Growing up in a small town in Northern Michigan, where many people might think there is "nothing to do...", I found plenty to keep me occupied. I suppose I fell in to the classic make-your-own-fun type of up bringing. With plenty of woods and water surrounding me, there were endless possibilities for physical and mental exploration. There was more than enough space to let your mind run away with itself. How can you not be imaginative when you live in a place where the aurora borealis light up the sky, a gazillion stars cover you like a blanket, and an ocean-size lake lulls you to sleep??!! Nature is full of metaphors and similes, and it speaks a language I understand and like to convey in my songs.
So, how does one get from a small town to Nashville, Tennessee? The answer is; a vision, time, highways, byways, a roller coaster and a lot of support from friends and family along the way. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I easily found my way to Vail, Colorado where I taught skiing full time. There, is where I sang at my first open mic night, and started diving in to the dream that had been bubbling below the surface. Though information about "how to be a singer and songwriter" wasn't as accessible as it is today, I was fortunate enough to get my feet wet for a stint with, (the then), little known record company called Aware Records. The brains behind the company, Gregg Latterman, who I knew from the ski world, asked me to help out one summer and tour with Hootie and the Blowfish and Edwin McCain- I would be promoting up and coming bands who were on the Aware CD compilations.
It was at these shows, where I learned a lot about the business, while watching and listening closely to how it was done. At the urging of Edwin, I HAD to learn an instrument if I wanted to be a serious singer and songwriter. So, I bought me a pawn shop guitar and things were gonna happen! The problem was, you had to PLAY it...which required learning it! This mountain proved to be bigger than the ones I was skiing every day. Up to this point, I had considered myself pretty fearless. I hung on to it for a couple years, but never touched it. It had spoken very loudly from the corner of my room where it collected dust, telling me I had way too far to go to even begin to get anywhere near where I had pictured myself... on stage with millions of fans adoring me world-wide!!!!! I had to sell that guitar for gas money...
Flash forward to Charlotte, North Carolina. It is there, where I taught myself to play on my step-mother's Gibson acoustic. With 15 basic guitar chords written on a piece of paper, parents tolerating my "riffs", and an "ignorance is bliss" view of the world...I was ready to roll. Starting a bit later than most, I had a lot of catching up to do. From there, I moved back to Colorado, then found myself in LA where I recorded my first CD, 'Color Me In'.
During this phase of my life, I started attending the 'Durango Songwriter's Expo', and that's when my eyes really began opening to the craft of songwriting, and how invaluable relationships are in this business. The people who I really took to, and who really took the time to teach, listen, and help me connect the dots, all seemed to be from Nashville- and that's what lead me there. It was the small town, in a big city place I didn't know I had been looking for!
I am a work in progress, and so is my music. This is where I am. Right now. 2015. I have no agenda, other than to write what I know and feel, record it when I can, then put it out in the world. Enjoy these snap shots of my life. You may see yourself, or someone you know...