I have spent most of my career with Popular music styles of the 20th century. I have a deep and abiding respect for the great masters of previous centuries and pass on many ideas and a few pieces from those earlier days. I perform a few Classical Guitar pieces and respect the art form and the techniques employed in regards to Fingerstyle playing, but most of my in depth work has been done in the style genres of Blues, Jazz, Country, and Rock.
I love the Blues and respect the form as the underlying foundation of most popular music styles of the 20th century. Blues influences find their way into what we call Jazz, Country, and Rock. I originated in the Deep South, as did the Blues, and have studied and performed the form extensively. In the late 1970’s, I jammed quite a few times with the late Fenton Robinson. Fenton turned me on the the wealth of musical heritage that I had grown up around but didn’t know existed. I also had the privilege of working with one of the original Sun recording artists. I l learned a great deal from Wildman Eddie Snow during the later days of his career. Having access to this original source knowledge was quite revealing. In 2004 I had the chance to share the stage with the late B.B. King and jam with his band for a very cool few minutes. B.B. and I grew up in the same area of Mississippi known as the “Delta”.
The Jazz idiom has provided me a great deal of enjoyment over the years. There never seems to be a shortage of challenges in this area of study. I really enjoy the melodies and harmonic complexity of the genre. I also love the freedom that improvisation gives me as an artist. Jazz allows me to create a new aural painting in each performance. I have spent the last few years studying jazz fingerstyle guitar with Martin Taylor. (Thanks coach)
Country is big part of my musical being. I played country in many bands in my early days of performing. I have seen Country described as a combination of Blues, Folk, Rock, and Jazz – works for me. Chet Atkins, one of the structural engineers of 20th century country music, is one of my biggest heroes.
Rock is huge part of my being. I grew up learning licks from the greats of the guitar god era of 1970’s: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons, Duane Allman, Carlos Santana – just to name a few. I love to turn up and blow it out – but these days I always wear ear plugs.
Fingerstyle has become a main focus over the last twenty years. In Fingerstyle, playing the guitar becomes a complete orchestra. Bass, melody and internal voices working together in a complete musical arrangement. Studying the work of Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, John Knowles, Guy Van Duser, Muriel Anderson, Pat Kirtley, Tommy Emmanuel, and Martin Taylor among many, many others, has given me plenty of challenges. Fingerstyle studies can provide a lifetime of challenge and enjoyment.