This project is all electric bass guitar and hand percussion. A unique and downright strange mix to most folks. However, to me, it's merely an exercise of my artistic being.
My first experience with music, like many, came from my family. When I was very little, my Mother would practice her hymns on piano for the Sunday worship service at our local church. My brother would play Scott Joplin or George Gershwin, and my sister would play the entire songbook to The Sound of Music.
I was probably 8 years old when my Dad included a Mickey Mouse guitar with my Christmas gifts under the tree. Although he wasn’t a musician, I later realized all my artistic vision came from him. He showed me how it worked basically, and although I never became much of a guitar player, that lesson has stuck with me since.
Like my other siblings, I joined public school band. I was part of the trombone section and kept that up for several years. I played for seasonal concerts put on by the school. I played in the jazz ensemble, and I played in the marching band. I even played in church with my Mother accompanying me.
Little did I know how solid a foundation this provided for my future music experiences.
Once I got into high school, I dropped the band curriculum and stopped playing trombone altogether. After about a year, my Mother talked me into taking piano lessons from the local teacher “like your siblings did.” I had little interest. Playing piano must have been pretty inspiring for me as I began to write my own little compositions after only a few months, and my life was changed forever.
I was 16 years old, and for the first time in my life, I had an identity. I no longer was a “farmer’s son.” I was an artist. I was still a nerd, but I was a nerd with direction.
I continued to write, compose, and annoy the living hell out of my teachers thought my time at Illinois Valley Community College. I produced my 1st solo album after turning 21 and finishing school, and spent a year shopping it around to record companies. Sure, I never hit the “big time”, but it was more than a learning experience for me. In my little corner of the world, I was the only musical artist with an all-original neo-classical-fusion-pop album.
After the frustrations of that experience, I took a long break from being a musician and wanted to focus on simply being a “normal person.” I took one of those long looks at myself and my (then new) career at UPS, and my failures as a student and musician. I moved out of my parents’ house and tried my best to be “normal.”
Friends are people that somehow not only stick with you, but somehow know you better than you do. My friends Brian and Ken are like that. After only a few months, they talked me into playing with them and putting something together. We’d just “feel things out” to begin with. I played keys, while Brian played guitar and Ken, drums. I can’t remember now, but they somehow decided it would be better for me to play bass guitar more so than keys. They knew, with my background, it’d come easy. Well, they were right.
I’ve been playing bass guitar since I was 21, and continue to pick it up at least once a day. Several years in cover bands sharpened my skills as well as my stamina. I played bass guitar for my local church for several years as well.
I still keep my share of synths around, but nothing does it for me like bass guitar. I produced another(mostly synth) album back in ’99, and got that out of my system…again. However, since August of 06 I’ve been co-hosting the improv jams at my local coffee house. This experience is what kicked this latest endeavor into high gear. I had been building the concept in my head of an all-electric bass guitar project, and the improvs gave me not only the inspiration, but the direction I needed. This project was written, tracked and mixed within only a few months. After all, it had been going on another eight years, so I suppose I was due…