I was born to the son of a son of a gun. I’m not sure what that makes me. Most of my family was born in Indian Territory before Oklahoma was a state. The other part of my family came to Oklahoma in a rented boxcar for the oil boom in the early 1900s. I grew up with history, unable to escape it. It shapes my life and music in virtually every way.
I started playing piano when I was 5, picked up alto saxophone when I was 9, then graduated to electric guitar and songwriting when I was 14. I was even naive enough to think I was good! Rebelling from all the great Sun Records country music that I grew up with I turned to punk rock, Jamacian ska, and dub. Playing in several bands throughout clubs in the Southeast got my chops in order.
While working on a degree in Marketing from NC State, I worked at Radical Records and Stubborn Records in NYC. As they were both small labels, I was exposed to every aspect of the record label business.
After graduating NC State, I moved to NYC to work in the advertising business. I honed my skills there and still use that knowledge on a daily basis. After the economic downturn in post 9/11, I returned to the sunny South and settled back in Raleigh. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the apprenticeship program at Osceola Studios where I was able to work on projects such as the “Ladykillers” movie soundtrack with Little Brother as well as Velvet Revolver’s contribution to the “Fantastic Four” soundtrack. I was also fortunate to be involved in 2 sessions with Roomful of Blues!
Since then I have been fronting an “outlaw country/insurgent country” band hailing from Raleigh called Hearts and Daggers. We’ve been going strong for a decade. We are in the thick of the alt-country movement and are constantly playing anywhere from small 50 person capacity honky tonks to 300 person capacity venues. It ain’t easy, but it’s music. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep.