Rhinelander musician Paco Fralick knows it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
“I think I’m a late comer, you know I just turned 50, to try to do something serious with my music,” Fralick said.
Fralick knows how to play the fiddle, piano and harmonica, but his main instrument is guitar. He’s been surrounded by music his entire life.
“I think I was about 15 or 16, and I saw my dad play out. I actually went out and watched him play. It was New Year’s Eve and I remember I was just hooked and so I started playing bass in the band with my dad,” Fralick said, “I got ten dollars a job.”
As happens with many dreams, life can get in the way. Fralick’s a dentist in Rhinelander. For decades his music career faded into the background so he could focus on his dental practice, while also helping his wife raise three kids.
“It wasn’t until actually my kids moved out which was just a few years ago, and I started writing again,” Fralick said, “It was still there.”
Fralick decided it was finally time to record an album. He worked with Clear Blue Studios in Tomahawk and Whitehouse Productions in Wausau to develop his ideas. Fralick released his debut album “Letting Go” in May 2017.
“I describe it as eclectic. I think it’s a little bit of everything. It’s definitely got a country side to it. It has folk side to it,” Fralick said.
Fralick says his songs are often about family, relationships or dreams he’s had.
“I’m part Ojibwe from Lac du Flambeau and when I was 37 I started having a lot of spiritual dreams and that drastically changed my path in life,” Fralick said.
It caused Fralick to go on a spiritual journey and learn more about his Native American heritage. He feels fortunate to be able to express those experiences through song.
“I just feel very blessed that I’m able to connect through dreams like that and I don’t take that lightly,” Fralick said.
Fralick’s contemporary country and folk songs found success in the Native American music scene. In 2018, he was nominated for multiple Native American Music Awards, including “Best New Artist” and “Record of the Year.”
“I don’t claim to be the greatest singer or the greatest songwriter or the greatest guitar player, but those are my songs and the spirit brought them through me,” Fralick said, “That happened for a reason and so I just deliver them the best that I can.”
It took a long time for Fralick to make his mark, but he says he has no plans for this to be the coda of his music career.
“I think it’s never too late to chase your dreams, you know,” Fralick said, “We’re all going to fall short, but it’s the journey really that is, that’s what it’s all about.”