In June of 1967 my parents flew me to San Francisco where I met and heard one of the final performances of my first musical heroes, Nick Reynolds, Bob Shane and John Stewart of The Kingston Trio, at the “Hungry i” where they had started 10 years earlier. Then, about 2 years later I began following John Stewart’s solo career attending every show he performed in and around the L.A. area for many years. John was very gracious with me allowing me to hang out backstage on several occasions as he prepared to perform.
At the same time I had started taking guitar lessons from a guy named Scott Hillman who was a huge Gordon Lightfoot fan and had me learning his songs almost immediately. I became obsessed with his music and went to hear him perform for the first time at the infamous Golden Bear in Huntington Beach in 1968. I saw him perform every time he played around the L.A. area from them on for many years.
Some of my greatest memories of that time were hearing John Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kristofferson, Loggins & Messina, and so many more perform at Doug Weston’s Troubadour in West Hollywood. I was there the week that Carole King opened for James Taylor just before her historic Tapestry album was released.
In fact, some of my first live performances took place on the Troubadour’s stage during their infamous Monday Night Hoot. One time I sat in line outside the club all day to sign up for that evening’s show sitting next to a very strange guy who told me he had his first record coming out in a month or so on Asylum Records. I asked his name so that I could remember and look for him…he said it was Tom Waits.
Had I been a little older I’m sure I would have been hanging out at the Troubadour bar with the Don Henley, Glen Frey, Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, and so many other amazing artists and songwriters of that time. But in the Fall of 1973 I headed to Boulder, Colorado as a freshman at CU. What a time it was…the campus was spectacular and the Colorado snow mesmerized and inspired me. But not to go to class…instead, to write songs every day and then head down to Denver 2-3 nights per week to perform at all of the “open mic” nights I could get on. The Denver Folklore Center on Thursdays and the Oxford Hotel on Sundays…Man, I was in heaven. And this is where I met my musical compatriots who are still my great friends to this day…Bill Roser, Rick Stockton, and the late great Scott Bennett (who produced my first CD in 2007).
While visiting my old Camp Thunderbird and guitar pickin’ buddy, Marty Diner, in Denver one day, he told me he had a song I needed to hear by an artist he knew I was going to flip out for. The song was, “Cosmic Cowboy” and the artist was Michael Murphey. My music changed from that moment on as I moved away from the folk scene that I had grown up on and found country music…primarily the “outlaw” country of Austin, Texas.
The music you hear on this record reflects the musical “journey” I’ve been on since those early days in the mid-1970’s through mid-1980’s to picking up the guitar and writing again beginning in 2006 until now. Enjoy!
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