The music I love has always been varied and far reaching and includes folk, rock, bluegrass, blues, old country, jazz, and classical. But my prime influences have been those artists who have managed to bring instrumental excellence to their vocal repertoire; artists such as Doc Watson, Tony Rice, John Hartford, Tim O'Brien, Laurie Lewis, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Sam Bush, Claire Lynch, Norman Blake, Flatt & Scruggs, and Bill Monroe. Other artists who have helped shape my music include Bela Fleck, Gordon Lightfoot, David Grisman, John Prine, Eric Clapton, Glen Orlin, Bill Staines, Neil Young, Bob Nolan, J.S. Bach, Bob Wills, Bill Keith, John Denver, and many, many others. It's my hope that all these influences are reflected in the music that flows from my hands and my heart.
As a singer, I found this a fairly easy objective to achieve as the music of my heroes seemed to come out naturally in the all songs I sing.
As a clawhammer banjoist, it wasn't nearly so easy. I had to adapt an instrumental technique (one that many considered "off limits" to anything other than "old-timey" music) to accommodate all the songs and musical genres that I have tucked away in my personal songbag. It took many years to develop a style of play that could effectively accompany folk, bluegrass, blues, county, classical, rock, or any other type of music I felt compelled to explore. Once I finally reached the point where I was reasonably proficient, I then felt the need to share my ideas with the clawhammer banjo community; my banjo teaching site was born.
Now that I've past the half century point in my life, I find myself looking for new opportunities to share this melding of clawhammer banjo and song. This doesn't mean I've abandoned the other instruments I play, it just means that the main focus of my music will be centered around the banjo. As you explore these pages, don't be shy about contacting me about any possible venue you think might be a good fit for me and my music (or contact the venue/promoter with a link to this website).
I'm looking forward to the next few years as they should be exciting ones for me.