I started out writing. I wrote poetry, very poorly, as far back as grade school... then my brother gave me a guitar. As soon as I learned a chord I was writing songs. Must have been a junior or senior in High School when I started my first band. I've been in and out of bands ever since.
Music is one of those things you don't really get a choice about. It's fundamental. Once it starts comin', once you give in to that first rhythm or find yourself lost in that first groove you're in for life.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Oct.1994. Bob Dylan came to my home town of Gainesville, Ga.
This was pre Time Out of Mind when his shows were a little more hit or miss, a little less inspired. He was playing in front of the same band that backed him up on the Unplugged gig he did. He looked a bit aloof, mumbling through most of the songs. I've seen him a dozen or so times since and he's always on. Always inspired now. Just not a great night for him back in '94. Even still, it was nothing short of a miracle to me at the time. Freakin' Bob Dylan in my hometown. He played "Jokerman" that night. It's the only time I've seen him play it live. It's such an underrated song.
What gear do you use?
I mainly use a Gibson J-45 acoustic. That's my favorite. It was a gift from my wife a few years back. I also have a couple of Telecasters that I play through a Fender Hot Rod Deville.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
I dug a lot of bands. I wanted to be Bono when the Zoo TV thing was goin' on. That lasted through High School but I think it was really Springsteen that taught me the most about the craft of putting the songs together. Dylan taught me how to think about it and most importantly told me to work backwards through the oldest source material of an idea or influence or type of music. So from that came Guthrie, Hank Williams, Cash, even Steinbeck and Tom Waits and Bukowski came about because of that one Golden Rule of Bob's teaching. Look for the oldest source material. Thanks Bob.
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?
Can't I take an Ipod instead? Is there Wi-Fi on this island?