I've been playing guitar since I was 15, um, that's over 30 years now. I'm glancing over at my acoustic I've had since 16 and my electric I got when I was 17. They both have some nice wear on them. I've gone through lots of phases in my playing. The last dozen years or so I've been into finger picking and some slide on the National Resonator.
I grew up in Texas and have always been influenced by country blues as well as rock and pop. The last few years I've begun integrating western music with Indian music in a sort of east-west expression of the same devotional feeling that blues has at it's roots.
The bottom line though is that I approach each song as an expression of a particular subtle energy state, and I try to achieve a balanced spectrum rather than have all my music sound the same. Just like in cooking: you want to have all the different tastes (sweet, sour, salty, spicy) present in a good meal, but you don't want them all the same in every dish.
When I've prepared my dish, I offer it to Krsna. My music has gotten much better, and I've gotten more relaxed since I began chanting:
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
It's really amazing how many different melodies you can explore with those simple magical words.
My first musical memory is of my father's jazz records and how they
made my feet want to dance. The first concert I went to was in Enid
Oklahoma, where I saw the great Louis Armstrong. Our family was one
of less then half a dozen "whites" in an auditorium full of "blacks".
Unfortunately this proved to be an isolated incident. When I first
learned about The Beatles, my mother told me that they were
communist sympathizers that had been kicked out of the country
for doing drugs, and they were very bad people. Hmmm.
It seemed like a long time before I had a band again. In fact
it was after I had turned 18 and left home.
for his steady gig),
who brought the band together with his warm personality, would call
out songs or simply begin playing the melody -- and the band would just do their
best to follow along. If you've ever heard anybody play a saw, then
you know that its a sound that you either hate, or ... ok, tolerate (well
there are a special few that love the sound). Anyway, that was Mr. Hedge's
thing, and it was the band's gimmick: taking saw places where it had never been before.
I've got to say that I certainly playing around with the Jimi Hendrix tunes we did
like 3'rd Rock from the Sun....
Having plainly exceeded our 15 minute quota for fame, the band dutifully, uh, disbanded.
From the ashes of the Chefs came.... No really it wasn't the ashes, it was more like the
twigs. Mike had filled in on bass a few times for the Chef's, and Reid had sat in a couple
of times on guitar. I had just bought a National Resophonic guitar and was serious about
playing some blues. What started out officially as a weekly jam thing in the Chef's old
time slot at the coffee house, turned into a band loosely lead and fronted by Reid and
In 2004 I threw everything I had into putting out a solo album, Just a Little Levity, which pretty much flopped leaving me, um, flopping?
Playing live has always been one of those things that took an incredible amount of energy for the amount it returned. I really like open mic's and musical artist communities.
Muddy Waters and Mance Lipscomb were the first influences to pick up the guitar. I quickly went electric and studied Ted Nugent, Led Zepplin, Rush, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, and the like.
My guitar teacher was Dale Mullins, a contemporary of Chet Atkins, and he taught me how to navigate the fretboard. Jaya Gurudeva!
In the late '90s I began running into Bob Brozman in Felton, CA in a little coffee shop called Java Bob's where there was a cool little scene. He consented to show me a little bit about slide and finger picking techniques, but also really opened me up to the rhythm of playing, using the whole body.