When I was supposed to be studying in high school...
I was playing along with recordings in the basement. As a nice suburban boy, I knew about the Beatles, the Who, Neil Young and Bob Dylan. These were the only recordings of harmonica I knew. I learned some of their solos. It didn't take long before I discovered where the harmonica lived and breathed for me - Chicago blues. I got into Chicago players of the 50s and 60s and tried to play like they did...not as easy to master! I'm still finding that out today.
For a long time, did just fine as a self-taught harmonica player. But along the way I realized the value of expert teachers - on harmonica Corky Siegel and more recently Howard Levy; on jazz clarinet Nick Bisesi and David Bloom (I spent an entire year under his tutelage working not only on jazz clarinet but music theory, arranging and practice techniques).
I joined Bakelite 78 in 2003. The band specialized in parlor jazz of the 1920s and 30s, old murder ballads, blues, country-western, and original material that borrows a little from each category. The Chicago Reader called the first Bakelite 78 CD "a fantastic collection." The band's 2nd album was produced by guitarist Jimbo Mathus and came out in Nov. 2008. However, the band is on hiatus as our talented founder, songwriter & singer is pursuing other opportunities in Seattle.
The "indie-rock" duo Short Punks in Love asked me to contribute to new recordings 2009 and I took part in their collection, The Adventures of Rosie the Cat.
Meanwhile, I continue to learn and grow as a soloist, accompanist and musical colorist. Need something impassioned and unique on your own recordings? See what I can do for you.