Q. I was born in Lubbock, Texas (woo hoo!)~ the hometown of many great musicians/songwriters (Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Lloyd Maines, Kim Richey, Delbert McClinton, Wayne"The Train" Hancock, Terry Allen, Jessie "Guitar" Taylor, etc.).
A. Nope. My Dad is VERY good at what he does and was constantly advancing in his field of work, so we moved quite a bit when I was growing up (Atlanta, Chicago, El Paso, Farmington, NM; Albuquerque; Phoenix, AZ; Canyon, TX). I'm glad because now I've got many dear friends in some of those places we used to live! Somehow in all that moving, we"yo-yo'd" back to Lubbock several times - so I ended up going to school there off and on (kindegarten through 3rd grade).
A. HEY ~ I heard that! Since college, I've continued the tradition that
my parents established long ago: moving! Just to name a few of the
places I've lived as a "grown-up": Austin, Oklahoma City, Nashville,
A. Where does the wind live?! No, just kidding! I receive mail at three different addresses - Austin, Lubbock, and in Oklahoma; but I don't actually own a home at this time because I travel a LOT and, besides... then I'd constantly have to hire somebody to get my mail and water my plants, right?!!
A. Strictly "Celtic-Disco-Rap" OR "Latin-American-Bagpipe-Choirs".
No, seriously, I enjoy a wide variety of music. When traveling I will
often turn the radio to AM stations from Mexico (though I can't
understand a word of what they're saying), or music from India, or
country, alternative, rock, classic rock, classical, punk (really!),
metal, blues (LOVE the blues!), 'world' music. I just like GOOD music!
I'm particularly fond of Texas artists and enjoy radio programs that
feature songwriters/bands from around the state.
A. Well... I would call it "Americana" ~ sort of a 'casserole' of styles. I can't MAKE myself write in any one particular genre because my music is a real mixture of the stuff I love to listen to, and so you'll end up hearing a variety of styles in my songs: ballads, country, blues, classical, humor, rock, instrumental, a little Spanish- flavored, etc. "Americana" feels like the best descriptive category.
A. Good question! I'll admit from the get-go that I have literally NO control over the music that I write. That is, I can no more sit down and MAKE myself write something than I can MAKE myself turn into a purple cow (and I've tried... oh, Lord knows how I've tried)! Ha! Basically, for me what happens is God puts the song in my heart/head, I LISTEN, and then try and figure out what it's supposed to become. Sometimes it's only a phrase at first, or maybe a cool "riff", or even just the chorus. Now, once in a rare while, the ENTIRE song will just flow out of me. Whichever way it happens, all I know is that it will often just hang around bugging me... tickling my brain 'til I finally take the time to sit down and
get it OUT of my head by writing it down (the lyrics, that is). I'm very grateful that He not only inspires the music in the first place, but He also gave me the ability to write and then perform the song(s) so that you can hear it, too! I'm merely the middle-man in this whole process. Ha!
A. Another GREAT question! It depends on the venue and/or circumstances as to whether or not I play strictly originals or include "cover" songs in my set(s). Sometimes, there are events like "songwriter nights" where you're ONLY allowed to play your own music; the same thing goes for most house concert series because they're there to hear your original tunes.
For most festivals, you're only allowed a certain amount of time on stage (either a full or half set), so you'd definitely want to get your own music heard in that situation - and your very BEST songs, to boot! Generally speaking, though, when I play at a club, bar, coffeehouse, or any other occasion where I'm asked to play two to four hours, I will absolutely include 'cover' songs in the set lists!
A. That's interesting to think about.... For me, personally, I find it difficult to make up 'set lists' BEFORE I get to the venue. Often times, what I end up playing is dictated by the audience. In other words, I kind of wait and see who's there: a young, rowdy college-crowd who are there to chatter and drink; or a bunch of families with young children who are FASCINATED by the music/instruments being played (and who might want to come on stage and dance and/or sing a song, too!), perhaps a room full of ranchers and cowboys who want to hear some familiar country or western songs that they can two-step to; or maybe a burly group of fun-loving bikers who want some blues or "SKYNARD"....
It's hard to have a pre-conceived notion of how the night will play-out when there's a chance that your audience likely won't be as receptive to some songs as they might be to others. In my opinion, my job is to entertain the AUDIENCE, not for me to shove MY wants or agenda down their throats. SO, I figure that these folks are there to have a good time and I'll do my best to discover what it is musically that will make their evening more enjoyable!
Being a little 'loose' with song order and set lists is MUCH easier when performing solo. It can get more tricky when there's a band to consider and they have to search for their charts/music between tunes. If at all possible, I do try to have a rough idea of what we'll play throughout the night... but also allow for some flexibility as the show unfolds.
One thing that I think is important is to keep the music interesting. That is, I believe when you vary the tempos of the songs, the styles, the KEY, and the overall 'mood' of the tunes, it makes for a MUCH more entertaining show than playing ALL waltzes, or ALL ballads, or EVERY song being in the same key. I know that MY ears get weary when listening to (essentially) the same thing over and over! It just makes things more fun to listen to (and play!) when you spice up the song order with tunes from different genres, with tempos that range between fast and snappy to slow grooves, cover songs mixed between originals, featuring different instruments in the songs, and the keys vary. Now, I'm not saying I can ALWAYS manage to accomplish this, but I try to keep it in mind.
