My initiation into performing music began in the early 1970’s, at college in Spokane, Washington. I shared a varied and eclectic musical interest in the Beach Boys, Earl Scruggs, the Zombies, and musical icon, John Sebastian and the Lovin Spoonful, with bassist Pete Trott, and guitar/banjo player, Tim Docheff. We called ourselves Overland Stage and we hit the road for all the Low pay, No pay venues in Washington and Northern Idaho.
In the summer of 1976 a New sound was developed when Tim and I teamed up with three very talented and experienced musicians, Dave Hutcheson, Phil Bruni, and Shawn O’Neal. Tim and I provided a Country Rock/Bluegrass influence; our new partners had a Rock and Roll, Funk background. With an emphasis on high energy, tight arrangements and vocal harmonies, the Salt Creek Band was formed. This unique combination of musical influences, plus a strong work ethic and a constantly evolving musical and stage show earned the band a record contract in the mid 1980’s. They recorded two successful albums on the CBO label in Nashville, TN. I am grateful for my four years with this extremely talented group. I traveled much of the United States and Canada with Salt Creek, and also had the opportunity to share the stage with some of my musical heroes: Black Oak Arkansas, Doug Kershaw, Earl Scruggs, Mission Mountain Wood Band, and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.
In 1980 I left the Salt Creek Band to pursue family, and other business interests. A 16 year performing hiatus began at this time. In August 1996 Salt Creek did their first reunion show in Elk, WA. The experience was to say the least, Electric. More important was renewing friendships that had lain dormant for so long. Since then we have managed to overcome busy schedules and being scattered all over North America to come together for 8 gigs. The most recent was July 2006 in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Inspired by the 1996 reunion, I decided that it was time pursue a solo career. A long time interest in “Jump Swing” music was melded into the American Roots music I had always played. Much of the past 10 years I have enjoyed the flexibility, and YES! , The Total Control that playing solo offers.
Thirty-five years from the start of my musical journey, my first CD titled “35, and a Month of Days” was finished July of 2009. It was recorded over a six year period one week at a time. I am grateful for the love and talent that my musical family (Dave Hutcheson, Shawn O'Neal, Bruce Monson, Jim Henkemeyer, Adrian Campos) lent to this project. I can't say enough about the patience and professionalism of Mountain Magico Studios, and College Road Recording in this process. I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
As a very sad addendum, my dear friend and musical collaborator Bruce Monson died suddenly on April 18th 2010. His passing leaves a big hole in the lives of his family and friends. Bruce had that unique blend of creativity and talent, with an ability to relate the complexities of music structure to those of us that lacked that background. He was a great guy to hang with and will be missed.
2018 was a great year for me. I am grateful for the all entertainment buyers who hired me to perform for their patrons. Thanks to Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise (FAME) for entrusting me with "Four Strong Winds, a Celebration of Contemporary Canadian Music". Many thanks to my extremely talented partners in the Safety Committee: Richey Ricker, Jeff Hubbard, and Dean Yeonas. Also, a very enriching and educational association with guitar virtuoso Josh Bayer www.joshbayer.com . Perhaps the highlight of highlights was my involvement with "Chords of Courage" Step Up Band. " Chords" is a non-profit organization that sponsors songwriting as an avenue to promote social change. High School and Middle School participants write a song about a topic of social concern, and the songs are performed in the theater at Frederick Community College Frederick, MD.
I am very much looking forward to 2019. A chance to repeat "Chords of Courage". One, maybe two projects with FAME this year. Shows with my friend Josh Bayer, and gigs with the "Safety Committee" delivered with energy, musicality and.............. Safety!