found ourselves in the same pack of kids walking to and from school. And when my best friend at the time suggested that he join our band — because he was after all a drummer who actually knew how to play — I proceeded to do the child equivalent of scoff at the idea. Yet eventually I was worn down, and so began my friendship with Patrick Seager.

Now, Patch and I never got to play together in that fateful band (which broke up so quickly I don't recall if we ever settled on a name), but in the years that followed he became one of my closet and best friends. We eventually did get to play together in other bands  — most notably the year long alt-punk group Identity Thieves — but whereas for me musical performance and songwriting has slipped into being a simple hobby, Patch kept with it and has just released his first solo studio album, "Drifter".

Ask anyone who's been there, witnessing the transformation of a creative voice is a immeasurably fascinating venture, and for over a decade I've been lucky enough to hear the evolution of Patch's craft. From the early punk rock days of singing about lack of athletic ability, all the way through to the musical maturity on display with this album, it has been an pleasure and a joy to be privy to it. Best of all, this album is really really good.

But as this album is the brain-baby of one of my very best friends, I'll acknowledge that I am completely biased to love it. And while that is true, I honestly think it is a fantastic album, regardless of my predisposition.

So please, give it a listen and pass it along.