I took this picture of that butterfly while I was waiting to start playing at a gig. It just came up next to me and landed right there. I wondered if it wasn’t waiting for me to take the picture as it sat perfectly still as I took my phone out, it got me thinking.
Butterflies are interesting creatures and somewhat analogous to my life as musician. I never, like so many other musicians I know, had a moment where it was like… I have to be a musician. My evolution to this life as a Roots Rock Americana artist was a slower more metamorphic event.
I mean my earliest memories of any musician are of Elvis. He definitely captured my interest. As a kid we took two trips across the country in a motorhome, seven of us and the dog.I think it is where my love of the road took root. There was something very appealing about those long open stretches of highway that offered freedom and adventure. There was something else about those trips. The ride was full of music as my father drove over the miles we listened together as a family. No one had headphones or an Ipod or cell phone to escape the parental choice of the moment so we heard Elvis,Frank Sinatra,Herb Alpert,Simon and Garfunkle,John Denver and old country outlaws like Johnny and Merle.
There were a couple of old classical guitars laying around the house since I was little kid. No one played them but they were there. I had to take an instrument in school.I wanted to play the tuba. It was too big. They gave me a clarinet I didn’t take much to it, it wasn’t exciting enough. We moved the following summer, thankfully my new school didn’t require me playing an instrument. My mother played the piano on occasion, she would sometimes sing when she did, I remember it always gave me an odd feeling. As though something were tugging at me to come to it but I just went about my business of being a kid.
As my sibling grew (I’m the youngest of five) and found their own music I heard it too. American Pie was a constant, ironically years later I would graduate from the same High School as Don Mclean, a fact I have always enjoyed.There was Dan Fogleberg and Bruce Springsteen. Pink Floyd and Grand Funk that my brother and I would crank up in our bedroom mixed in with a little Jim Croce and John Denver. I also started finding my own music, discovering lyrics and liner notes (remember those?).
I don’t remember where and when but somewhere the Allman Brothers entered my world. I think that may have been the beginning of the draw for me. Gregg’s voice was mesmerizing all at once powerful and soulful and in an instant breaking with emotion. They would be my band for many years. They also introduced me to my favorite genre the blues that took me down a path of discovery, leading me to so many blues greats and my two favorites, BBKing and Stevie Ray Vaughn, Stevie how I miss you even to this day.
I started writing and got an acoustic guitar from a pawn shop for Christmas from my parents but never really learned how to play it until some years later. My first band came in college after my dreams of playing football professionally were ended by an injury.I needed something and a band seemed like just the thing when some friends asked me if I could sing. I never looked back since. It is where I am at home. It is where I belong.
See, so like that butterfly (remember the butterfly at the top of the page) I slowly plodded along like a caterpillar taking in all the different musical leaves that I could find and one day I just morphed, took flight and I have never been the same. I have worked at my craft for a long time with one thing in mind that I learned early on.. it is for the fans. If you have read this far I hope you will stick around and give the music a chance. Click here to give Aberdeen a listen.
It is for you, if I’ve done my job there will be something you can connect with, that will have meaning. Poke around, see what you find that might speak to you. Let me know what’s on your mind what makes you tick. I love talking to people, share what is happening in your world!