My love of Country music comes from my father, who grew up
in deep East Texas listening to Hank Williams on the "Louisianna
Hayride" radio show. My own childhood was filled with the sound of
my father's favourite artists: Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, Tennessee
Ernie Ford, Roger Miller and others.
I fell in love with the fiddle in 1973 when
I heard Johnny Gimble playing on a Bob Wills record. I began fiddling
right away, but it took me four years to find the courage to try music
as a career. In 1977, after hearing Johnny Paycheck sing "Take This
Job and Shove It," I quit my construction job and started singing
and fiddling for a living, and I've been at it ever since.
Even though I studied music formally in college, my real musical education
took place in honky tonks and dance halls across Texas, especially the
cities of Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. For several years I travelled
with Johnny Bush (author of "Whiskey River") as his "front
man." Later I worked as a featured singer at Gilley's night-club
in Pasadena, Texas.
While at Gilley's I met Country Music fans from Europe. They seemed much
more knowledgeable and appreciative of country music than most Americans.
I decided that someday I would cross the Atlantic myself and play for
these people in their own habitat.
During the mid-eighties I began working in Houston recording studios.
That's where I met Clint Black, who hired me to play on his first album.
I joined his band in 1987 and toured with him for two years.
After joining Moe Bandy's band 1990 I settled in Branson, Missouri with
my wife, Nancy and our son, Ben. I worked both as a featured performer
and a sideman for such artists as Moe Bandy, Johnny Lee, Dolly Parton's
Dixie Stampede, the Branson Gospel Hour, Jennifer Wilson and others.
I finally broke out as a recording artist in 1995. Liz Anderson (author
of several hits, including Merle Haggard's "The Lonesome Fugitive"
and "From now on all my friends are gonna be Strangers") gave
me a song, "Everybody's gotta Run Their Own Railroad". The song
became the title cut of my first album, which was very well received in
the British Isles.
During the past few years, my dream of performing in Europe has come true.
I spend about four months per year touring overseas, mostly in Holland
and the U.K. I play Country and Western Clubs, Linedance venues, Festivals,
and Theatres. Lately, I've also found my way into several European studios,
where I play fiddle for other artists.
My second album is "Wayfaring Stranger" . The project started
easy enough: I just called my old friends from Moe Bandy's band into the
studio and we went to work. Those sessions produced the opening tracks
`Tell Me What I should do`, `Easy Come-Easy Go`, `There's Nothing for
Me Here` and `Good Old Country`. I wanted a very different sound for the
title cut, so I called in the rhythm section from the Osmond Family (yes
the Osmonds, remember Donny and Marie and 'little' Jimmy?). They did a
fine job on my favourite song on the album `Wayfaring Stranger`. The tracks
`Seminole Wind`, `Honky Tonk Blues`, and `Love Thang` were crowd favourites
from my live shows. Finally, I included a Country version of Paul Simon's
`Slip Sliding Away` and a couple of fine tunes by my brother-in-law, Angus
Macdonald: `Good old Country` and `Goodbye to the City`
I have travelled through the beautiful countries of Scotland, England,
Ireland, Wales, Holland and Germany. I've also had the pleasure and honor
of performing with several well known European artists, including Dez
Walters and his band, Glen Mitchell and his band, Daniel O'Donnell, Mick
Flavin, John Hogan, Mary Duff and Brian Cole, and lately with the brilliant
In June 1999 we moved to Austin, Texas. Even though I miss the magic of
Branson/MO a lot, its kinda nice to be back home and to be able to see
my family regularly. I'm active in the music scene there, and regularly
jam with the likes of Dale Watson, whose music I respect very much.
I have always had a dream to make an album of the songs my Daddy used
to introduce me to, some of the good ole traditional Country music! Well,
this dream has finally come true when I went into the studio in Austin
and some of the best pickers came to help me record my third and latest
album. We worked non-stop and managed to record it in just under 3 weeks.
As I then had to leave for Holland it was produced over there. I am very
happy with the result and I hope you are too!