When and why did you start performing?
I started playing guitar in high school but stopped soon after and didn’t pick it up again until I was in my 30s. I also picked up the harmonica at that time because I was becoming very interested in the blues. I played in a blues/rock band called the Icemen for about 20 years. I played mostly harmonica and some slide guitar, plus some vocals. The reason I started performing was pretty simple, it was fun. About 7 years ago I started to play strictly acoustic music. About that time I started getting interested in bluegrass and folk to go along with the acoustic blues I was playing.
What was your first instrument? What is your favorite instrument?
The first instrument I picked up was guitar. Since then I’ve picked up the harmonica which I still use to accompany myself when playing guitar. I’ve also played a little mandolin and lap steel guitar. Aside from guitar I’d have to say my favorite instrument is piano. You can do so much with the piano and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can play it.
What do you like the most about performing?
I enjoy the feedback you get from an audience. Regardless if I’m playing with a band or as a solo act, if the people are getting into the music it's very rewarding.
Does your family have a musical background?
I’m the first in my family to take music seriously. There are others who are, or were, talented in other art forms, but none in music.
Describe your musical style?
I consider myself an acoustic musician who plays mostly Americana music, or what I call “roots” music. It’s a combination of old styles of blues, bluegrass, folk, country, and rock & roll. Along with that I like to throw in some George Gershwin or Irving Berlin. I'll also include some Beatles and other rock songs which are easily recognizable. But I try to steer clear of "classic rock" unless I feel the song is a true classic.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have been more open to different types of music. When I was a teen I was narrow minded and the only thing I listened to was rock. I didn’t know there was a whole world of blues, jazz, bluegrass, classical, country, and folk out there. I guess better late than never.
Do you have any musical influences? If so, who and why?
Doc Watson, because he was an American treasure and revolutionized the way the acoustic guitar is played. Doc is still the most influential flat picker and his kind shall not pass this way again. When it comes to finger style guitar Mississippi John Hurt is one of the best and one of my earliest acoustic blues influences.
Any little known facts about you to put in for fun?
Before I put down the guitar in my early 20’s I took a few years of classical guitar lessons. Later when I discovered the piedmont blues and picked up the guitar again I found the finger style I had learned from the classical lessons fit almost perfect. It wasn’t until much later I started playing with a pick. Everything up until then was finger style.