One summer when I was about eight, I stayed in upstate NY with my aunt and
uncle. An orthopedic surgeon by trade, my uncle also loved playing the guitar
and listening to music. He is one of those guys who traces music back to its
roots. Thanks to uncle Willie, that summer exposed me to Muddy Waters,
Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bob Marley, Elmore James, and
My love of blues music began that summer, and it continues to this day.
I became an avid blues fan during high school. I listened every Monday night to
the Great Santini's blues radio show from the University of Hartford. When I
got to college, I hosted my own blues show for a couple of years. I can't
remember exactly when, but many summertime Saturday nights, my dad and I
used to pick up Mae Kramer (RIP) out of WGBH Boston. Hers was the best
blues show I ever heard.
I got my first harmonica at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport Maine. I was 12.
That first harp came with a book and tape by Jon Gindick. Over the next 5-6
years I played a little with the tape, but didn't get very far.
I began playing more seriously during college at Virginia Tech. I was a big
John Popper fanatic, and that lead to my inclusion with eclectic roots/jam band
called Rubicon Crossing. (samples coming soon)
In 1997 I met Rod Piazza (that's me and Rod on the front page). That changed
my life. For the next 8+ years I dedicated myself to learning the "old ways" of
the blues masters.
Then, in 2006 I met Jason Ricci. This guy will go down as one of THE
harmonica players of my generation. He'd mastered the old ways before he
turned thirty. Then, he took the harmonica into the 21st century. I share Jason's
philosophy of honoring the harmonica greats not by copying them note for note,
but by trying to find my own musical voice. Jason's motto: "Imitate,
The life of a harmonica player is pretty thankless. Tired of being someone's
"novelty-sideman" I began voice instruction in 2001. I studied voice in the
studio of Ms. Priscilla Gale at Weslyan University in Middletown, CT for over
6 years. I study blues singing on stage whenever I can.
I've written a few on my own, and helped with a few more. New songs seem to
come in waves. I've been between waves for a while.
I moved to the Left Coast in April of 2007. My first band, "Kingfish Jones"
only lasted two years. 2010 marks the re-birth of the "12-Gage Blues Band" It's
another high-energy blues band, featuring my favorite San Diego blues players.