TJ Flickinger was born, adopted, and raised in NW Indiana by Gene and Maureen Flickinger. The 2nd youngest of 5, he began playing music at an early age...primarily percussion.
At around age 7, he picked up the guitar after seeing both older brothers ("Tim and Tom) playing the instrument. His interest in percussion continued on through childhood and high school.
At age 15, he went on a vacation trip with close relatives to Florida. During this two week period, he became completely inspired to play guitar after seeing his cousin, Rick Nieb play. Rick introduced him to the styles of guitarists such as Randy Rhoads, Brad Gillis, and Jeff Watson. After watching Rick play the main guitar riff to Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train", TJ was hooked and vowed to learn that passage.
Upon returning home, he picked up an old Harmony guitar that had been given to him some time earlier by his brother, Tim, and began to learn by ear listening to album after album of 70's and 80's music that featured heavy guitar as the primary driving force of the music. Around this time, he'd met a drummer his age named Brian Shei and the two played and actually recorded music on their own throughout their high school years.
Eventually, TJ and Brian met Terry Young, a singer/bassist who had years of experience in playing live music. Terry took the both of them under his wing and they formed the band, "Storm" in 1989. The band later changed the name to "Stormbringer" and they played regular shows in and around the Starke County, IN area.
During this period, TJ was turned onto the playing of Eric Johnson and Stevie Ray Vaughn and studied both styles intently for about a 2 year period.
TJ left Stormbringer in 1992 and was married to his wife, Vickey. The two celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on July 10, 2012.
During the 90's, although still playing guitar regularly, he put music on the backburner and decided to enter the pre-hospital medical field as an Emergency Medical Technician. He worked as an EMT with Co-Med Transport until the company folded due to bankruptcy.
TJ and Vickey decided to move back home to Starke County to be closer to family and friends. He worked for Starke County EMS for a brief period and then decided to concentrate on music full time.
This brought him back to the aforementioned Terry Young, and Terry recruited TJ to play bass guitar in the band, "Asphalt Therapy". After a brief stint with the band, TJ decided to leave and concentrate on his love of home recording yet once again.
Around 2006, he felt that he had no more to say as a musician and actually put the guitar down for about a year. Not long after, Young asked him if he might want to play guitar in a southern rock band called, "Half Track". TJ was hesitant at first, after all he hadn't even played guitar for a year, but as soon as he saw the band's live performance that fall, he decided to give it a try.
From January 1st, 2007 to March of 2011, he played with "Half Track". The band had already developed a name in the area and was generally regarded as the best around. In 2009 TJ suggested that the band write and record some original material. That year saw the release of a 4 song EP and it quickly sold to fans all around the area.
In 2010, "Half Track" released their first and only (to date) full-length self-titled album that featured songs such as the hugely popular, "Walk Away", "Throw It On Me", and "It Ain't Easy". "Throw It On Me" features TJ playing slide guitar for the first time, a style he learned at the suggestion of lead singer, Newt Minix. Slide guitar is still a big part of TJ's playing to this day.
Over this span, "Half Track" opened shows for the likes of members of Molly Hatchet and Brian Howe, former lead singer for Bad Company.
As mentioned earlier, TJ left "Half Track" in the spring of 2011 and headed back into the studio to work on his own original projects. He began teaching guitar out of his home and in the fall he was back at it and once again a member of "Half Track". He stayed on until June of 2012.
Not long after, TJ was recruited into the very popular country band, "30 South" by long time friend and then guitar student, Jim Garner, the bassist for "30 South". TJ played several shows with that lineup until he decided to throw his full attention into creating and recording his own music at home once again.
That brings us to the present. TJ is currently hard at work on a full-length guitar instrumental album and hopes to have everything wrapped up by fall of 2013. He is also working on contacts in the commercial television and radio industry to provide background music on several different projects.