Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do…
I am a singer/songwriter that grew up in North and South Carolina. I have also lived in New York City and Los Angeles but have made Nashville, Tennessee my home for the last 23 years. I travel a lot as a touring artist and when I’m home I spend a lot of time songwriting and working in recording studios.
What inspired you to become a musician?
My parents and older sister listened to a lot of music around the house. There was something about music that always excited me. Hearing other artists on the radio inspired me to make music on my own.
And how does living in Nashville inspire your work?
It inspires me by being around so many great songwriters, singers and musicians. There is so much to offer for the listener in that town.
What is it, do you think, about Tennessee that enables it to have nurtured such amazing musical talent?
I think because through the ’50’s and early ’60’s Nashville became more of a recording center where labels and more of the business became located. This drew creative people to move there to try their luck at having a career in music. Of course the Grand Ole Opry is located in Nashville and that has been a beacon for talent and listeners for many years. So, more and more people involved in music have moved to Nashville. Of course Memphis has been an integral part of soul, rhythm & blues, rock n roll and country for many years. I consider it an energy vortex of music. East Tennessee also has a rich musical heritage dating back to the earliest recordings of country music in Bristol, Tennessee in 1928.
How would you spend your perfect day in the city?
A perfect day would be getting up in the morning doing Tai Chi, songwriting and perhaps going to one of the many music venues in town to hear friends play.
What are your favourite live music venues in Tennessee?
The Ryman Auditorium, the Station Inn, The Bluebird, The Exit Inn, City Winery, The Basement East, The Grand Ole Opry and the 5 Spot. The Factory in Franklin where on Wednesdays I get to co-host a show called Music City Roots where we have 4 to 5 great bands every week.
In Memphis, Minglewood Hall, Lafayette’s and the DittyTV studio. In Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre, Blueplate Special at the radio WDVX and The Bijou Theatre.
In Bristol, the Paramount theatre.
Finally, if you had to choose one song that embodies the life and atmosphere of Tennessee, what would it be?
A song I wrote with Robert Hunter which always reminds me of home, called “Headed For The Hill.”