Well, it all starts back when I was a scrawny kid in grade school. My elementary school got a new music teacher who had tattoos, wore his hair in a ponytail and played a pink paisley “Telecaster.” That was the exact moment I knew had to play the guitar. I found myself in formal guitar lessons for more than eighteen years with that teacher who made such an impact on me and I gained a dear friend out of it. I ended up moving from guitar to some other stringed instruments like the dobro, pedal steel, banjo, and mandolin as well as organ and piano. In my mind, I’ve always had something else to say on a different instrument.
Growing up my house had classic ‘American music’ playing constantly. I was exposed to Folk, bluegrass, western swing, honkey-tonk country, blues, and jazz at a young age, along with some classic guitar albums my instructor gave me. In middle school I was stuck with the box set of Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell recordings (can’t say any other tweens were listening to that), and high school had me enamored by Thelonious Monk, The Grateful Dead, and George Harrison (a fairly eclectic mix). College found me caught on The Jayhawks, Howe Gelb/Giant Sand, Townes Van Zandt, and Ernest Tubb (played through loud headphones to overcome my boot-heels on college linoleum).
I started playing out while I was in middle school. My parents would take me to bars on open mic nights and I’d have free cokes and guitar solos until people wanted to buy “The Kid” a real drink. I’ve continued playing around Albuquerque all through my time in high school and college; it’s been my most constant ‘job’ in my life so far. While I play full-time with Wildewood, I’m still a bit of a ‘hired gun’ with some other local groups and friends, lending some Telecaster and Pedal Steel when my schedule allows either live or in studios. It forces me to stay on my toes, as well as enjoy the spontaneous energy of live performances and collaboration.
Now with Wildewood I get to allow my influences to really come out. My love for ‘Americana’ music is the fact that it’s derivative, raw, emotional, and authentic. Between Greg, Meredith and me, we’re able to create music that can really stand on its own feet because we’re working with a very wide range of influences and motivations. It’s the absolute joy of my life, writing, collaborating, and performing with such talented musicians who I consider dear friends.