I hear a melody constantly going on in the background of my life, and sometimes the melody turns into a song. Singing is the most natural thing for me. I sing all day without even realizing it. Sometimes I wake myself up at night from singing in my sleep, but my wife says it sounds like I’m moaning and groaning. One night I dreamed I was singing a song with my dad, who passed away a few years back. I woke up and wrote the song down. It was nice singing with him again.
I’ve never seen a musical instrument I didn’t want to try playing, it’s just so much fun to create different sounds with man made objects. It’s stunning to imagine a person coming up with the idea of building such an instrument as a guitar or a piano. I guess it is an evolution that has taken thousands of years, but I would not rule out divine intervention.
I do a lot of solo gigs, and I love playing with the” Super RedHawks”, a rocking little 3 piece band featuring Andy Holloway on drums, Shannon Thomason on bass and vocals, and myself on guitar, harmonica, banjo and vocals. We do original songs and pumped up versions of old country songs, and pretty much anything else people want to hear.
Lubbock, TX in the early 80’s was a great place to make a living playing in a country band! I enjoyed playing with “Armadillo Flats”, and the “Bryson Bowden Band”, and recording at Caldwell Studios.
The second half of the 80’s found me in North Carolina playing with the “City Slickers” in Charlotte, and then aboard the ”Henrietta II” paddlewheel riverboat on the Cape Fear River in Wilmington.
I studied music in college at Fredonia NY, but didn’t do anything with my 1976 degree until just recently when I took a job as the music teacher at the wonderful little school in Hermitage, MO. There are about 300 kids from infants to high school and I get to teach all of them! The younger kids call me “Banjo Jack,” a name I collected as a character in “Riverboat Bob,” a local children’s show in Wilmington, NC. The name stayed with me as I roamed the streets of Silver Dollar City playing my banjo. The really cool thing about teaching at Hermitage is they pretty much let me do it however I want. I let the kids pick the songs they want to learn, and the instruments they want to play, so it’s a lot more fun than the traditional music programs.
I’ve been loved, hated, joyful, dejected, welcomed, deported, pampered, held at gunpoint, weak, strong, well off, impoverished, young, …( OK, I don’t feel old, but some people might think I am!)… Through it all, there is always been a melody in the background. I look forward to sharing more of the melodies with you.