So Here We Are
Getting to know me
For having the desire to learn a little bit more about me.
I could tell you that I’m the best-kept secret in Rock and Roll but I don’t really think that would be true. The whisper in the hall, maybe, kind of like that band everyone says was so cool before they became famous. I can’t say any of that best describes me. What I can tell you is I feel pretty fortunate to live the life I live. That said, I will tell you I’ve never liked Star Wars; the Phantom Menace until one afternoon Mellissa Ethridge put it on and sat down next to me. I can say that I think it’s cool that I’ve recorded and worked with the same players/engineers and producers who have worked with Elvis Costello, Don Henley, Ryan Adams; or even that Gene Simmons still owes me six bucks. Being from a small town outside Peoria, Illinois, to me, that’s pretty cool. At the very least, it makes for a good story. So settle in for a sec’, cause I’m about to tell ya one.
So, Me. I grew up in a small town outside Peoria, Illinois, attended Catholic school until sixth grade, then public school after that up until I graduated high school. My earliest musical influences consisted of any artist saturating the airwaves in the early 1980s. Once I discovered my parents record collection-the Beatles and Queen. I got Prince (Purple Rain) for my birthday one year from a family friend, and later, Mellencamp, the list is endless. If it made the radio I was obsessed with it.
The birth of MTV drew me to the guitar. I just thought it looked cool. So I dug my mother’s dusty acoustic out of the downstairs closet and started working on my poses. I went from learning simple riffs, to writing songs, then to garage jam sessions, and on to basement rehearsals. I played a handful of local shows in the area, even won a battle of the bands and got some free studio time out of it. Where the songs are from that recording session is anyone’s guess.
After high school I moved to Nashville, Tennessee for a handful of years, where I continued writing songs, tracking demos, and playing local clubs. Though during that time I heard a whisper in the back of my mind; California was calling. I had already been kicking around Los Angeles a couple times a year at that point. I don’t know if it was fate, luck or something entirely different.
When the call came to join an LA based band, I didn’t say no. Six months of traveling back and forth from Nashville to Hollywood for recording sessions and showcasing, gave me a great opportunity to see some of the country. With everything lining up and looking like it could take off at any second, I made the move. Leaving Tennessee behind, I never could have predicted that in just six short months it would all be over.
I spent the next year couch surfing, jamming with friends and picking up work where and when I could. Then one day, unexpectedly, I was asked to go in the
studio with Jack Joseph Puig and help out with the band he was recording. Similar opportunities filled up the next 2-½ years. Just to name a few, I’ve been lucky enough to work with Fuel, Jonny Lang, Melissa Etheridge, and producers like Michael Beinhorn, Rob Cavallo and Julian Raymond. I had a front row seat learning the tricks of the trade, going from inspiration to a reality. In those days, I did a little bit of everything including working rehearsals for KISS, cleaning out Pat Benatar’s garage and driving keyboards to The Four Seasons in Las Vegas for writing sessions with Michael Jackson; anything to stay involved with music in one aspect or another.
It was around this time I was asked about doing a solo album, and that got my wheels spinning. So I reached out to some studio friends, compiled some of my favorite songs that I’d written and got to work. The process was definitely a fly by night operation. Whenever a studio in town had a last minute cancellation, or open day, we snuck in. Fours years and many revisions later, I had my first solo record consisting of eleven songs, my debut ‘List Of Regrets’ was finished. We shot a video for the song “Everything” at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Blvd., which was the first time I was recognized as a solo artist.
After its release, it generated some label interest and a fair amount of press. It seemed once again the stars were aligning. Like my previous band, it was short lived. This time not due to any outside factors, I was still a little gun shy then and all I could see was history repeating itself.
Over the years in LA, I got to work with producers and engineers with endless credit lists and accomplishments. I went from playing in small clubs to headlining the Roxy Theatre. When I started out with all this, I would have never thought they would have let me on that stage.
Though always torn, I have split my time between Nashville and LA regardless of where I’ve called home. I’ve had the opportunity to record and write in both places and have always stayed busy in one way or another.
Not long after I walked off the stage at the Roxy I found myself once again back in Nashville, this time putting the experience I have gained to use for other artists. It is a refreshing change of pace; helping an artist turn their inspiration into a reality. Though after a while, for as exciting as it was, I was neglecting a part of me that was starting to show its face in the worst ways.
So after fulfilling the last of my obligations, I decided to take a little break and go back into the studio for myself. What started out as one record, become three.
LOOKING BACK AT
My Dirty Life and Times, There is Nothing I Regret.
I guess you’ll have to judge for yourself if it makes for a good story, it is a story none-the less. Not just inspired by true events, but consisting of. And oh no, this isn’t all she wrote, just the start of a new chapter. You might be hearing from me sooner than you think.