When I was a kid my mother listened to music all the time, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis and many others. My Grandfather was the main musician in the family when I was a kid and he played both the button accordion and chromatic harmonica. Sound and music always had an effect on me and I started picking up his instruments and could replay what he had played.
I had always liked the sound of guitar and wanted to play. I begged for years for my parents to send me to guitar lessons and they finally succumbed and let me use a piece of junk broken silvertone acoustic to play on. It was nearly impossible to play. The teachers I had were all terrible and I left disillusioned. Finally I met an old man (he was 30) who showed me a bunch of stuff when he walked by and heard me playing. It was that spark that set me on a path. I majored in Music/Photography at Southern Illinois University and attended two other schools as well for 6 years of college. While in school my performance was in electronic music (analog), and I trained in every musical instrument in a typical orchestra (as I was studying instrument repair) as I first had to learn how to play them before I could fix them. I also trained in sound engineering using PA’s, sound systems, Moog synths, Ampex 16 channel tape systems and I had 24 hour access to one of the top college recording studios in the USA at the time. I was a starving student (literly) and I would play guitar and sing on the strip in Carbondale, IL in order to get enough cash to eat. I also played lead guitar on a stratocaster and bandmaster stack very loudly and was with various bands but I always made more money with just my voice and my acoustic so I focused more on that since I had to eat and survive.
For my final in advanced electronic music I released my first track release: “Windfrost” in 1977 which was published on the national PBS radio.
My first job outside of school was being the head music instrument repairman for the largest music store chain in Colorado at the time (Villa Music), and I was also the sound engineer for the Punk band “The Jetsons”. I got tired fast of repairing hundreds of band instruments, dealing with the acid required, the smell, and the fact I was the only repairman supporting a music store chain of 12 stores with over a year of backlog instruments waiting to be fixed. I repaired guitars, flutes, violins, basically everything. I left Villa and went on as a Piano Technician with Professional Piano Service in Colorado. They would purchase grand pianos all over the world have them shipped to Denver and we would rebuild them. My main job was fixing the sound board as well as restringing and tuning.
I also studied Afrikan drumming with the late Baba Adetunji Joda, being the only person he ever taught privately and I performed with him as well as taught drumming classes for him for over 14 years in Colorado doing hundreds of performances.
I have performed 4 times on TV (once on African drums with Adetunji, 2 times with just me on guitar and voice (and an entire TV show dedicated to my music), and once with Violinist Greg Rodriguez.
Once Arturia released their Moog modular software I was able to take the thousands of hours of recordings I had on 1/2 track tape and recreate them in the software. My first album that was released used a lot of recorded organic sounds I collected from the 1970’s. I went on to release several other albums
I have released 14 music albums to date. I am also a fully voting member of the Grammy Foundation. My electronic music is a combination of me playing real music instruments and voice and then using electronics to alter its sound.
I primarily use Martin Acoustic Guitars and Gibson Electric Guitars, Marshall/Mesa Boogie Amps, Carvin/Crate and Fishman PA’s.
During the years 1997-2008 I performed over 1000 live concerts with my voice and Martin D45 Custom.
Samples of Music Albums can be found on YouTube