Born in 1968, I grew up around live music via tube amps, reel-to-reel analog recording, scratchy vinyl records, and a father who played drums professionally and recorded songs in collaboration with Wayne Carson and Charlie Daniels, and also played behind Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and others. I’ve been exposed to an appreciation for all kinds of music: country, folk, rock, gospel, jazz. My music is a product of those influences.
I discovered long ago that I’m an eclectic. Since I’m an Independent Artist, we could call my music “Eclectic Indie Rock,” with sprinklings of “Eclectic Prog” thrown in for good measure, such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, The Pineapple Thief, Riverside, Rush, Yes, Zeppelin, etc. I’m an award-winning songwriter, session musician, multi-instrumentalist, and have been writing, playing, and recording music since I was 11.
Despite some helpful formal musical training, I am predominantly self-taught on playing the instruments. I’m schooled in music theory, but my ear is my guide and final arbiter. If it sounds good, it is good. I have played in and gigged with various local bands over the years, but now I am content with performing session work, writing compositional art, and recording my solo efforts. My goal is to write and/or play compositions that listeners would find appealing, inspirational, or relatable.
Whatever you do, just be authentic, and I can dig it! I’m no rock star, simply a lover of music.
Where are you based?
How long have you been making music?
I started writing original compositions at 11 on acoustic guitar. I picked up bass guitar at 14, because it only had 4 fat strings, and seemed it would be easier to play than 6 skinny strings, and the local band needed a bass player. I played/recorded with bands for 10 years, then at around 24 I quit playing anything for 20 years or so, due to family commitments. I resumed playing about 5 or 6 years ago.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
I’m not sure, it’s just rock n’ roll. But if pressed I would guess Eclectic Indie-Prog Rock.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I grew up in the 70s watching my Dad as a professional drummer and singer/songwriter. The process of music creation always fascinated me. I had constant exposure to music, his band practicing in our home, and eclectic vinyl records. As a kid, I had a natural aptitude for music and wanted to learn an instrument. I played trombone in school band for 3 years. At the same time, I was singing in a touring church choir known as “God’s Gang.” We would tour the country every year by bus to perform and minister to various churches in different towns. I did this from ages 11-13. At 14, I taught myself bass guitar, grew my hair long, and joined local bands to gig around town. From there, I had dreams of getting “signed,” and being a rock star. My band ended up getting signed by Maneater Metal in 1992, but we disbanded shortly thereafter, due to bad label management. I played for 10 years, retired from music for around 25 years, and returned to playing in Summer of 2015. I began writing the bulk of songs that would eventually appear on Odd Symmetry. My biggest inspiration is the simple love of creating something artistically meaningful from a raw idea which began in my head. Music always seemed naturally feasible to me, an ingrained passion. Making music is the best means whereby I can express my deepest soul authentically.
What are your biggest musical influences?
I’m influenced by everything. I have a wide musical palette, but my soul gravitates towards songs rooted in Blues. I like melody, harmonies, storytelling, meaningful lyrics, songs with depth, nuance. The raw power and courage of Black Sabbath, the psychedelic story-telling of Pink Floyd, the master musicianship and elaborate compositions of Rush, the melancholic honesty of Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson, the acoustic folk of Dave Matthews, the rich vocal harmonies of CSN and Kings X, the unconventional experimentation of Jeff Beck and Pat Metheny. It all filters through to the music I create.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I’m an Independent Artist signed with CD Baby as my Publisher. CD Baby has been awesome to work with, and I can speak firsthand how they take good care of their Artists. I enjoy the 100% creative freedom and control I have as an Indie. Whatever the scenario, I must remain authentic.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
My self-imposed limitations, along with life during 2020. I had been working on the music for “Dogs of War” for a year, making very little meaningful progress musically at that time, then my life as I knew it basically fell apart, starting in December 2019 and continuing throughout 2020. Hence the birth of the concepts behind the album. 2020 gave me sufficient material to write a new album. I began having gastric ulcers in the early months of 2020. My wife and I separated in March 2020. By then, COVID was running rampant, businesses were shutting down, and I was furloughed from my job in April 2020. I became deathly ill with Pancreatitis in June 2020, and the doctor told me on June 12, 2020 I had 2 weeks to live, because I was severely dehydrated and malnutritioned and couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. The Lord heard my prayer on June 14, Sunday as a “new beginning,” and miraculously healed me within 72 hours. I was back at work on June 17. I was forced into filing bankruptcy in September 2020, which was granted the following December. So yes, I’ve been hindered in producing music, one could say. During this entire time, I redicovered my spiritual life with God, rededicated my life to Jesus Christ, and He gave me the album to release as chronicle of my experiences during 2020, which is to be a testimony to the world about how there exists a God in heaven who governs my life according to His divine plan, and is trustworthy, and is always present, watching, and resolving the seemingly random chaos of life. With God, there is love, peace, purpose, and calm in the chaos.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I have one album to date, “Odd Symmetry.” I’ve written other songs which I plan to remaster and eventually release as singles.
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
The title hit me one day in 2020 as descriptive of my life, odd symmetry. the word “symmetry” denotes a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance. The life lesson ironically of my personal experiences through 2020: God is always there, resolving. The record is one ‘rock opera,’ following a timeline of tragedy vs. triumph; the worst of times, yet the best of times: calm in the chaos. It’s my painful story of human “brokenness” and Divine resolution, told conceptually. I’ve inherited the name “Shamrocker,” because I’ve come close to death 3 times (that I’m aware)–via car accident at 16, stroke at 47, Pancreatitis in 2020–and I’m lucky to be alive to even play music. I have God the Father to thank for my life, and I am truly blessed because of the love, blood, cross, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ my Lord. I believe God’s providence and grace has preserved me thus far, so I play music in reciprocation for His glory and as His living testimony of divine grace. I am openly Christian, but the album is not intended as a “Christian” record. I don’t write Christian rock music, but I’m a Christian who plays rock music. There’s a difference. Nonetheless, “Odd Symmetry” is a God-inspired record, definitely.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
Yes, I have more videos planned for the record. I recently finished production and released the official video for “Sometimes She Cries (Dirge for an Angel).” I started production on the official video for the title track “Odd Symmetry” currently. I envision producing a movie version of the album. I also have recorded some Country demos that need remastering. I would like to collab with a female singer for a song I’ve written as a duet. The search for the right singer has been slow. I can potentially release these as singles. Besides this, I’m always writing, creating, and drawing inspiration from everything in life.