I have been a musician since childhood, learning to play guitar from my older brother and eventually becoming a singer in his band because no one else could remember the lyrics. These early bands were guitar driven, loud, and featured a steady diet of southern rock and Johnny Winter. Since then, I played in local cover bands over the years and sang in many choral and other groups.
In 2017, with some time on my hands, I took a stab at writing songs for the first time and enlisted the help of an old friend, Tony Sarno, a veteran blues musician in Nashville, to record three originals and some favorite covers, with renown session players, including Muscle Shoals veterans Clayton Ivey and Bob Wray. The result was the EP Happy Ending, including the title track, which got some radio play and charted in Europe, and Jake Brakes, a fan favorite to this day. To my great surprise, people seemed to like the original music and I certainly enjoyed the process, so I decided to keep writing and recording.
In 2018, I released Second Gear, an album featuring live performance favorites Darty Time, Call Me One for the Road and Repo Man, and Won’t Forget and Wondering Why, both of which charted on the Billboard Country Breakout Chart and hit #1 on Europe’s Hotdisc Top 40. Next, I worked with accomplished Nashville producer Brad Hill for the first time on three songs included on an EP titled High Gear, with Tequila Won’t Solve Your Problems charting at #1 in Europe and instantly becoming a staple of live performances. High Gear also includes Sorry Excuses, my first collaboration with the amazing Bekka Bramlett. Sorry Excuses was picked up by blues radio and charted #2 on Roots Radio Chicago Blues song chart and High Gear hit #15 on the album chart.
In 2020, I released Out and Runnin Round, a collection of country rock originals produced by Tony Sarno and featuring Clayton Ivey, Ed Green and David Hood from the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. I also released What We Believe, a collection of Americana originals produced by Brad Hill. What We Believe got some pickup on Americana radio and reached #15 on the Roots Radio Americana Country Album Chart.
In 2021, I used some pandemic down time to write ten new songs and made a couple of trips to Nashville in between outbreaks to record Against the Grain, featuring Bekka Bramlett, and Delivery Man. Against the Grain features the gospel themed title track, the bluesy Ashes of Desire with a powerful vocal performance by Bekka, and a light-hearted duet. The EP has received some radio play and positive reviews. Delivery Man includes more Americana originals produced by Brad Hill, with the title song getting some radio play in Australia and Gold on the Horizon charting at #2 for six weeks on Europe's Hot Disc Top 40.
In 2022, I released Stripped Gear, a nine song album of new music, which includes Old Friend (which hit # 1 on Roots Radio in Country), Cut a Straightline (which debuted top 5 in Europe), Lost in My Hometown Featuring Anna Jacobson, a patriotic song that has received favorable reviews and radio play in the in the US and Australia, and First Ever Connecticut Country Song, which created a lot of buzz in my home state when Governor Lamont gave it a shout out on Twitter. The album also features Anna Jacobson on Say it With Words and Saying Goodbye, with outstanding performances on vocals and violin. Say it With Words, which was my first songwriting collaboration with accomplished author Marion Roach Smith, hit # 1 on the Hot Disc Top 40.
I have enjoyed working with other songwriters over the years and in 2023, I started writing with Michael Mugrage, a terrific musician who played guitar for Orleans. My first EP in 2023, Something in the Water, includes three songs written with Michael. The title song (written with Michael and Marion) has been very well received with over 200,000 streams on Spotify, The Dog Won’t Hunt (written with Michael) charted on the Billboard Country Breakout Chart and He Loves Me, featuring talented artist Elle Rose, got national radio play as well. Later in the year, I released seven songs (part of an EP called Gear in the Headlights), including The Clearing, a heartfelt song about cleaning out a childhood home written with Michael and Marion, which got some nice pickup on US country radio and charted top ten in Europe. Two duets on the record, Don’t Dis Me and Grow Old With Me, feature my band mate and talented vocalist Lisa Kaine. I finished off the year with a trip to Houston and Nashville to work on some new material, which will be out in early 2024.
My original music has always moved around between country, blues and rock, with the very broad Americana label the most fitting and most welcoming for an artist my age, since it does not require contemporary pop stylings widely used in today’s country music. I am less focused on genre and more focused on telling good stories and capturing authentic American experiences and emotions in songs that will connect with audiences in a live performance. I am very lucky to be able to do this and grateful to all the great musicians, producers and engineers that did such a great job on my records.