I love to sing. One of my earliest musical memories involves me pressing my ear to the speaker of my mom’s Plymouth Fire Arrow and singing along to Juice Newton’s “Queen of Hearts” as we drove through the Idaho desert. The love of guitar came much later, but the urge to sing was ever present. So, it seems surprising to me now that the first time I sang a song in public came in college, after I started messing around with my first guitar, a 1987 Ovation Celebrity (I still have it).
I briefly studied classical guitar at Western Kentucky University, but found that I didn’t have the discipline or patience to play Isaac Albéniz pieces. I wanted to rock out! Or at least folk out. I continued to play guitar on my own terms, writing original music and learning songs by the musicians I admired. James Taylor was big. Pearl Jam, too. I performed in public sometimes, but not as much as I should have. I studied theatre for a bit, took a college hiatus, joined the military, got older, left the military, and eventually rediscovered my love of writing and playing live music.
And here I am. I love playing for people, and I love living in Iowa. We have a great community of artists here, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to be a part of that. And I’m grateful that you just read all of this.
James Taylor - The first musician I ever listened to that I paid attention to something other than their voice. I learned to play guitar while learning about JT.
Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder - I have to admit, I have a pretty big talent crush on the entire band, but especially on Mr. Vedder. From the first listening of his vocals on 'Ten' when I was 15, to his awesome foray into the world of the ukulele, his passion for what he does is what I aspire to.
Glen Hansard - I saw him open for Eddie Vedder in St. Louis and was completely mesmerized by the show he put on with just his battered Takamine guitar, stories and banter that kept me feeling like he was talking directly to me (I know he wasn't), and a voice that alternately soothes, laments and rages. I was hooked.
I'm not going to continue to bulletize the rest, but I'll list the people I can think of that I have allowed to shape my understanding of what I want to be as a songwriter and performer: Ben Harper, Ben Gibbard/Death Cab For Cutie, Glen Phillips/Toad The Wet Sprocket, Rage Against The Machine, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, my future self (sorry, that's not true. I'm not Matthew McConaughey), Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, Neil Young, Nirvana, Phish, Indigo Girls, and a bunch of others. This list also functions as a mostly decent guide to the covers that I play in my live show...
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