I was born in Hartland, New Brunswick, a town on the east coast of Canada with a population of about 870, home to the longest covered bridge in the world and just down the road from the french fry capital of Canada, McCain Foods, Florenceville, NB.
I live in Etobicoke, a community of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I took inspiration from many great bands playing shows in Fredericton, NB where I went to university. The music of Matt Minglewood, Dutchie Mason, Prairie Oyster, Ritchie Oakley, Horse and Red Eye were my early mentors. I would also like to pay homage to Canadian singer-songwriters Murray McLauchlan and Bruce Cockburn.
The first time I played for an audience was at a noon-hour dance at Hartland High School at age 16. My band, Zithern Image, was introduced as The Blithering Images 🙂
My first guitar was an Eaton’s Silvertone. It came with a matching amp and an EZ Method guitar book. I bought it with $35 of potato-picking money! The action was set so high, it was three years before someone came along and lowered the action so that it was playable… my journey had begun.
I hold a Bachelors of Economics from the University of New Brunswick. I also have an Advanced Performance Diploma in Jazz from Vancouver Community College and I spent a year working towards a Masters in Psychology before moving to Toronto to pursue music once more.
First Career Musician Gig
The first time I performed as a full-time musician was in Williams Lake, B.C. I did a solo act at one of the roughest bars I’ve seen, before or since.
I had to learn a lot of country music for the Williams Lake gig. The jukebox in that bar really kept me afloat! I learned everything from Don Williams to Willie Nelson and somehow survived a 6-week tour through the interior of B.C. This was my first introduction to country music and influenced my writing and performance from that time onward.
I was truly inspired by some of the bar bands in Vancouver during my time there, in particular, Doug and the Slugs, Powder Blues Band and Six Cylinder. My band mates in Bent Fender had a great impact on my work. I played the local bars, doing a mix of blues, swing and country at The American Hotel, Marble Arch and Waterfront Corral.
Life in Toronto
I moved to town in the early 1980s against the advice of my friends. They told me it would be too difficult to get work as a musician. A steel player, Al Briscoe, helped me get a gig in Bowmanville on the first day I arrived. It included a hotel room for the weekend!
When I got to my room and rolled back the sheets I was welcomed by an impressive number of dead flies in my bed (probably 1000 or more). I slept in my truck that weekend, and for six months afterward while I worked to become part of the local country scene.
The Great Escape
I started my own marketing business in 1988 to allow me the freedom of continuing music. I raised a family and built my business but did very little music. Over twenty years later the original plan came together. I currently employ 10 people and design websites, brochures etc. I have never stopped writing and in 2010 I started playing music professionally again. I am currently working on my fourth album and finding my way through the Canadian music scene once more.