Bailey Trahant was in a familiar spot Friday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall: performing on stage as the lead singer and guitarist for The Dirty Floorboards, a popular Lynn band.Trahant easily interacted with the adult crowd at the Lynn Youth Street Outreach Advocacy (LYSOA)undraiser. A talented 5-feet-11-inch musician with a magnetic stage presence, Trahant and the group entertained with a collection of hits from the 1960s and 1970s.
A senior at St. John’s Prep, Trahant has been accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of the foremost institutions of musical training in the world.
“I’m very excited – Berklee has been my No. 1 choice for a long time,” said Trahant before taking the stage for Friday’s performance. “Since I’ve known that I wanted to study music in school, I’ve wanted to go to Berklee. My guitar teacher went to Berklee and I’ve collaborated with other people who have gone to Berklee.”
The 18-year-old son of son of Lynn City Councilor William Trahant and Lee Trahant, Bailey was also accepted to UNH, Ithaca, and Southern Maine but Berklee, whose prominent alumni include Melissa Etheridge, Branford Marsalis, and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, always stood at the top of his list.
He started taking guitar lessons at the age of nine. “My parents bought me a guitar for my birthday,” said Bailey. Though he played baseball until the age of 13, he discovered that music was his favorite activity and he soon began learning how to play the guitar, piano, drums, and the saxophone.
At the Prep, he has received straight As in all of his music classes, Music Theory I and II, Songwriting, and Jazz Combo. He will perform in a concert at the school next week.
“The Prep has definitely develop my skills in music,” said Bailey, crediting two of his teachers Michael Hamill and Seelan Manickam, as being instrumental to his achievement at the school.
The Dirty Floorboards have given Bailey a frequent showcase for his talents as a singer and bass guitarist. He started playing music with Floorboards guitarist Andrew Blocksidge and keyboardist Bradley Dill at the Music Connection in Danvers.
“I had played Little League with Andrew Blocksidge but we didn’t reconnect until then,” said Bailey.
John Plunkett, an immensely talented drummer and artist, later joined the Floorboards, while saxophonist and guitarist Colin Kennedy, son of Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, is also a band member. The cover band, which specializes in 1960s and 1970s music, has performed at numerous events in the city.
Bailey, who writes original songs, has a keen sense of music history and emulates some of the all-time greats. He said his favorite guitar player is Brian May of Queen while other favorites include John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, and Jimmy Hendricks. His favorite group is the Beatles. “Paul McCartney is my favorite musician of all time,” said Bailey.
Bailey hasn’t selected a major field of study at Berklee. “I’ve been thinking about being a Songwriting major.”
Asked what his aspirations are in the music business, he replied, “I don’t know what the goal is. I guess the goal is just to get to a point where I can go in to a recording studio, have a CD made, and hold it in my hand and look at it. One of my favorite things to do is to go in to Newbury Comics – that’s where I learn all the music. To be able to go to Newbury Comics and see something I did – that’s probably the ultimate dream.”
Cognizant of the long line of Berklee alumni who have won 229 Grammy awards, Bailey thanked his parents for paving the road in music that led to his admission to prestigious Berklee.
“They paid for my guitar lessons, they bought my musical equipment – my dad is the most generous person in the world, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Bailey, whose sister, Gabby, is a former Bishop Fenwick softball standout and sophomore at Merrimack College.