Steel Magnolia - United States
OverviewAt the age of 3, I would sit and watch my older brother play his 1953 WFL Ludwig to Elvis Presley, KISS, among other Artists of that time. When he would not be home, I would sneak up to where he would have the drums set-up and attempt to play. I could not reach the pedals, but I knew at that point that it was going to be fun, and a life long pursuit of happiness. I studied what drums made what sound, and put that together with what I heard from in the music to understand how the drummer did the groove, and where he put fills, etc around the groove. All I saw in my head was someone else playing the drums to the music I was hearing. That was my way of practicing when I did not have the capabilities to physically play the drum kit to practice. During my Elementary School Years, I studied how to read music, as well as perform in Concert Band and the Jazz Ensemble. The Band Leader/Teacher, Mr. Russell Thomas must have seen something in me. He pushed me to perform solos in concerts, NYSSMA, and to do experimental pieces he wrote himself......a GREAT teacher and friend. I was fortunate enough to have him as an instructor from 2nd Grade until my Sophomore Year in High School. He still pushed me which was awesome!!!! I'll always s\cherish what he had taught me and how he poured the foundation of my creativity.
When I turned 13-14 years old, I was asked to participate in The Eastridge Highschool Marching Band. This is where I learned all of my techniques, meter and rhythm. I had the best drum line instructor that could have ever had. Dave Denman. Drum Corp skills were new to me from just playing your standard rudiments in Concert Band, like 5 & 9 stroke rolls, flams, etc.....Now I was learning Triple Ratamaques, Drag Paradiddles, new phrasing and note/accent placement.......while learning how to march!!!!That experience will be with me forever. I was fortunate to be a part of the Marching Band that Won it's First ever State Champ Title. And our Drum line also placed First in The State.......pretty sweet!
My Drum set 'Career' started at the age of 14, playing in local clubs that my group had an 'in' with due to our age. I was the youngest, the oldest was 18. By the time my Senior year came around, I was gigging pretty steady, and formed a 7 pc horn party band called Private Drive. Voted #1 Party Band in Rochester, NY for 8 Years in a row.....was proud of that Project. I later joined another local Group called Reporter who had an appearance on Star Search, and was also Very Popular in Western NY.
I moved to Tampa, FL and met up with Gary Schutt who toured for Jeff Scott Soto. Formed a cover group called Category 3.....played locally until my ultimate move to Nashville, TN in 2009.
It's not what you have done all your life, it's what you have done or are doing in Nashville, TN that counts! It is a different ballgame here. So, I realized this after being here a few weeks and started to work my A$$ off. Sitting in with strangers on Lower Broadway, learning standards and not being afraid to do it. Kept myself visible as often as possible....was told by a dear friend of mine that 'The Cream Always Rises To The Top"...referring to the talent of ANY player trying to make it in the music biz. So, I have toured with Regional Artists for 2 years before being asked to be a part of Country Artist Duo Steel Magnolia. Seems like my hard work and persistence paid off!!
Early on Influences were Neil Peart, Phil Collins and Stewart Copeland, and Steve Smith. That would soon open up once I heard Buddy, Dave, Vinny, Gadd.......oh man, the flood gates have been OPENED! Now, I listen to Beauford, Grebb, Harrison, Hakim, Katche, Phillips, McDonald, Northrup, Riley, Forrest, Carlock.....etc.... when asked who my favorite is, I say "I don't have one. there are too many that do their own thing......ALL drummers are my influence"
When I'm not touring with Steel Magnolia, I keep busy playing fill in dates with Jamie O'Neal, Glen Templeton, Richie Scholl, or with Randy Nations at The Stage on Lower Broadway in Downtown Nashville, TN for Monday Twang Free ROCK NITE.........
I am blessed to have many supportive friends in this town. I am truly home here in Nashville, TN and will be for a long time. I owe my biggest support to my family. Without their unrelenting support over the years, NONE of my dreams would be possible. Thanks!!
Equipment ConfigurationMasters Custom- Ocean Sparkle
22x18- bass drum
10x8- rack tom
12x9- rack tom
14x11- floor tom
16x13- floor tom
14x5- Free Floating snare drum (maple)
(4)B1000- boom stand
(2)S2000/C- snare stand
P2002C- Eliminator Pedal
(4)TH2000S- tom holder