Can you give us a brief history of your playing career?
Started playing guitar at 16 after playing classical violin for the better part of a decade. Started playing shows at the now legendary Black Cat lounge in Austin at 18. First national tour at 19. I did a short stint with Joe Ely, stepping into the quite large shoes of Mr. David Grissom, and then started my solo career. I was lucky to play with many of my idols during that time, jamming with Otis Rush, Albert King, Albert Collins, Eric Johnson, Billy Gibbons, Willie Nelson, and many others. We shared stages with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul Weller, and ZZ Top. My playing has gone through many phases as i have tried to refine my voice with the instrument. It is humbling coming up in the shadows of so many great players and I have chased the vision of the guitar player that always seems an inch beyond my fingers.
What inspired you to start playing guitar?
I used to go to shows with my folks in Austin as a kid. There were 2 clubs that were second homes to us, Soap Creek and the Armadillo. I loved the colored jewel lights and the smells of the old fender amps that everyone seemed to play. I begged my mom incessantly for a guitar starting somewhere around 1st grade. It was the Antone’s 10th anniversary, 11 years later, on a particularly guitar oriented anniversary with Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and many more, that i got the fire under me in a big way. Buddy Guy had just started playing live again in earnest, and he played with a passion that really unlocked something inside of me.
What was your first electric guitar?
My first guitar was a Gibson 335 12 string (strung as a 6 string) “loaned” to me by Stevie Ray Vaughan. He had a lot of people around him and a lot of guitars. A friend of my fathers brought one over when she heard i had started playing (at that point on a cheap spanish guitar). I didn’t ‘get’ my first guitar for another 2 years.
What are your top 5 favorite records?
I have so many faves, but my fave guitar playing records are:
Albert King – Blues Before Sunrise
Freddie King – Texas Cannonball
Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
Television – Marquee Moon
Big Guitars from Texas – comp featuring Evan Johns, Don Leady, and more.
What was the proudest moment and/or performance of your playing career?
Most of those moments were internal, great nights where everything came together. One of the coolest was a late night jam with myself, Willie Nelson, Albert Collins, and Eric Johnson.
How did you hear about Reverend?
Through my friends Ron Heathman (Supersuckers) and Andrew McKeag (The Presidents Of The United States Of America).
What Reverend guitar(s) are you using?
I’m using the Buckshot.
What do you like about your Reverend guitar?
I like the playability. Nice thick neck, nice meaty tone. I like the bass contour control, gives it a little more versatility. I am chasing a wide berth of tones and this helps. I can set the control “off” and dial this in for a thicker, almost les paul like sound.
What amps and pedals do you currently use?
I make most of my own amps and pedals. My fave studio amp is an AC15 style that i made out of an old hammond chassis. I also love my ’63 Vibrolux. My current touring amp is a combo based somwhere between the AC30 and DC30 using Weber speakers. I use a variety of clean boosts and occasionally fuzzes. Way to many pedals. I try to keep them off my pedalboard, but they keep sneaking back on. I have some pretty nice Keeley pedals. There modded tremelo has been great, and the compressor (5 knob) is intergral to my 12 string sound.
Do you have any unusual hobbies, skills, or pastimes you’d like to share with us?
Gear building, record listening, and when not making sound, i have been known to cook a spell.
Do you have any advice for up and coming players?
Find your own voice, keep a guitar in your hands. The more you integrate it into your life, the deeper your playing will get.
Please tell us about any of your current projects, tours, cds, etc. we should know about:
My new record is my first under a band name. It is a collaboration with Matt Harris(Posies, Spiral Stairs) called Lossy Coils. The record is slated to come out in the spring with national and international touring to follow!