I started playing music at the age of 6. I played through high school and then changed to guitar. Later I learned frailing banjo. My aunt was a folk guitar teacher and regularly held hootenanny's at her house. It was she who told me to "do something with that dusty old fiddle." I bought a Mel Bay Beginning Country Fiddle book and that hooked me! That was in 1976.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Procol Harem at Santa Monica Civic when I was in high school. I got to sit in the first row on the left (facing the stage). They were awesome.
What gear do you use?
I have 4 violins (Stainer rehearsal which was my grandpa's cir. 1895; Crouse cir. 1920; Guanarius production cir. 1864; Juzek cir. 1920), a ukelele, upright bass, ODE banjo, Givens mandolin, Rickenbacker lap steel, boudran, dulcimer, piano, 2 Martins (1970 000 and 1971 D18) and a 00 Sigma. My favorite is 000 Martin.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
CSNY; Beatles; Hollies. I had an older brother who listened to "underground" radio. I loved their vocal sound and harmonies.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
1st band-Dark Hollow, Dick Tyner and Train 45, Country Connection, original Grasslands, Townsfolk Country Band (park band at Knott's Berry Farm), Gold Coast, Shady Creek Band, now with new Grasslands. Play primarily bluegrass with some swing and country. Met at jams. Play shows, weddings, bluegrass festivals, private parties.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Earl Collins. One of the first recorded fiddlers I ever heard and learned every tune on his record.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
11,000 at Huck Finn Jubilee, 5 people at a coffee house. Playing with Gold Coast, we opened for Nickle Creek and they liked OUR singing!