So who do you sound like?
People sometimes tell me artists they think I sound like, and sometimes don’t know who those artists are. I’ll feel bad for a bit, or scurry off to see how they sound. Then I’ll remember, hey… I’m in the business of sounding like me. That said, I’ve been told I sound like Paul Simon with a hint of a twang.
Who are your influences?
There is a huge list of artists I’ve tried or hoped to sound like. The Kinks, the Beatles, Prince, Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd, Creedence Clearwater Revival… but in the end it’s best that they did what they did and I do what I do.
If I ever aspired to emulate any writer, though, it was Ray Davies. He’s a songwriter’s songwriter, and the one who made me want to do this.
You have to go with the circumstances that made you. I grew up in Atlanta in the 70s, taking in all the pop, rock, funk, R&B, and oldies the radio could dish out. My whole family is musically oriented. We had a piano in the house, and Mom would play Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Pop was a preacher and he always loved Ray Charles. I took ukulele in grade school and learned Bob Dylan alongside 1920s hits. I borrowed and stole my older brothers’ records and tapes. Music is music, and I could never get enough.
That’s why it’s so hard for me these days to pin down what my “sound” is. It’s steeped in all that.
Why do you make music?
I’ve done lots and lots of thinking about why I make music, and what I want to convey or create with it. In short, I want to reach out to people and hopefully give them the same feeling I’ve derived from music my whole life. Music connects us, and I don’t mean this in some trite greeting card way. It’s one of the things that defines us as humans, and it transcends language. It predates language, I’m sure of it. Music is an immensely powerful element, and in sharing music I feel a great responsibility to it.
Lofty words for a dude making mostly lighthearted three-minute pop songs, yeah. But look a little closer and I believe you’ll find someone who cares deeply about the outlook and priorities expressed in those songs. I’ve done my best to keep love at the center of it all.
We were looking for more of an elevator pitch. What are you all about?
What do you need to know? I’m convinced that I write pretty darn good songs that are more interesting than I am.
I’m in a band, an acoustic duo, a rock choir, and a bunch of cowriting projects.
Husband, dad, former Boy Scout, Scorpio, guitar player, singer, amateur satirist, introvert, producer, winner of imaginary arguments, altogether decent person.