For me it all started with oldies radio. Riding in the car as a kid with my folks and brother, back and forth to my Grandparents place in Hauppauge, NY. They always played CBS FM in the car on those Sunday evenings, and I still love most of those tunes to this day. Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Beach Boys, The Hollies, Booker T and the MG’s . . .classic doo-wop, early rock-n- roll and old school rhythm and blues. Motown. Stax. Sun Records. In my opinion, these tunes and artists are part of my own personal Great American Songbook.
My Mom was a director and arranger of a women’s barbershop chorus, and my Dad could sing like Roy Orbison. Still can. The first tunes I heard my Dad play on the guitar were House of the Rising Sun and Summertime. Two tunes I still play and teach to this day. My brother Chris played drums and my first instrument was saxophone. I was blessed to grow up in a very musical family where Happy Birthday was always sung in harmony, and in an area where the public school arts programs were top notch. Band, chorus, theatre .The real deal also just a train ride to Manhattan away. These are things I feel strongly about. Without the arts and music in our lives, where and who would we be??
I first picked up the guitar when I was 15 or 16, trying to pluck out simple versions of Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel tunes. I got serious in my early twenties, expanding my listening to a steady infusion of jazz, soul, funk, reggae, and thanks to my wife, classic outlaw country. Studying with esteemed finger-style guitar players Chuck Van Riper and Roy Carlson in Melbourne, FL, I was exposed to Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, and contemporary players like Tommy Emmanuel. I also enjoyed the lyrical electric styles of Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, and David Gilmour. I soon started gigging as soon as I could work up the nerve, feverishly beating the heck out of my Alvarez Jumbo at bars, restaurants and Irish pubs in the central Florida area.
My wife Angela and I moved to the Asheville area in 2006, and we currently reside in Swannanoa, NC. I’ve been teaching at the Acoustic Corner, Western North Carolinas premier stringed instrument shop, ever since our arrival to this musically rich and diverse area. I’ve had the pleasure to play with with Cajun and Zydeco outfit Bayou Diesel, reggae-dub group Chalwa , Americana duo The Everydays, my own blues rock quartet DZQ, old-school country outfit The Old Chevrolette set, Laura Blackley and the Wildflowers as well as a solo artist for countless weddings and corporate events. I aspire to be your go-to wedding guitarist in Western North Carolina.I’ve also been very fortunate to play with some of the best musicians in the area at almost every major festival including Merlefest, Bele Chere, Mountain Sports Festival, French Broad River Fest, and LEAF.