Who I Am
(If you need the accolades, scroll to the end)
I was raised with a love of small towns and big cities. It's those stories sitting still within in a scene that get me, the quiet ones. I see idle tractors on a Saturday night dreaming of a city night past the distant hills. Two fishing poles with "nowhere to be" reel in the thought of a steel mill 45 miles up the railroad tracks which cross the bridge above the river. Railroad tracks tie us together. Roads cut us apart, but roads also bring us back together. Words about the sunset don't burn like the colors in the sky. The craft of songwriting is a journey to learn the balance between a story in the scene and a story outside the scene.
My years have traversed from ocean town Virginia to small college town North Carolina, rural Virginia to urban Ohio, suburban Ohio to rural Ohio back to urban with a year in coastal Alabama tucked in there. I once lived in my car for 3 years traveling the country to play whatever coffee shop or rock club would take me. My years were filled with working in leather tanneries, group homes, house framing, fast food, printing companies, carpentry, lumberjacking (in Nova Scotia) teaching trumpet lessons and teaching in public schools. Before the pandemic, while working a full time music teaching position in an urban district, I averaged 80 performances per year, often logging 100+ hour weeks. I've spent my life trying not to be a public school teacher, but the path keeps sending me back there.
I write to give you real stories, even if they aren't all mine. And even if they aren't all true. They're all real. I never set down to write a hit. I set down to write the best story I am capable of, even on the funny songs.
Although I spent a weekend playing my own songs to crowds of 10,000 in France, I am just as happy playing to 25 people who'll listen to every word. Notable accomplishments are: Winning the Frank Brown International Songwriter Festival Songwriter Contest, being nominated as Best Songwriter in Scene Magazine and Best Band in the Free Times, being one of five trumpet players on the Ohio Intercollegiate All Star Jazz Band, being allowed to play in 4 Mississippi Songwriter Festivals (even though I'm not from Mississippi), performing with Keith Sykes (of Jimmy Buffet band) and Buzz Cason (writer of Everlasting Love), opening for George Jones and having him mention our band's name into the microphone, opening for Ralph Stanley.
Browse the songs. Find me on FB.
Hope to see you around :).