Tell us a bit about your musical background?
My Mom is a church organist and classical pianist, Dad was a lover of show tunes and standards and also played the piano. I grew up singing with my family pretty much non stop. In 10th grade I was chosen to be the guitarist in the New york All State Jazz Band, mostly due to the amazing teacher I had, Richard Rabatin. He was an oasis of music to me, a brilliant composer and blues influenced guitarist. He showed me everything from Merle Travis to John Scofield, Atonal sight singing to making one chord vamps have their own internal changes. The best thing he ever taught me was how to teach myself. I went university of Miami where I learned how to compose and arrange. The great thing about Miami in the 80’s was the sheer amount of work there was. I was playing non stop the whole time I was there.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve had a residency at the Rockwood Music Hall here in New York for the last 4 years with my band the LOOPestra. I use looping live to create a big guitar band sound and have a different rhythm section every week, some of the best in the business, like Shawn Pelton, Keith Carlock, Jojo Mayer, James Genus, Tim LeFebvre and Jonathan Maron. Look for the LOOPestra to play once a month in Rockwood 2 while the residency continues in a different format in 2014.
I also work on independent records. I just finished mixing a beautiful record by Sonia Montez, an amazing singer songwriter who rocks without forgetting her roots. I also produced and mixed a record for Rich Hinman, a great guitarist in his own right, who plays with Sara Bareilles and Roseann Cash.
I’ve done a lot of work on films with my friend and film composer Alex Wurman. Anchorman, Taladegga Nights, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Four Christmases, Temple Grandin to name just a few of the fun films we got to work on together. Temple Grandin won an Emmy for best soundtrack (by Alex) so I guess you could say that since I was the featured soloist, I won an Emmy too ; )
How would you describe the state of music right now?
music is and always will be a source for inspiration in people’s lives. Now there’s just more people doing it, thanks to the home studio revolution. I think it’s great that people who are naturally talented have a way to realize their creative dreams with computers even if they’ve never had any training. The cream still rises to the top, there’s just more fat than there was in the 70’s and 80’s…
What’s coming up for you in the future?
The future includes touring opening for the Waterboys with my friend Freddie Stevenson, the great Scottish songwriter. Also touring with Martha Redbone and developing my own music further.
What attracted you to Mooer pedals?
Tiny size and big sound. Why have something bigger when such a small thing sounds just as good? They’re really a big help for touring rigs.