- Can you give a short background about your life before you became a country musician?
I fronted a rock band in my late teens and early college years– that was a lot of fun. We grew real popular within “the NorCal scene” when that was still a thing. Lots of fond memories packing the college bars and playing some more revered venues around the western-third of the US. It was a blast.
- How did you decide you wanted to become a country artist?
It’s pretty funny– in the band I was basically writing the vocals to whatever vibe the guitarists were coming up with… I was always drawn more toward telling more of a story within a song– if not a play-by-play then at least depicting a particular moment or a specific feeling. I started writing some stuff by myself between shows and on a whim showed up to an open mic on campus one night and played this song I came up with, “Pier 14.” The reaction from the crowd was intense… That was the start of my solo career. It’s gotta be on YouTube somewhere.
- When did you decide to move to Nashville and what are a few of your favorite things about Nashville.
I visited once in December of 2009. Anyone from Nashville will tell ya that in the winter it dies down a lot, but it was still so amazing. There’s just this energy hovering through the town– you feel it on the ground under your boots, you breathe it in the air. It’s empowering and captivating and inspiring. I had a meeting on Music Row, and the guy basically told me he liked my stuff a lot but that I’d need to move to Nashville to have a real shot. I was already sold.
- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years in your career?
Wherever God wills. I’m so happy to finally be at a point in my career where everything clicks– the songs are true reflections of my life and the sound is what I’ve been striving to hit… There’s no bullshit, I’m not trying to be anyone else or sound like anyone else, I’m just making the music I was meant to make… Now we’re at the point where people will listen and decide whether or not they like what I do, and we’ll go from there. I feel really blessed to be where I am now. We’ll see what God’s got in store for me next.
- If you could do a duet with a singer or band who would it be and why?
I heard Paul and Ringo were teaming up again– I’d love to be in that room.
- Who has been some of your musician icons?
I grew up on the Beatles, Elvis, Beach Boys, Johnny Cash…and MOTOWN! Oldies, baby! Then as I got older, bands like Copeland and Jimmy Eat World were big parts of my musical development. I think Garth Brooks is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. There’s just so much great music out there, I could list dozens of bands and artists from rock to country to pop to R&B– I’m sure it’s all had an impact on the music I create.
- What is one of your favorite venues to play at?
I’ll never forget being on stage at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium with a guitar and a microphone, when I was still living in California. That was the largest crowd I’d performed in front of in my life at that time, and it was just crazy… the lights, the noise, the energy. That was a big turning point for me. I think any festival in any state is the coolest– just being with the people and hanging out and getting to meet awesome folks from all over… can’t beat that.
- What is one of your biggest accomplishment in your music career that you are most proud of and why?
Well we just released the music video for “Tailgate,” which was so fun to shoot– it’s my first music video so that was an awesome experience. Anyway, the other day I got a text from my mama saying she was having a rough day so she turned on the video and it made her smile real big and cheered her up… That made me real happy, put everything into perspective. Ultimately isn’t that what we do all this for?
- If you had to give advice to an up and coming country musician what would you tell them?
I’d say keep it up, work hard– find your own style, your own voice, don’t try to be anyone else because they’re already doing it. Show up and be your own kind of awesome, and be good to others. — I kinda sound like a weathered old grandpa with a big grey handlebar mustache… I’ll take it.
- What was your first concert you attended?
The Beach Boys, with John Stamos on the drums!!! It was AWESOME! Talk about back in day!! I think they taped it and used it for Full House. So legit.
Dixiedee-*So lucky got to The Beach Boys with John Stamos, I have loved John Stamos since his Full House day and if I ever get marry I want Forever as my wedding song lol!!