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Bob Lind, Published June 01 2013

Neighbors: Singer gaining fame in Seattle has ND ties

Mycle Wastman is a singer with a North Dakota background who is gaining fame in the Seattle area.

Information about him comes from a Seattle Times story that Avis Nelson, Litchville, N.D., sent to Neighbors, along with Mycle’s North Dakota family connections.

His grandparents, Avis says, were Wendall (who went by “Wendy”) and Phyllis Wastman, Lisbon, N.D. Wendy was a Lisbon native, while Phyllis grew up in Kathryn, N.D. Her mother, Martha Ross, ran a café in Kathryn.

Martha was a sister of Lars Birklid, who performed as the Texas Ranger over WDAY Radio years ago.

Avis says Wendy and Phyllis and their three children moved to Seattle in the late 1950s, but several relatives still live in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Young musician

The Times story says Mycle, 40, was raised in West Seattle by his grandparents while his parents grappled with drug addiction and other problems.

Mycle has been into music since he was young. He sang in church, the Seattle Boys Choir and high school vocal ensembles. In his 20s, he was doing karaoke.

But music was set aside when he did a four-year Army hitch. He served in Desert Storm, then returned to Seattle, served in an Army Reserve unit, and did construction jobs, helping build Safeco Field and the Seattle Convention Center.

“But when I was about 30,” he said, “I decided I just wasn’t having much fun if I wasn’t doing music.”

So he got back into it, nailing various singing jobs and topping it off by auditioning last year for the NBC-TV show “The Voice” and being accepted as a competitor.

In his first appearance in September, in Los Angeles, he sang “Let’s Stay Together,” and all three judges called him a winner, allowing him to stay in the competition. But he had to have psychological tests, take advice on choosing songs and have movement and vocal coaching.

He won one more round, but lost out on the next one to the guy who was his roommate during the training and show.

“I was disappointed but also relieved I didn’t have to play the game anymore,” Mycle told the Times. “The competition part is very stressful; it just puts your stomach in knots. But ‘The Voice’ has definitely opened up a lot of doors for me.”

He’s since headlined a sold-out three-night show at a Seattle establishment called Jazz Alley, had gigs in several other Seattle area establishments and sung before 30,000 people at a Christmas lighting ceremony at Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

He’s joined a number of Seattle acts performing on TV singing shows, hopes to do shows in other cities and, he told the Times, is “just trying to grab as much of an audience and national presence as I can.”

That’s Mycle Wastman, a singer with North Dakota roots who is making a name for himself in Seattle and hopefully around the country.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com