"Tone cool and laid back. Charlie always reminds me that blues and country music are like good neighbors that check in on each other once in a while to throw a great potluck dinner. It's good for the soul." (Ed Jurdi, Band of Heathen) I'm from the Northeastern US. My people are descended from dowdy Puritans, dissenting Quakers, a Revolutionary War general who got lost in the fog on December 25, 1776, a Salem-Witch-Trial Judge who later recanted, a preacher, a painter, a pianist: an ancestry that is wonderfully checkered and complicated like everything else in America. The indigenous music of the Northeast is great - sea shanties, folk and Celtic stuff were always being played in my house, both on the radio and by-hand on guitars - but I was drawn to something with more of a bayou backbeat, and to find that you have to go elsewhere...so when I was old enough, I did. The first day I set foot in Chicago, Illinois, I saw Buddy Guy and Junior Wells perform together. This was a transformative experience. The next time I caught their act, I noticed that the audience was mostly comprised of guys - many of them intoxicated and performing dubious air-guitar. A few years later, I noticed that most of the girls I had been trying to impress were listening to Garth Brooks and Mary Chapin Carpenter. I figured if I wanted to get the girl, I better pay heed. So I did, and my musical path has been clear ever since. Sure, I like stopping at the crossroads every now and then to pay homage to Robert J and his patron, but, given the choice, I'd rather go down the path hand-in-hand with the BBQ country-cutie! I try like hell to avoid playing too many notes on the guitar (weedly-weedly-wee...yawn), but, man, it sure is fun to step on the gas once in awhile! The influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Roy Nichols looms large in my playing. I'm humbled by the truck load of songwriters in my neck of the woods and am fortunate to be friends with some of them. I'm grateful that they don't mind too much when I take one of their tunes out for a spin, even if it gets returned with a missing hubcap or a dented fender. Lately, the Americana Angels have been kind by filling my life with a flood of my own song ideas. I seem to be picking up the pen as much as the guitar as I start to pay close attention to the lasting comfort of family, friends, unconditional love, one's hometown...these are the truly good things in life that I hope to explore with some Nashville musician friends next year, but for now, I have a "Devil in Me" and a "Perfect Redneck Combination" I'd like to tell you about. For further clarification, please pop a top and enjoy the music!
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