Who are you and what do you do?
I am a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer and educator. I have had my own solo band for 20 years, with my most recent album, Rustbelt, released in 2021. From 2008-2017 I was the guitarist and musical director for the Gregg Allman Band and was nominated for two Americana Grammys for my work as a songwriter, producer and performer on Gregg’s final album, Southern Blood. Since 2019 I have been the guitarist and vocalist for Little Feat. In 2021 we embarked on a national tour performing the legendary live album Waiting for Columbus front to back. In 2023, we will be making a new Little Feat studio album and continuing to tour all over the USA. In between tour dates, I run my own music education program out of my adopted home of New York City for, which has been going for almost 20 years. My teaching focus involves both private lessons and ensemble teaching with a specialty in helping pupils to develop song writing, guitar and vocal skills based in American Roots music styles.
Where did you start from, what’s your musical origin story?
I started by backing up my dad with rhythm guitar in the living room and sometimes on his gigs. Playing Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and Leadbelly tunes early on, eventually I got bit by the lead guitar bug when I saw Jimi Hendrix in the Monterey pop film. I never looked back! I had the good fortune of attending the High School of the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a teen, where I got to study with some of the very best and also perform at night with legendary blues artists like Hubert Sumlin and Pinetop Perkins. In 1996, fresh out of high school, I moved to my adopted hometown of NYC with my band mate, Sean Dixon, and our band, The Chesterfields. We were lucky to get the attention of music legends like Ahmet Ertegun and Russ Titlemen while playing in clubs around NYC like The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall. We released two albums before I went solo in 2003 and churned out my first 3 solo albums. I met Gregg Allman and joined his band in 2008 and the rest is history.
You’re a solo artist in your own right as well being a member of Little Feat and having worked with The Gregg Allman Band. Is there much crossover between these two types of work?
MY Beatles and Stones were Little Feat and The Allman Brothers! The best rock and roll bands by far from the USA and undoubtedly a major part of my childhood. I started seeing them both live when I was about 12 and those shows provided my entire template for starting a band. Joining their musical families has been a life-altering journey in so many ways. It has been an honour and a pleasure to collaborate with my heroes and add whatever paint I can to the canvas of these bands.
What are you currently working on?
A new Little Feat studio album in 2023 and, of course, a lot more touring. I am also continuing to expand my horizons as a producer in the studio for artists and as a music educator in the American roots music styles that I love. I have been moving towards a bigger mentorship role every passing year and I am excited to deepen that journey and acumen.
How do Origin Effects and our products fit into your work?
Origin makes some of the most high-quality music making devices around. The SlideRIG is like an express rocket to the compression tone associated with Lowell George and Paul Barrere – a great tool when you’re sliding with Little Feat music! The RevivalDRIVE is a beautiful overdrive pedal. It truly fulfils the promise of being an amp in front of your amp. The DELUXE61 is the cleanest tremolo unit you can use. All the pedals are also built like tanks. My last solo album, Rustbelt, exclusively featured all three pedals for the electric tones.