I'm not a fan of bios written in the 3rd person. I'll make an exception if Lester Bangs, Cameron Crowe or Hank Bordowitz decide to write about me someday. Until then, here's my unabashed 1st person bio, warts and all:
THE READER'S DIGEST VERSION:
I believe that most things sound better through a Leslie cabinet.
I have a fetish with rice cakes.
I'm recording my 1st CD for the Prophase Music label.
I like the night life; I like to boogie.
My version of 4-WHEEL DRIVE is a skateboard.
Jesus and John Entwistle are just alright with me.
I write my own bios (but this we know).
For most folks, this is a sufficient bio. If you're one of those people, you are now free to roam about my website.
For the rest of you, those requiring more depth, more detail, more drama, more rock and redemption....try this on for size:
THE SCREENPLAY VERSION:
Music permeated the household I grew up in. All family members played and there was always an instrument around. I gravitated towards drums at an early age but the influence of my classically trained older brother and sister and the music they listened to provided an equal fascination with the piano and electronic keyboards. Mom, a budding songwriter showed me my first chord (a D major triad) and I was off and running. After a few years learning songs by ear on both drums and piano, I was given the opportunity for private lessons. Once Mom felt I was ready, she allowed me to follow in my siblings' footsteps and study at The Peabody Institute in Baltimore. During this time I gigged in various bands on both instruments (often in the same band) and got a taste for the exhilaration of live performance. Band rehearsals at my house meant instruments left behind for me to tinker with. Enter the Bass Guitar.
Behold the power, the majesty, the intensity of those low notes! Guitar was ok and certainly did rock, but BASS was a force to be reckoned with. Most importantly though, bass provided me with an opportunity to combine the best of what I loved about playing drums (being in charge of the rhythm) and the piano (creating the harmony). Upon that realization, from that moment on I saw the bass guitar not as an instrument one was relegated to after failing at guitar, but rather as an instrument which one was priviledged to play as it carried with it a certain degree of responsibility. One could posit that bassists were the multi-taskers of the musical world.
Next stop - Berklee College of Music. Another amazing opportunity (thanks, Mom!) and one about which I could write volumes, and may someday.
My post-college life has seen me relocate back to my native Maryland and become an active part of its vibrant music scene. I've played danged near every bar and club worth mentioning (and many which are not) as well some high-falutin' joints like RFK Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Camden Yards and the 1st Mariner Arena. There have been a few jaunts up and down the east coast as well. Some milestone events include the Vans Warped Tour, appearing with my band Battery Apple in the film "Wings Of Hope", writing and recording with Flavia Canel (ex-Drain STH), appearing on 40+ CDs to date and scoring the elusive record deal with a cool prog-rock band called Oblivion Sun. The list of bands I've played with is a long one but what sticks out are the ones that I aspired to play with and ultimately got the gig. These are: Rebel Amish Radio, Never Never, BiggerBetterFasterMore, The Approach, Cloudbreak and most recently, Crack The Sky and Several Species. If you're a local, you probably know the names. If you're not, they represent some of the finest opportunities for superlative music making one can have without being famous (and two of them came close).
Fast forward to the present. Itching to do my own thang, in 2009 I bid farewell to Oblivion Sun, made some serious upgrades to the home studio and assembled the demos which paved the way for landing my own deal with Prophase Music. I'm working on two CDs simultaneously and rehearsing the new material. Still nothing compares with playing live which is why I keep busy playing in other bands - everything from original acts to classic/modern rock cover bands to tribute and specialty acts and averaging about 200 gigs a year. I also do a good bit of independent and commerical studio work for bands/artists, film, TV and gaming. Recent stuff includes the E! True Hollywood Story series, Rob Zombie's "Halloween II" and Grand Theft Auto IV. Need professional bass guitar tracks for your song, demo, film score or jingle? Visit www.YourSessionBassist.com and I'll walk you through the process.
Another big part of my musical expression comes from offering private bass instruction. I have an amazing roster of students - everything from home hobbyists to weekend warriors to full-time players, ranging in age from 8 to 62. They're all unique and keep me focused on the art of sharing, communicating and learning musical concepts. Not that I need much of a reminder about the learning part as I'm currently teaching myself mandolin, lap steel, cello and guitar as well as keeping my chops up on drums, keys and singing. It goes without saying that I will forever be a student of the bass guitar.
I feel very fortunate...no, make that blessed to do what I do. I'm proud to say I have been "gainfully unemployed" (in the traditional sense) since 2001. When I was a kid all I wanted to do was play music (and skateboard) and now I get to have my hands on a musical instrument 8-10 hours a day, six days a week (Sundays are for skating!). I have no idea what the future holds for me but that won't stop me from continuing to pursue music in whatever manner I find pleasing at any given time. This + family + health = everything I could ever ask for.
Ok, so to finish out what is already an overly indulgent essay, below you'll find two lists of things which I feel do a good job of defining me:
LIKES: Orchestral and solo piano music from the Romantic and Impressionist eras (Debussy, the Russian Five, Chopin, Listz, etc), 70's progressive and classic rock, Ludwig drums, Hammond organs, phased Clavinettes, Christmas, green Kryptonics, Zots, The Macallan, Warner Bros cartoons, Cheap Trick, Evel Knievel, organic food, large stages, HDTV, vinyl records, headroom, kefir, linguistics, high quality socks, Fat Albert, sleep
DISLIKES: Snow, bad load-ins, malfunctioning gear, malfunctioning fingers and vocal cords, loud music at gas stations, human obstructions on bike paths, fast food, small stages, press "1" for English, over-compressed audio, cigarette smoke, shoes, 7/30/08, caffeine, long bios
Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, hear?