Tod Lemkuhl

Born in Milwaukee, Tod showed signs of musical proclivity from the start. Original songs were bouncing around in his head even before he began playing an instrument. Singing and harmonizing inspired him early on and he had the chance to perform solo, and with others, in a variety of vocal ensembles from madrigals to babershop quartets.

He enjoyed playing the family piano but was more interested in exploring musical possibilities beyond those introduced by traditional piano lessons. When he was twelve years old, a camp counselor showed him his first three guitar chords and before long he was playing Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind". Soon he began playing electric guitar picking up licks from recordings by the The Allman Brothers Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Jimi Hendrix and, of course, The Beatles.

While attending the University of Wisconsin he was fortunate to meet other like-minded musicians that were writing and playing their own music. They went on to form a band that recorded and performed for several years. Almost everyone in the band was writing, singing and playing multiple instruments. This experience demonstrated the power of collaboration and the ability to create as a team. "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," Aristotle once said. This lesson shaped Tod's musical partnerships from that point on.

Tod ended up moving to Florida where he finished college and got profesional training as an audio engineer. From there he moved to the Pacific Northwest and worked at a handful of Seattle recording studios. He was fortunate to be involved in sessions with Heart, The Lovemongers, R.E.M. and Soundgarden, to name a few.

In 2005, Tod met several musicians that had been hired to perform for a private event. Among them were drummer Scott Ercoliani and keyboard player/vocalist/songwriter Jon Baroni. While rehearsing for that performance, Tod shared an original song he had been working on. Jon suggested some lyrics and the song became known as Primal Union. They stayed in touch after that inital meeting and eventually formed a band using Primal Union as their name.

These days guitar is his main instrument but over the years he has dabbled with piano, organ, bass, percussion, banjo, mandolin, dobro, lap steel and harmonica. When not playing music with Primal Union you're likely to find him hiking, camping, star gazing or eradicating noxious weeds somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."


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