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photo by Brenda Ladd
a reasonably accurate account
Moved back South, produced more records, played a lot of gigs. Became disillusioned. Moved back to
the Windy City, worked in the family film business for a year before realizing that music is terminal. Moved
to Austin. Shopped my demo and soon got the call from George Strait's "people." Married my Virginia
singer-songwriter sweetheart and we became Texans. 28 years later, continuing to tour with George
Strait's Ace in the Hole Band and for 10 of those years, bus-hopped between Strait and Lyle Lovett's
Large Band. Along the way, my wife and I saw the world from the Joan Baez bus. The artists I've
worked with in the studio over the years have documented the aural version of this
I carried a violin to grade school in the suburbs of Chicago. Caught a lot of grief along the
way. Kids. Every Saturday morning, a ride into the City for a lesson with Morris Gomberg at
Roosevelt University. High School, and eventually the violin was ditched for a set of
Slingerlands. Drove myself into the City for lessons now. Harold Jones. Basie's drummer.
Discovered Miles and Bird. Garage bands. Not so much grief now. After high school, majored
in percussion at American Conservatory of Music. Loved playing in the rhythm section but
that's a lot of hardware to haul around, and I really missed playing melody lines.
Met Jimmy Crawford from Virginia who played bluegrass guitar. Retrieved my violin, changed its name to
fiddle and moved to Roanoke where my education continued off the grid. Spent a lot of time at Harold
Thompson's 16 track studio where we made a lot of great records. Got my first real road gig with Charlie
Gearhart and Goose Creek Symphony. Saw Canada. Co-produced and played on a jazz record with
Ray Wilkes, went to NYC and sold it to Inner City Records. Stayed in the City for a year and studied improv
with David Baker.
account.