I'm a singer-songwriter and I'm not sure which I enjoy more: the singing part or the songwriting part.
I have been singing as long as I can remember. In middle school, I got a guitar (Thanks, Aunt Lorri!) and realized that while I liked playing, the real reason why I wanted to learn was because it gave me an excuse to sing. I loved figuring out how to play my favorite songs and singing along. One of my most treasured possessions from my childhood is a set of books that contains the sheet music to every Beatles song. I played them all and still have the (somewhat tattered) books.
The guitar was also an incredible tool for songwriting. I even wrote a song on the guitar before I knew how to fret a note. I simply plucked the open strings to create a melody. (Hey, I don't claim it was a *good* song!)
So, I guess I have always loved songwriting too...finding the perfect hook that flows from a surprising chord change, playing with the sounds and meanings of words, creating a melody that captures, reflects, or magnifies an emotion. I love the process of creating the amalgamation of rhythm, melody, and harmony that we call a song.
Inspiration is key in creating art and if you are lucky enough, finding a muse to encourage you to create and perfect your craft is a blessing. In April, on a beautiful hilltop in sunny Santa Barbara, I married my muse, Karen and we continue to share the joy of music together and always will.
My four beautiful daughters (Caitlin, Kelly, Cassidy, and Brianna) have always been my spark and inspiration, opening my ears to new sounds, new styles, new artist that add richness and texture to my musical world. I treasure the musical moments we have shared and hope we will have many more in the future.
I write most of my songs on guitar. Sometimes they flow out of me easily. "California (She's Leaving)" was one of those songs. The first couple of lines came into my head and I was living the story. So I sat down with a guitar and the song was done a few hours later. Most songs are not that easy. For example, I wrote the lyrics for "Fingernails On My Skin" as a result of a songwriting course taught by Pat Pattison of the Berklee College of Music. It was an unusual process for me. I normally write a song by starting with the music - a melody, a chord progression, or a hook, then I add the lyrics. In this case, I completed the lyrics first and built the melody afterwards. The harmony required some serious effort on my guitar to find the right chords to reflect the mood.
I hope you enjoy listening to my music as much as I enjoy creating it.
- The Beatles
- Green Day
- Boyce Avenue
- Jason Mraz
- Def Leppard
- Colbie Callait
- John Denver
- Goo Goo Dolls
My setlist is always changing. I enjoy playing cover songs as well as my original music. There is so much great music around and I want to play it all. I especially enjoy doing acoustic versions of songs -- just me and my guitar. In addition to my original songs, here is a selection of songs (in no particular order) that you might hear me play:
- Rolling in the Deep - Adele
- Blackbird - The Beatles
- Your Body Is A Wonderland - John Mayer
- Collide - Howie Day
- Come Monday - Jimmy Buffet
- Girl I Want to Lay You Down - Jack Johnson
- Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
- Wicked Game - Chris Issac
- Don't Look Back In Anger - Oasis
- Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - KT Tunstall
- Drift Away - Dobie Gray
- Good Riddance - Green Day
- Chances - Five For Fighting
- Levon - Elton John
- Lights - Ellie Goulding
- Peace - OAR
- Slide - Goo Goo Dolls
- You're In My Heart - Rod Stewart
- So Sick - Ne-Yo
- Don't - Ed Sheeran
- I Thought I Knew You - Matthew Sweet