I grew up in Enid, an Oklahoma town of about 45,000 people surrounded by wheat fields and known for huge grain elevators and a boom and bust oil economy, the middle son of the town urologist. Although no one in the immediate family is a musician, there was always music around our house. In the music I play today, I recognize the influence of my parents vinyl record collection...large doses of Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Charlie Rich, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, a love of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash I absorbed from my uncles, the sounds of Neil Young, Bob Marley, Frank Zappa, the Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, the Meat Puppets, Husker Du, the Replacements, the Beatles and the Stones through musical friends, and my mother singing Patsy Cline and Hank Williams songs she learned from her mother and father. At 10 I was given a Fender acoustic guitar and began to play.
I went to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, graduated with a B.A. in Letters in 1988, and played guitar for a locally popular reggae band, Streetpeople. In 1989 the band moved to San Francisco in a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to transplant Okie reggae to the Golden Gate. In my short time living in Frisco, I played on the streets of Chinatown with the Sharp Cats, a band led by Lee Keskela, who had been a player in the Haight Ashbury music and art scene since the 1950's.
Upon moving back to Norman, I and some fellow college town ne'er-do-wells founded the country rock band the Silver-Tongued Devils. The Devils' rough blend of classic country and rockin' blues, with front man Doyle Primm's voice demanding listeners to drink and drink plenty, was a hit with fans and bar owners from the first gig until our break-up in 1994. Over the band's four years together, besides the regular central Oklahoma haunts, we played clubs in Denver, Dallas, and Kansas City, capped by an appearance at La Zona Rosa in Austin at the South By Southwest Music Festival. I continued playing with members of the Silver-Tongued Devils after the band's break-up, recording and releasing my first solo CD, Black Lipstick, in 1997 with their help.
Leaving Norman in 1998, I travelled through continental Europe for a few months, busking and playing clubs nearly everywhere I went, spending a lot of time in the German university town of Goertingen, as well as Prague and Amsterdam. When I returned to the States, I settled in New York City, took a job as an English teacher in a Bronx high school and continued to play the bars, coffee houses, and sometimes the subways of the city. I recorded a second solo album, Solitaire, in my apartment in West Harlem with a four track recorder bought with money from my teaching job.
After three years of teaching and playing in New York, it was time for another move, this time to Nashville, to play with the best and be pushed to write better songs. In Nashville I've continued to write, play, and teach English. I co-founded the rock and roll band the Double Intenders with the help of fellow songwriter Tony Garcia and in 2014 began playing lead guitar for local swing band, the Miltons. I still like to play solo gigs when I can. My wife Carol Jane and I play out sometimes as the duo the Newlyweds, and recently we've joined up with Jim Alderman and David Martin to form the Bee Benders. We play original rock-n-roll and weave in Carol Jane's sweet jazz crooning just when the crowd thinks they've got us all figured out. I'm as happy with the way the Bee Benders sound as I have been with any previous band, and I'm ready to see where this music takes us next.
El Conejo (2018)
Make That A Double! (The Double Intenders--2011)
Armed With Decoder Ring (2010)
Black Lipstick (1998)
Low Profile (The Silver-Tongued Devils--1992)