Fortch grew up in the upper Ohio Valley and started singing, playing guitar, and performing in high school. This region, now referred to as the “Rust Belt”, was a blue-collar area of steel mills, coal mines, and people with strong work ethics and family values. 7 days after graduation, Fortch went to work in the local steel mill and played music in bands on the weekends.
When Fortch met his future wife, Mary, he put the guitar away, resigned from the mill, left the Ohio Valley, and earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Cal State – Long Beach. He and Mary raised three sons, and Fortch taught math for several years in high schools as well as the Ohio Prison System.
Fortch began his solo music career in Wilmington, NC, in 2006. He quickly became known as one of the hardest working, most professional musicians in southeastern North Carolina, performing hundreds of shows up and down the east coast.
Fortch released his first CD of original music in the summer of 2009. “Fortch – What’s THAT Mean?” received positive reviews and several tracks were played on local radio.
The follow up CD was released in August 2011. A year in the making, “Don’t Quit On Me” contains 14 songs, including 13 new originals. It is a combination of great writing, a world-class band of musicians, and the talents of JK Loftin as engineer and producer. The CD covers a lot of stylistic territory from power rock anthems to quiet waltz vignettes to bluegrass influenced acoustic numbers to bombastic hard rock wailers.
Fortch and Mary began traveling nationwide for her work in 2014. He played in California, Washington, and Nashville. While in California, Fortch recorded the single, “I’m Not An Immigrant”, a heartfelt track addressing the U.S. immigration issue.
Fortch currently lives in Eastern Tennessee, is staying home and writing material for a third original CD while waiting for scientists to solve the Covid-19 crisis.