I have been playing music for most of my life and the road to this CD was a winding journey but with some clear markers. Sometimes stories start at the beginning but this one starts on the back end of the middle.
The first step occurred in 2001 when I found one of John Lennon’s acoustic guitars. Actually, I didn’t find the guitar; it was a gift from by beautiful wife Tammy and Barbara -- best mom-in law a man could have. And to be completely honest it isn’t technically “one of John Lennon’s guitars.” It’s an Epiphone EJ-160 John Lennon Signature model. A guy can dream can’t he?
My John Lennon guitar sounded great. My buddy Dave at Guitar Resurrection set it up. I loved the action and the feel of the neck. I had played bass, keyboards and some electric guitar in bands for over 25 years but this was a new jumping off point. This was my first acoustic guitar and learning to finger-pick was a bit like traveling to Mars.... I was starting from scratch.
So I searched out artists that I admired to learn songs. I was drawn to the work of Robert Johnson, Muddy Water, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Bill Broonzey, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, James Taylor, Keb Mo, Steve Earle and obviously John Lennon. I begged, borrowed and nicked as many licks as I could handle.
The next catalyst to my odyssey was when my daughter Kate was born in 2006. The addition of a beautiful new baby girl to our family brought on a natural shift of priorities. I was a new dad again. I was home more which had an added bonus -- I started playing my acoustic guitar more, writing songs and actually finishing them. When Kate was very young I would take the guitar into the bathroom for her tub time. While she played with her little tub toys, we had BIG fun. We sang songs, made up songs, and I would sneak in little ideas I was working on and write. Half of the songs on the CD were written or created during this period. Having Kate on the cover of the CD was natural. She was my muse and song-writing partner. The time together with her allowed me the opportunity to create these songs.
The last piece of the journey was to start playing these songs out in public and the reconnecting with friends. Austin isn’t a bad place to do that. Without using a worn out slogan it is true that you can't go two hundred yards in any direction without running into a music venue. So I went out and found a gig. My first gig as a solo was at the Thunderbird coffeehouse in November 2010. I played anywhere they would let me. One night I was playing Genuine Joe’s on Anderson Lane and an old band mate from my Rabbit days (that is a different story – it is at the end of the beginning) walked in. Bruce and I have known each other since high school. We also logged 9 years on the road with that Rabbit thing and are still good friends today. Anyway, Bruce was itching to play guitar again so I invited him to join my party of 1. Now we’re a duo, we play more gigs and eventually add Win on bass and finally David on the drums. Over the last 4 years we have built this thing up, even rehearsed a few times, and have become a real band.
The last leg on this trip was linking up with Phil Mezzetti -- producer and recording engineer extraordinaire. Phil did some time on the road with Rabbit in the early 80’s (there’s that Rabbit thing again) but now he owns his own recording studio. We begged him to help us make this record and in between floods and near death experiences he relented and went way above the call of duty and put real sweat and heart in this record. Thanks Phil.
John Lennon guitar. Beautiful daughter Kate and tub time. Reconnecting with friends. These are the steps on my path that brought you this CD. Hope you enjoy it – there are pieces of my life in this music.