I started playing guitar at age 21, due to the influence of my older brother Deke. He and his friends introduced me to the great acoustic fingerstyle blues players of the twentieth century. My early influences also included country fingerpickers, including the great Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, Leo Kottke, and my friend the great Duane Wall.
Along the way, my major influences widened to include jazz guitarist Joe Pass, banjo player Bela Fleck, as well as many great jazz piano players.
Through the years, I've spent time as a singer/songwriter and eventually became a bandleader, performing church music, jazz-rock fusion stuff, and western swing.
Fingerstyle or fingerpicking guitar encompasses a huge range of styles, with one thing in common: it is played with the fingers of the picking hand, without using a traditional flat pick. Just a few years ago, I returned to what originally attracted me to playing the guitar, which is fingerstyle, acoustic, instrumental guitar.
I now spend my musical time practicing, arranging, composing, recording and performing solo acoustic (and occasionally some electric) fingerstyle guitar music, which I call “fingerpicking and jazzing.” I draw my inspiration from world rhythms, jazz, rock, fusion, classical, country and blues music, and blend these genres into my own style.
Several years ago, Eddy Backwater and I produced a video called the HAPPYNOISE Rhythm Guitar Method. It's a logical instructional method that focuses on right and left hand technique, and the coordination between the hands, to produce accurate and beautiful rhythm guitar playing.
For a number of years I taught guitar in person to many students, including those with learning disabilities, in the Kansas Ciity area. I still have a few students, but I'm primarily performing now. I'm available for lessons, if requested.