Sometime during the 60's between the assassination of JFK and "duck and cover" classroom drills my sister showed me how to play E minor on a $25 Sears Silvertone acoustic guitar. In a few months I could play "If I Had A Hammer" and suddenly the Cold War felt a little less scary.
Fast forward to high school where I first heard "The Needle and The Damage Done" by Neil Young and "Black Queen" by Stephen Stills. I think that was the lightening bolt. My friends and I sat around for hours trying to figure out Young, John Denver, James Taylor, CSN&Y, Beatles, any song we could learn to play from a record or the radio. Another great reason to grow up in the 60's.
In the summer before the 11th grade I met Jimi Hendrix at the Tulsa airport and had a short conversation with him. We shook hands. For real. See my website for details. Later that night he performed at the Tulsa Civic Center with Mitch Mitchell on drums and Billy Cox on bass. I was on the 4th row. My ears ring just thinking about it. A few months later he was gone.
Fast forward to college in Stillwater, Oklahoma where I saw Leo Kottke, Willis Alan Ramsey, Gordon Lightfoot, and John Hartford. On friday nights I helped run a coffee house in the Okla. State University Student Union called Aunt Molly's Rent Free Music House. We would book local talent to play for an appreciative audience.
A few years later I saw Michael Hedges play in Tulsa, and that experience completely changed how I looked at the guitar. Seven times I was privileged to see him perform live before his untimely death in 1997.
So through the years I began writing my own tunes, experimenting with alternative tunings and percussive techniques. It seems I was in and out of school forever, but the guitar was my constant companion. If you write music on the guitar I think you are always either consciously or unconsciously partly recycling riffs and melodies that are picked up along the way.
I recorded my cd "The Landing" at home, released in Aug 2011. I have at least one more album somewhere in my head.
I enjoy playing at festivals, coffee houses, and small gatherings. Mostly, I play at home alone, always listening to what the guitar is trying to say.
"I don't think about the meaning of it all. I say, plug in your damn guitar and make some noise." -- Paul Westerburg, The Replacements
Fingerstyle acoustic guitar, harp guitar
I'll play some guitar tomorrow at the Blue Dome Festival, 4 PM. Singer/songwriter Scott Aycock will follow me to awaken you from my sleep-inducing tunes.
I will also be at Mayfest this Saturday, 11 AM, Bartlett stage