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I've always started my bios with the early years of my career and worked up to the present. I'd like to mention that at the present time I'm endorsed by Collings Guitars, Source Audio Effects, Fishman Transducers, Strymon Engineering, Eastwood Guitars, Creation Audio Labs, G7th Capos, Essential Sound Products and John Pearse Strings, amongst others. It took many years to acquire the skills (and good fortune!) that led to these endorsements, and I use this most excellent gear in studios and on stage, because it's the best that money can buy.
Some of the artists I've accompanied and/or recorded for are: Delbert McClinton, B.J. Thomas, Townes Van Zandt, Gary P. Nunn, Steve Wariner, Chris Young, BuddyJewel, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Jerry Capehart, Vassar Clements, Duane Eddy, Walter Hyatt, Holly Dunn, David Ball and Joe "Guitar" Hughes. There are many more but I'm limited in space.
My career in music was born, like so many other players and songwriters, when I first heard The Beatles on the radio, then saw them on TV. By the age of 12, I knew what I would be doing professionally for the rest of my life.
I began on the drums at thirteen and added the guitar at 15. I left home shortly after turning 17 and within 2 weeks my parents had sold my drums. So it was the guitar that made the journey through adolescence with me, and any room I played in became my sanctum sanctorum.
I was mentored from mid 1970 to mid 1972, by Lew London, who then lived in Philly and spent his Summers in my home town of Margate, NJ, one of four cities on the seven mile long island upon which Atlantic City resides.
During my youth, my ego far exceeded my talent, but without that resolute faith in myself, I never would have had the strength to jump the hurdles all true musicians must clear. Thanks to Lewis, I learned some very crucial skills necessary to my craft, and just in time. I was already a late bloomer when I met him, and was twenty-four before I actually made a living with my guitar. For 2 years prior to playing for a living, I was moving around the US, living in big cities, playing and singing, eating little and trying to find out where I belonged.
I played my first recording session at Capitol Records - the iconic pancake stack building near Hollywood and Vine in LA - in Feb. 1973 at the rather late age of 22, and have spent the rest of my life trying to get hired back! The first time I heard the playback through those monitors, it was like a hot fudge sundae for my ears - I had to get as much of it as I possibly could.
And for the most part, I've done just that, playing with many of the finest players I've ever heard. You can't begin to imagine the depth of talented people - off the scale talented people - who live in Nashville until you move there. I only made it there by playing with wonderful musicians in Chicago, Austin and Houston. Houston became home for me in 1975 - I didn't learn to play electric guitar until 1979, when Disco ruled the airwaves and dance floors. "Get down - Boogie Oogie Oogie" :) I progressed fairly quickly with the electric, always playing catch-up because I had gone acoustic when Cream and Hendrix came out. I'm still playing catch-up and feel like I always will be. But that's fine with me.
In the late'80's several of my friends went to Nashville for short visits and returned to Houston, suggesting that I move to Music City to do session work. I had been doing a fair amount of it here in Houston, not that there was a lot to be had. It took me awhile to get up the nerve to make the move. Nashville is where the best players from every city on Earth go to test their mettle. Whatever number of guitar pickers my hero, John Sebastian, said were in Nashville - he underestimated by several powers of magnitude! The city is rife with the most talented people per square block in the US - I'd put money on that! In January, 1994 my (then) girlfriend, Debbie, and I took the plunge. And going there without contacts, I somehow managed to get noticed. In just a few months I was recording with Vassar Clements, the late legendary fiddle virtuoso, and before a year was over, he was calling me on the phone, asking would I like to come out and play some gigs?! This was like a living dream for me - I was continuously surprised with phone calls to do every manner of sessions, with artists of every stripe.
I lucked into playing half a dozen gigs at The Grand Ole Opry with Holly Dunn, The Ryman Auditorium with a stellar band, backing more famous artists than I can recall, played Austin City Limits with Lyle Lovett hosting and worked in the house band on "Nashville Tonight," a nightly TNN cable TV show.
I was writing songs for and with several publishers but nothing clicked for them. I learned so much about writing lyrics from co-writers who had #1 songs - it was heavenly! I was in 4 or 5 session bands, playing in most of the best studios in town. At least once a week a player would say "Do you know who's playing?" - this or that instrument, and it would always be a legendary player. I was pinching myself on a regular basis. At first I was fairly sure I was called as a last resort, but I'd get called back to work with the same players. Life was truly sweet!
Until it wasn't. The music had gradually changed so much, I didn't recognize it as Country. I found myself wishing for live gigs. And the clubs paid $30 a night - plus tips. It had become not so much fun; the songs didn't move me anymore. It was time to move back home to Texas!
Which brings me and my lovely Wife, Debbie, back to Houston where I'm playing music with old and dear friends (amazing players!) and some new ones too - in front of live audiences once more.
I hope you'll come back to visit this site as I continue to get more pics and songs up, and I welcome your feedback about my music. But I'm equally interested in hearing your music too, so please invite me to your site!
Thanks for your time spent her