It’s been a long time since the scent of fall sneaked through my window to wake me on a cool NY morning, back when all I could think of was jamming to Stones, Hendrix and Zeppelin with a young guitar prodigy by the name of Freddie Scribner & his brother Brad. Though the trail from NY to Ft. Myers, FL is etched in my mind forever, the canvas of memories is weathering, some of the images beginning to fade. Early on after moving to FL, I got hooked up with a unique blend of musicians that fed me styles totally new to me as a bassist… these guys gave me a crash course in the art of wood shedding to Little Feat, Yes, Rundgren, Dixie Dregs, and so much more. What’s more we lived and ate together, that is, when one of us had money; money we didn’t make gigging coz we refused to play top-40 music. As a musician, I most definitely grew a lot during that season.
As I ventured further out into the wild, I made a few wrong turns down one way streets. But as grace would have it, these trials led to situations and opportunities I might never have been part of. Like, an informal conversation with the mother of a friend landed me a music scholarship at a junior college. After 3-years of bass, piano, theory, and academia, I bounced around playing in club bands, both on the road and the time share circuit on Sanibel & Captiva Islands just outside Ft. Myers.
Suddenly in 1982 I began thinking about growing up when I met my future wife. Watching friends and musical relationships deteriorate over substances and rank ego trips led me to consider alternative means to continue playing music for a living. So, in 1986 I joined the US Navy as a bassist in the Navy Music Program… what a trip! I thought I was a pretty good player till I got around some really well educated and disciplined musicians at my first duty station in Newport, RI. This was a set of sapphire stepping stones in my journey as a musician.
Fast forward to 1996… we moved our family from Charleston, SC to Charlotte, NC. I decided to hang up my gigging spikes and only play music at church. While I totally enjoy using what gifts I have for the greater good, I missed the live music scene. In late 2002, I was having lunch with a friend, Brian Hartzog, an experienced and accomplished Indie artist who then worked at the same company as me. Brian invited me to an NSAI meeting, which I attended. Over the last few, I’ve made a shift in my approach to music so I can play almost every day without the late nights of club dates (yeah, I miss gigging) coupled with the early wake up call of a day job, and I’m enjoying a whole new realm of the creative process. The artist community in Charlotte is a sea of pearls. I’m continually amazed at the depth and diversity of musical styles and talent in town, and surrounding areas. Thanks to a bunch of listening, learning, many way cool friends and influences, and the awesome grace of God, I’m finding there’s a place for my art and music whether it’s here in Charlotte, or wherever I go.