"A one man powerhouse of heart and passion...the music of singer-songwriter Panda is a unique mix of folk, blues,soul and more soul..With a voice that can carry a soft ballad one moment and gritty Tom Wait's style the next."Austin, TX. music magazine..Austin Daze
I first picked up guitar when I was 20, and I was feeling "social pressure" to "do something with my life"...I really wanted to get away from eveyone and everything for a while and I had a good friend who offered me the use of his very remote cabin in the santa cruz mountains.I stayed there on my own for almost three months looking after his dogs while he stayed with his girlfriend in Santa Cruz (He would come every 2 weeks and bring food, drink, etc, stay a night for a catch up and then go back to SC) and there was this old beat up guitar hanging on the wall when I arrived.She became my best friend in those very good and at times very tough solo moments I resided there..It came fast to me, writing lyrics to the basic chords I had learned, and it's a bummer that I have lost many of the "journals" I kept back then as I would love to see what was present in my mind at those times..(it was an intense period in my life).
I, like so many others, had tough adolescent years, full of uncertainty at where to " fit in" in a society whose priorities and values were lost on me..After high school, I chose to do something different, and in the years between 18 and 23, I toured around the USA and Canada;mostly by hitchhiking, enjoying the road life,the meeting of people, and marking large amounts of time in nature and national parks; and as well, travelling extensively to see live music...I suppose more often to see The Grateful Dead, but as well my musical tastes have always gone in many directions..
It was during this time that I was exposed to and influenced by many different styles of music. What really touched me consistantly was the connection between band and audience in "live" shows...This energy created which was much greater than the "band" or the "crowd" on its own...It is this synergy that pushes my musical passion the most.
As for where I have picked up my style...Hahahaha!!!!
Who knows!!.... :) All of us can claim a thousand influences in our lives, especially when we live with our eyes open...So many people and experiences have touched my heart, and blessedly, continue to do so.
I love and prefer to play "live" in concert and have toured extensively around North America, Central America, Canada, New Zealand & the European Union for these past twenty years.
During this time, I have been blessed to have played on the same stage with acts such as; Taj Mahal, CCR, The Wailers, Tuck & Patti, Michael Hedges, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, David Grisman Quintet along with a number of other accomplished performers.
Presently, I am calling New Zealand home, as I have much to keep me occupied there. I keep myself busy musically, and I love to travel when time permits me to do so.