Deep Gap, NC
Lexington, KY was my home for the first forty years of my life but I have been a resident of Northwestern North Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains since 1981. Santa brought my first pickin instrument, a Uke, along with a Hank Williams songbook when I was eight years old so Southern Baptist singing on Sunday and “Pistol Packin Mama” for the rest of the week accounts for my eclectic taste in music.
1974 – 1980: I had the opportunity to manage and produce recordings for some great bands: The New South, Boone Creek and Spectrum. A few of the very talented young men that crossed my path were J.D. Crowe, Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Bob Slone, Terry Baucom, Vince Gill, Wes Golden, Glenn Lawson, Jim Gaudreau, Bela Fleck, & Mark Shatz. Many of these men have developed stellar careers and I cherish the experience I shared with them.
From the first day in 1981 when I unloaded the moving van in these beautiful mountains I had the strange feeling I belonged here. To my great surprise I discovered my family had been one of the first Blue eyed families to settle 10 miles north in Ash Co. NC in 1770. A second and even bigger surprise was the prolific number of indigenous world-class pickers and singers that pursued music as an avocation. Generational tradition has produced a pure love of music participation that led one of the best to say he was a sophomore at NC State before he realized every one didn’t spend Sunday afternoon on the front porch pickin. My greatest blessing is acceptance into this warm extraordinary family of extremely talented friends and neighbors. It is the most fun and rewarding endeavor I have ever experienced.