Ahh the bio, where do I start. There’s nothing more awkward than writing this page selling yourself so that people will view you as the next…. insert favorite famous person. When in reality more than likely at this stage of my career many of you have never heard of me. So instead of all the pretense, because I really hate bullshit, let me tell you what I hope to accomplish with this bio. I hope you get to know me a little better and maybe even enough to listen to some of my music or invite me to your venue or write a nice article about me in your paper. Because when that happens that’s when the relationship begins. When you connect with a song of mine, then my songwriting did it’s job and my soul is nourished by us connecting. When you invite me to a venue, I get to meet you and people that I’ve never met before and we get to connect. When you write about me… sometimes we end up meeting or talking and you and I and everyone who reads the article has the chance if they choose to connect. Because that’s why I do what I do.
When I was 21 I performed for the first time at a country dance hall in Tulsa. It was a songwriting contest and there was a house band I had the pleasure of performing with. I sang a couple of my originals and when I sang my slow country ballad, all of a sudden the empty dance floor had a couple who were sharing a dance to my song. Immediately I was hooked. I knew I wanted to not just be a songwriter, but to be a performer as well. For the time I spent in Nashville, my second home was the Bluebird Cafe. Besides being a great place for meeting and connecting with other songwriters, it was also a wonderful place to be up close and personal with the audience. I believe they had a fire code of something like 88 people. So if someone liked a song, hated it, or was uninterested then you knew immediately by reading their faces. I became an expert at reading an audience’s face there. I learned a lot from other writers, some famous and some not. I hung out with (or loitered but we’ll go with hung out) folks at Nashville Songwriters Association International and met a ton of songwriters who later became co-writers and gave me other perspectives on the approach of songwriting.
From that experience at NSAI I was introduced to a songwriter by getting a tip about her performance at the Bluebird Cafe… only telling me that I had to be there at that show. So I took her word and showed up. The songwriter was Shawn Colvin. Just her and her guitar, tearing it up. The stories and the songs I connected with and if she could travel with just her and her guitar then I could as well. So that’s what I did. I started booking shows in cities all over. The further the better. I got some spins with my first album. Later I put out a couple more albums. When I went to record RAW ~ Real Action with Words, Gwen Sebastian sang background because the vocalist scheduled didn’t show up. And it was pretty freakin’ awesome seeing her sing background for Miranda Lambert this past Christmas on National TV. Just saying that sometimes people don’t show up for a reason. ;) I was a big fan of Matt Rollings who played on one of my favorite Mary Chapin album Stones in the Road. So I looked him up on white pages and he was kind enough to play on my album in addition to some grossly talented people.
And then I stopped. It just happened. You know life. But somewhere here lately, I got hungry again. Very hungry. And music started to be everywhere and speak to me, calling me to come back. So I listened. Started writing and took some guitar lessons (because one can always be better). You know the whole age thing has always been like a little dog nipping at my heals. That voice in your head that talks about the increasing amount of lines on your face. That voice that talks about “responsibilities” and how that somehow doesn’t correlate with music. I finally woke up when my guitar instructor was telling me about a 70+ year old recording an album he was helping with. The thing he said was, “If you’re going to be doing it anyways (songwriting etc..), then you might as well do it.” So I left there and immediately booked a gig at the Full Moon Cafe.
Well, that’s my story. I hope to get to meet you and hear your story. And I hope your story includes being bold and not letting anyone stop you from being you. Not even yourself.