One Step Up

I stopped by my sister and brother in law’s house a few weeks ago while we were packing up for the move. They recommended that I learn this song . The song really resonated with me and I listened to it all day. It kept me calm as I boxed up room after room full of stuff.   It reminded me that things are messy for everyone and the point of life is to have faith that things will work themselves out. Most importantly, the cyclical nature of the tune calmed me down during a super stressful time. Then we opened my wife’s closet……one step up and two steps back.

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I’ve lived in Richmond, Va. my entire life. Recently, my wife got a job offer teaching music at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. I was also lucky enough to find a job at Timrod Elementary School teaching music. Within a few days we packed up all our belongings, crammed them into my mom’a garage, and headed south for a completely unexpected adventure. To say I was nervous was an understatement. Fortunately, we’ve been greeted with a lot of kindness and true southern charm that is in full effect. I haven’t had the chance to play much guitar, but I’m excited to get back in the groove and find some new venues. It’s still hard to believe we’re here, but I feel like it happened for a reason. An unforeseen force has most certainly brought us south and we are loving the calmer lifestyle. I’m hoping that this sudden change inspires some new tunes and some new adventures!


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The Break

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“Eight Miles To Louisville”

Here’s my political post for the day-Enjoy!

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“Gift”-Thomas Coleman

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All About That Banjo

I was surprised to receive a banjo this past Christmas. Honestly, I was nervous about the responsibility that comes with learning a new instrument. I had a tough time getting used to the banjo-especially restringing it! Since then, I’ve pulled together a nice collection of banjo tunes. Some songs are instrumental and some are singer/songwriter with banjo instead of the usual guitar. I installed an EMG pickup on my banjo and it sounds fantastic!

Anyhow, the awesome staff at Kitchen On Cary (weekly gig on Thursday from 5:30-8:30) encouraged me to start playing banjo as part of my gig. The reception has been great and I can’t thank them enough for embracing and encouraging the idea. The banjo takes me to a happy, humble place. The comments I’m receiving from both staff and patrons have earned the banjo a permanent slot on Thursdays.

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What do you get when you take DADGAD guitar tuning and add three capo’s? “Trinity” by Jim Tozier. I hope you like my rendition.

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Sometimes people ask how long I’ve been playing guitar. Currently I’ve been playing for about twenty-five years. Most of my gigs have taken place in Richmond, Va. I thought it would be fun to try and list all the places I’ve played in RVA. Some venues are gone, some are still running strong.

Angelo’s, Area 51, Awful Arthur’s, Alley Katz, Benny’s BBQ, Blue Goat,

Bottega Bistro, Byrd Theater, Cafe Diem, Camel, Cary St. Cafe, Charley’s,

Commercial Tap House, Crossroads, Emilio’s, Fat Dragon, Foo Dog,

Fox and the Hound, Gallery 5, Hardywood, Jalapeños, Jewish Mother,

Kitchen On Cary, McKormick’s Irish Pub, Mulligans, Otoole’s, Richmond

Folk Festival, Sabai, Selba, Something Else, Sunset Grill, The Flood Zone,

The Metro, The National, The Nile Cafe, The Shamrock, The Tobacco

Company, Twisters, VMFA, Wild Ginger, Zuppa


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Time Jumping

I realize my last post was over a year ago! The bad news is I’m not the best poster. The good news is I’ve been busier than ever this year. Between music gigs, magic gigs, and working a full time job with a two hour commute, it can be difficult to pay attention to every tiny detail.

I guess the biggest news is that I’m wrapping up completion on my second album. This album was self-funded over the summer and I’m really pleased with the outcome. An album may seem simple but I’m telling you-it requires discipline and a ton of hard work! Thankfully, the folks I recorded with had amazing patience and attention to detail.

This year I look forward to taking chances, learning from mistakes, and entertaining to the best of my ability. Stay tuned my friends…..


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Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a great year so far. We all try to make changes and better ourselves each year- or at least saying we’re going to go to the gym sounds good to our ears while we eat our Christmas dinner! If they could just start building Wal-Mart’s on top of American Family everything would be so easy…..

But seriously, I can’t think of many rewarding things that are easy. 2013 taught me that lesson over and over. I wanted to put out an album and I recorded it in my home studio over a two week period. When I listened back, the recording enthralled me at first. After multiple listens  I noticed minor flaws. In the end I scrapped the entire album.

Why? Because I knew my intentions were great but my attention to detail was lacking- a hard pill to swallow. Remember that when we set our minds on something there are many sub-plots and diversions that will present themselves along the way. If there aren’t any parking spots at the gym we might have to actually wait for something.

As an independent artist I’ve found that I tend to wait for everything- posters, CDs , phone calls, carrot-danglers, etc. My goal for 2014 is to apply more attention to detail to all facets of my life while I’m waiting. Remember that when the song ends, someone will feel something new while another will check their phone-try not to do that. Let’s all enjoy the journey along the way.



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