biggest inspiration in life and in playing the guitar was my father.
Dougie was the nicest guy that ever walked the face of the earth
and was loved by all who knew him. He was a wonderful father and
a great teacher. His tireless encouragement and proud confidence
in me was truly inspirational. He was always showing me something
new on the guitar.
I learned all
about thumb picking by listening to his repertoire of Chet Atkins
and Merle Travis instrumentals that he practiced religiously day
after day when I was a kid. And he played in countless country bands
were I learned an amazing amount of the songs that I still play
today. My mother played bass guitar and sang harmony. Many times
we'd entertain at private parties as a family band. And for quite
a time I played with my two sisters Linda and Debbie and occasionally
we still get together on a Thursday night to sing a few tunes.
When I actually
was old enough to get out and listen to live bands, (and maybe I
wasn't), I was really enamored by The Good Brothers. They were just
starting to build their reputation for their special brand of bluegrass
and I loved it. They lit a fire in me that inspired me to years
of studying bluegrass guitar and learning how to play traditional
Terry Clements, whom I'd met in the early seventies when he first
came up from the states to play guitar for Gordon Lightfoot, taught
me a lot about the technical aspects of what to play and what not
to play, tuning and timing. Things that are very important for a
young guitar player to understand. He was the one who encouraged
me to write my own songs and was always eager to put my ideas on
tape. Being able to write a song is extremely gratifying and very
to an awful lot of different guitar players ranging from traditional
jazz, rock, heavy metal, bluegrass, and blues, whatever. I like
anything that's played well but I love guitar players who play with
Check out the
video bites in this section of the web site and you'll see the type
of musical interaction that really inspires me most.
the greatest inspiration I receive comes from life - and here's the latest addition, my granddaughter Saige playing guitar with her Poppa:
It's been a
great ride and I can only hope the best is yet to come.