I practically came out of the womb singing. My whole family were musicians, both sides for generations. Coming from Europe and settling both in Alabama and New York, everyone sang, played instruments or at least whistled. They were piano builders, Vaudvillians, producers, directors, and musicians, doing everything from working for CBS to hosting old timey radio shows, to Opera stars, to just family piano playing around the house.
By age six I was playing the harmonica and piano and singing along with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, C.S.N.&Y., the Beatles, and well, all the popular artists of the time. My sisters had ￼great collections of albums and they are basically where I first got turned on to Rock and Roll.My brother-in-law turned me on to the guitar at nine years old and I took to it quickly, playing along with all the albums and sounding out tunes and solos. Right away I began writing songs...music anyway, and that always seemed to me to be the thing to do. I always say I took guitar lessons from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. Though I don't even imagine myself to be that kind maestro, they were definitely my teachers.
I started playing in bands in Middle school, and singing in the chorus, which I did all the way through high school. I even made a regional chorus one year in which I sang a solo.
Eventually, I took guitar lessons from a Berklee Music Grad who became a big influence for me and I decided to attend Berklee. Soon after arriving in Boston I went to see a Dead Show in DC and on the way I picked up a hitchhiker that was also on his way to the show. We became fast friends and started a band we named Flat Rabbit. Berklee fell by the wayside as the band picked up steam. I was also playing with a few of reggae bands on Cape Cod and filling in with some singer songwriters as accompaniment and sometimes writing hooks for their tunes. These experiences were my first real look at singer/songwriters. Flat Rabbit had a good run in Boston, playing all the original rock clubs at that time, like TT the Bears, The Rat, The Middle East, The Boat House on the South Shore and a bunch of other clubs I just can't remember. Eventually the band broke up and I started writing and doing a lot more playing with a singer/songwriter names Stack Kenney.
One night I got a call at 1:30 A.M. from a guy named T- Mo who informed me he was the bass player for the blues legend Eddie Kirkland. He said he had heard about me and asked me to go on the road with Eddie. After some investigation I did. The gig turned out to be short lived but was an awesome experience and one that I carried away a lot of knowledge and inspiration from.
Because I was tired of all the cover music being played in the area and the difficulty with being an original artist, I moved to Austin, Texas. Austin turned out to be a major turning point for me, as I was exposed to an immense amount of original music. I had never seen so many original artists chasing their dream with so much fervor. It was so inspiring. I put together a band and began playing gigs as a sit in guitarist with another Austin-based band. Unfortunately, I had to leave Austin after only six months, just as things were getting going, but always carried with me that inspiration and drive to find a voice in the original music scene.
I ended up in St. Augustine Fl. where, although there was a large cover music scene, there was also a great bunch of players that were always willing to play and share. This is where the next big turning point happened: open tunings. I had been exposed to them in Austin briefly but really found a new inspiring aspect to them in St. Augustine: writing. Songs just seemed to write themselves in open tunings and a whole world of possibilities opened up for me.
After nine years in St. Augustine I had to go back to Virginia to help care for my Pop, and over the next few years, I would enter the darkest time in my life. If it wasn't for my One Love I may not have made it. Shortly after arriving in Virginia, my Pop died, followed by a string of events that really, well, sucked. Then the worst thing happened, my dog and best friend, Sam, died. That was the most tragic thing in my life and something that has pushed me to probe the depths of my soul...looking for rhymes. After a lengthy time of mourning and battling some weird sickness, I began to come around and find myself again.
That was the darkest time I’ve experienced, and as it happens sometimes, it has led to some of the best things I've ever done for myself and others. Out of that darkness came "Wishing For Rhymes” which is, I think, my best music yet and has left me with something that has clearly changed my life forever.
So here I am in the present with "Wishing For Rhymes" behind me...and still in front of me, along with a wonderful well of inspiration and experience to draw from for years of song writing to come.
Thanks. Peace and Love.