I grew up listening to all types of music when I was young. My father had been a banjo player in the Dixieland era. The sound of a guitar captured me where other instruments didn’t. “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got a string.” The first time I saw Chet Atkins play I was hooked, but it wasn’t until I heard Jimi Hendrix that I ask my parents for a six string guitar. I was mesmerized by Jimi’s playing and the sustained sound of his guitar. I also observed the way Eric Clapton bent the strings that made the blues come alive. The overdrive of the amplifier gave guitar a mighty voice, a power I wanted to possess. My first breakthrough on electric guitar came when Michael Bloomfield walked into my hotel room by accident. I was practicing on an old Gibson Les Paul, which got his attention. He taught me how to bend a string. He told me that “there is a world in one note if you play it right.” The ten minutes he spent with me changed my playing forever.
At nineteen I was spending a fortune keeping my amplifier running. I started learning electronics before I went broke. I had no idea that in the future I would trade my passion for a steady paycheck in electronics. Consequently, I became a broadcast engineer. I never quit playing; it just happened after work.
Acoustic Guitar was a new journey. So intimate, I didn’t have volume and sustain to hide behind. It wasn’t until I started studying classical and jazz guitar at the university level that I started exploring acoustic guitar’s complexities. I took Master Classes with Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Christopher Parkining. To me classical guitar is beautiful and demanding, but leaves very little room for self expression. The rules are strict, rigid and limiting. I was told in my studies that Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton were not real guitar players, but pop heros. The attitude was wrong for me and I continued my degree in jazz only. I graduated with a Bachelor and Masters degree in performance and composition. I received some instruction from some great guitar players over the years; Steve Morse, Pat Martino, Eric Johnson, Les Wise, and John Knowles. I arranged some music for the El Paso Symphony in which the Jazz/fusion group I was playing in was the featured artist as well as opened different shows for some great players such as Albert King, Eric Johnson, Chick Correa and Herb Ellis, Roy Hanes, John Stowell, David Friesen .
My son Sam was born in 1997. Something magical happened that day and after years of not writing at all a multitude of different styles of music emerged surprisingly on acoustic guitar and not electric. In 2002 I went to the CAAS convention in Nashville in which my life has never been the same since. I heard guitar playing that changed everything I ever thought about acoustic guitar. I saw Tommy Emmanuel, Doyle Dykes, Buster B. Jones, Stephen Bennett, Pete Huttlinger, Tony McManus, Ray Cummins, John Standefer, Bob Evans and Muriel Anderson to name a few. I had my own epiphany about playing acoustic guitar and found the place where I fit musically, something I don’t think I would ever have found on my own. I built a state of the art recording studio to focus more on my playing and composition. Music is life! To share that gift is my purpose. I have been playing guitar now for almost four decades and the only thing I am sure of is how to hold the instrument! It’s an incredible journey in which I can share my most intimate feelings with a total stranger. For the first time in my life I am releasing a solo CD. “Acoustic Journey” which is down the personal road of my life.