|Who Am I? Well let me just tell you!|
|I'm a vocalist/guitarist that lives
and works in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, Australia. I've been performing
since 1967 when I joined my first band, The Mystics. I have played all sorts of
music from Blues, Rock, Pop, Folk, Country, Old Time, Bluegrass, A Capella, you
name it, as long as it's played well, I'm interested. At the moment I'm
teaching myself Acoustic Lap Steel using a resophonic guitar built by Bryan De
Gruchy of South Australia.
These days I perform as a solo act with MIDI backing. I mainly play cover's from the 60's and 70's, but I also include my own original material. I have a working repertoire of over 500 songs.
The venues I perform at are mainly restaurants, clubs, receptions, parties, corporate dinners and even a lot of busking at places like Tamworth, National Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Gippsland Harvest Festival, Mallacoota Blues Festival, Bruthen Blues Festival, Tyers Art Festival, Yarragon Village, Walhalla and the Briagolong, Warragul and Callignee Sunday Markets.
I've played in a lot of bands over the years and that's all fine and well. I've had a great time in them, BUT, electric bands and drummers have an abrasive effects on your ear. After awhile your ear just gets tired of all the pounding and develops Tinnitus, that ringing in your ears that just won't go away and annoys the hell out of you when you're trying to get to sleep. Clearly I had to change environments if I wished to continue my career, so I developed an acoustic act using resonator guitars. An act where there is no PA. The volume is set by either my guitar or my voice. I still use a MIDI sequencer, but that is just to keep a rhythm and make the soloing easier. Sure this effects how far you can be heard, but when you are busking or playing at a restaurant volume isn't the most important factor. The quality of your instruments, voice and choice of material become the dominant factors.
I remember performing at a corporate function where Paul Lynham was the guest speaker. I hadn't fully developed my acoustic act and was still using an electric guitar. Paul told me later in the evening that he had never heard an electric guitar played so quietly and yet keep the mood of the evening alive. At another corporate function where Brian Doyle was the main act, he complemented me on being able to perform my material and not get in the way of the guests conversing with one another by having to shout.
Through the Bluegrass community I have found other Acoustic Lap Steep players like Quenton Fraser and Garry Brown who have given me invaluable advice in learning the style. It's a pity they both live in Sydney so I don't get to see them often, but when I do it's always a positive experience.
I really enjoy where I am at the moment and from the feedback I get at my performances, so do the people that hear me.
Time for a bit of an update.
The music scene in the Latrobe Valley has changed beyond recognition. No longer do local businesses hire musicians, it's nearly all canned music. There are a few exceptions, but you could count the number of live music venues on one hand.
I have my supporters and they are good to work with. Still don't play loud.
I have a new resophonic slide guitar made to my custom specifications by master luthier Tim Kill from Cockatoo. Truly a work of art.
Still recording my own songs which you can check out on the Songs page.
Still love playing music in any arrangement.