Born in New York City and raised all over rural America, Dana Westover began playing the guitar at age nine in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Westover was influenced by an eclectic array of sources, ranging from Miles Davis to Erik Satie to Duane Eddy to the birdsong he heard while walking through the woods. Though he received training in the trumpet at McGill University's Schulich School of Music, his guitar playing, though far from unskilled, remained untrained. On his debut release, 1971's Memorial to Fear, his characteristic steel fingerpicking is heard on both 6- and 12-string guitars; on the track "Beginnings," Westover plays the same Epiphone Texan model that he uses to this day. "Beginnings" is a summary of his early vision on the instrument: abstract and dark but undeniably melodic. Though musical fame passed him by, for the past 20 years, Dana Westover has been the host of Folk Odyssey on Boston's WUMB.