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I've always started my bios with the early years of my career and worked up to the present. I would just like to mention that at the present time I'm endorsed by Collings Guitars, Fishman Transducers, Strymon Engineering, Eastwood Guitars, G7th Capos, Essential Sound Products, Creation Audio Labs, John Pearse Strings and ToadWorks USA, amongst others. It took many years to acquire the skills (and good fortune!) that led to these endorsements, and I use all of this equipment in the studio and on live stages,because it's the best that money can buy.
And here's how I came to be lucky enough to use so much quality gear in my work....
My career in music was born, like so very many other players and songwriters, when I first heard The Beatles on the radio, then saw them on TV. By the age of twelve, I knew what I would be doing professionally for the rest of my life.
My ego during my youth 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.
I began on the drums at thirteen and added the guitar at fifteen. I left home shortly after turning seventeen and within two 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 extremely lucky to have been mentored for a little over two years by one of the finest musicians on the planet, Lew London, who then lived in Philly and spent his summers in his parents' summer home which was about a block from my parents' home in Margate, NJ, one of four cities on the seven mile long island on which Atlantic City resides. Lew taught me so much about guitar that I could run out of space here on my bio telling you about it:)
I played my first 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 again! 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 been very fortunate in doing just that, as well as 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), as well as playing live music at great venues like Austin City Limits, The Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ole' Opry and many others.
I was so fortunate to have played with Walter Hyatt, who was a singer/songwriter of the highest caliber, and was highly influential in Lyle Lovett's songwriting (they were long time friends)as well as many other very well known artists' careers. Walter died in the Value Jet crash in The Everglades on May 11, 1996 after playing a three night gig with me and our bass player in Key West, Fla.. It was like being in Fantasy Land doing that particular gig, sans our drummer, and I told Walter how much I loved playing with him during the last set we would ever play. Do yourself a favor and check out "Uncle Walt's Band" if you like terrific vocals, amazing songs, great playing and warmth from three acoustic instruments and voices. David Ball, who has had a very successful career in Country music was the upright bass player and the late Champ Hood completed that trio from Spartanburg, SC. And check out his solo albums both before and after his death. I was asked to double almost all of his guitar parts and add my own acoustic and electric parts to several albums of songs released posthumously. The credits on "Walter Hyatt - Some Unfinished Business Vol. 1 and 2 are a who's who of Nashville's finest players and singers. It was a very humbling experience to have been so closely involved with that project, which took about six months to record around forty songs. They were done with Walt's guitar vocal demos, Pro Tools and the loving work of his wife, Heidi Hyatt, who was the executive producer, and the many session players and singers who all felt honored to participate in that labor of love, including Walter's band - the only band he had that played only his music - King Tears -a trio with electric guitar, bass and drums.
I lived in a number of large cities when I was in my late teens and early twenties, trying to figure out where I belonged. I spent a year (half of it on food stamps) learning volumes about playing with bands in Austin before I was invited to check out Houston by my good friend Ezra Idlet, of "Trout Fishing In America" fame. I spent 18 plus years in Houston before trying my luck in Nashville for another 18 years. I had some wonderful things open up for me there that would never have come my way had I stayed in Houston, but could not sustain them long enough to justify living there, and I missed Houston from the first day I spent in Nashville.
Which brings me and my lovely wife, Debbie, back to Houston where I am ready to play music with some old and dear friends (amazing players!) and some new ones too (!) playing in front of live people once more, without the erstwhile hunger I had for session work pulling me into the studios as much as it used to. Whoever said "Be careful what you wish for" said a mouth-full:)
I hope you'll come back to visit this site after I get some more pics and songs up, and I welcome your feedback about my songs and my playing. But I'm equally interested in hearing your music too, so please invite me to your site!
Thanks for your time spent here,