My music career on the Outer Banks began on my 15th birthday. I walked into Art’s Place in Kitty Hawk for open mic night with my Ovation guitar and sat down at a table as close as possible to the musicians playing. After the set ended with a rendition of Folsom Prison Blues, I was approached by a man wearing a fedora hat and he asked me my name. I told him, getting more and more nervous as I looked around at the men and women surrounding the bar.
My mom and dad sat in the back corner, a look of excitement in their eyes as the man in the fedora introduced himself as Denny Blue, directly followed by my name and a welcoming applause from the crowd. I sat on a stool behind the microphone and waited for Denny to set up the volume levels. The crowd was silent. I was sure they expected a child prodigy, about to wow the audience with my fingerpicking skills and warm, powerful vocals.
Unfortunately, however much I envisioned that in my head to be the case, it was definitely not so. I played a couple original songs (that I doubt will ever be performed in public again) and a Jack Johnson tune that I brutally destroyed (not in a good way). My vocals were quiet and rough and my guitar playing was a little sloppy and abrupt, but as soon as the sustained final note faded, the crowd erupted in applause and whistles.
I packed up my guitar and as I walked through the crowd, smiling strangers encouraged me to keep it up and that I did an “awesome job”. Still kind of numb, I just smiled and accepted their compliments and walked out the door. Riding home in the back seat of my dad’s car, I kept reliving that first applause and roar from the crowd. It was addicting… I wanted more.
Now, after many years of practicing and being mentored by incredible Outer Banks Musicians like Denny Blue, Monte Hooker, Hugh Hammers, and many many others that offered advice, I am now doing what I love and improving every day.
I try to bring a new and different folk style to many popular songs and many forgotten ones as well.
Over the past couple years I’ve picked up gigs at venues like Waveriders, Beach Treasures on the Duck Boardwalk, Bonzer Shack, Slice Pizzeria, and Peppercorns. And I hope to broaden my horizons and play more venues in the near future.
My music influences are difficult to narrow down, but two artists that inspire many of my own original songs are Jack Johnson and Paul Simon. Along with my originals, I play a wide variety of music from 60’s to now, including John Mayer, Bob Dylan, The Cure, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Weezer, Violent Femmes, and David Bowie.
If you are interested in staying updated on my upcoming gigs, head over to my contact page and sign up for my newsletter. If you’d consider booking me for your venue or event…Call or text my cell, you can also shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Maybe faster.