I have been writing and recording tuneful pop songs since the mid-80’s, when I was suddenly able to do it. I wrote many of the songs performed by the well-received regional band, The Apes of Wrath, who gigged around the western half of Virginia in the 80’s. At around the same time I began recording home demos on a variety of 4-track portastudios, discovering that I could improvise harmony with myself that sounded pretty good. The so-called “home tapers” movement accepted me and I began sharing music with a larger body of listeners. All in all there were something like 6-8 tape releases from the end of the 80’s through the mid 90’s.
As the 90’s ended, Twee Kitten Records from California released my music: one 7”, a cd-ep, and one full-length cd, For Those Who Like POP. The latter release in particular was, considering its zero budget, successful. Not only did it sell well, but it was picked up for reissue in Japan by Vroom-Sound. Music from the cd was used extensively in the PBS kids show, Dragonfly TV. There were flattering reviews in both underground ‘zines, a few larger circulation magazines and even Japan’s Beikoku-Ungaku. Somewhere along the line I wrote an original song used in the film Golfballs.
A Song for Me, A Song for You, released as a download in spring 2007 and a compact disc in May 2009, included 14 songs merging styles ranging from bossa nova, to jazz/rock to Beatley numbers. It was a privilege to work with Jack Shannon, Anthony Allen, Stewart Myers, Palmer Wilkins and Ashley Bell in making this music. Jack introduced me to local players and really got me into a more professional way of recording. I began making more international music friends through MySpace and some of these I collaborated with on the next album.
Smellicopter, released June 2013 and Jan 2014 as download and cd albums respectively, treads the fine line between sophisticated and goofy, and opened me up to a wider variety of talent, sounds and ideas than ever before. International collaboration was for the first time a major ingredient in my music. Talent from Germany, Spain and France played major roles in the success of this album. I thank Roland Wolff, Yani Martinelli and the Purple Submarine Orchestra for this work. Locals Jack Shannon, Anthony Allen and Palmer Wilkins continued their efforts. New locals Jimmy Ghaphery and Nathan Goodwyn were added to the fold. Since the death of MySpace there hasn’t been a great internet gathering place for musicians, but like everyone I soldier on with SoundCloud, Facebook, a blog, and even good ol’ fashioned email. Financial backing for Smellicopter came from a combination of a successful Kickstarter project and even more so from the kind contributions of fans and old friends. God love ‘em.