A. Yes - to BOTH! Most times I perform as a solo artist, but now I also have a full band that joins me when the event/venue/occasion calls for the bigger group. They're great musicians and a BLAST to work with!
A. Well, like most musicians, I've found myself performing in ALL KINDS
of settings. For example, I've been in "pit" orchestras for musicals,
played for weddings/funerals/memorials, picnics, beer gardens, private
parties, business grand-openings, small chamber ensembles, larger
orchestras/symphonies, bands (rock, country, blues, marching), bars,
nightclubs, dance halls, coffeehouses, house concerts, festivals,
airports (Austin has GREAT venues at their new airport!), civic
centers, restaurants, bar-b-ques, park dedications, breweries, wineries, art
shows, galleries, schools (elementary through university), nursing homes,
hospitals, holiday events, corporate events, on "party boats"... and
probably MORE situations that I can't even think of right now!
A. Why, sure! Just go to the "Booking" page on this website and you'll find all the information on ways to have YOUR people get in touch with MY people! (YIKES! Now I need to find some "people".....!!!!)
A. My main instrument is a Yamaha FG-160 dreadnought with a Highlander pickup that I received on my 8th birthday (about 10 years... ha!). I also play a cute little classical cut-away by Ibanez; it's got a thin body, a 14-fret neck, and electronics built-in. It sounds GREAT and is quite comfy even for MY little Vienna-sausage fingers! Let's see... I have a Hohner 12-string acoustic, an Ibanez electric bass (by the akers of Ovation), and I recently purchased my first ELECTRIC guitar: a Schecter Gryphon Limited Edition Flametop Electric (and it's a beatiful ruby red, too! OOooooo!!).
I have also just purchased a brand-new guitar that I've been slobbering over for a couple of years. It's the Alvarez Monte Montgomery artist series acoustic/electric by Yairi, It's GORGEOUS - and feels great to play, too!
A. Everybody has their own tastes, and for me I've discovered that I'm happy with the bright, acoustic sound that I get from the Martin MSP3050 SP Bronze Custom Light strings. But that's just me....
A. Well, I'm not exactly sure. Unlike many of my friends, I'm not a "master musician" on ANY one instrument. Nonetheless, I enjoy messing around with the guitar (obviously), bass, mandolin, dulcimer, anjo, bassoon, flute, piccolo, recorder, oboe, English horn, French horn (though, it's been awhile), harmonica, fiddle (I kinda stink), blah, blah, blah....
A. I'm rather partial to Texas (of course), particularly the Hill Country Area and Austin. Another part of the country that I just ADORE is the Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle. Seattle and Austin are, in my opinion, kindred spirits - both physically and musically. I've always loved Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Tennessee, Northern California, Oregon... It's SO COOL discovering the natural beauty of the various regions of our country as I drive. I just love to travel and think that no matter where I am at the moment, I've got the absolute BEST view out my 'office' window!
A. Often times, I'll have a show in the same town where I have either family or friends or perhaps nearby. When I say "nearby", that means they're within a two-hour drive from the venue. If there's no one around and/or my gig isn't over 'til really, REALLY late... then I'll occasionally stay in a hotel. Many venues actually have an "artist house" where they'll have the performer stay. This is always a special treat because I've yet to stay in an artist house that wasn't just SUPER COOl!! Typically they're small but cozy, and really neat! Of course, there are times when I literally have to sleep in my car (drive a little, get sleepy, pull over, snooze for awhile, wake up, drive some more, get sleepy, pull over... Z-Z-Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z... ).
A. NO WAY!!! I LOVE to go to places "off the beaten path" when eating out.
In fact, I do my best to take ALL my business exclusively to Mom and
Pop establishments... especially cool, old fashioned dives that have been
around forever. These little cafes, grills, and burger joints
typically have the BEST food - no matter what you're in the mood for, and at good
prices (that means even musicians can afford to eat there)! One of my
favorite things about traveling is getting to go through small towns
across the United States and soaking in the local flavor through their
eating establishments. You just don't get that same experience at a
McDonald's or Chili's, you know?! In fact, I go out of my way to NOT eat
at those franchise restaurants by carrying stuff with me in the car ~
like cheese and crackers, beef jerky,granola bars, fruit cups,
peanuts/cashews, juice, etc. That way, when there's a rumbly in my tummy
I can nibble on something while avoiding pulling over to eat at one of
those mega-chain places. Blech!! That's just my personal
Watch my website for a new feature called "Pokey's Picks", where I'll be recommending some out-of-the way, tasty little spots that you might want to visit if you're in the neighborhood sometime!
A. Hmmm... Now, that's a tough one. I'm quite fond of egg-y things for
breakfast (especially migas, machacado, or huevos rancheros); or"Smart Start" cereal (it's my FAVORITE and stays crunchy in milk a LONG
No matter the meal, I'm always in the mood for SPICY - so if it's got green chile, jalapeno, or something with salsa or peppers - then it's for me! Breakfast, lunch, dinner.... I'm happy if it's good! I love
burgers, Mexican food, eggs anytime, soup, Thai, Greek, chicken, Chinese, salads, Italian, Pho'; but I'd prefer not to have seafood (I'm allergic to shellfish, anyways).
A. Strangely enough, I get asked that a LOT! While I do drink a lot of
water - probably my FAVORITE beverage of all is iced tea! I like it
best un-sweet with a little bit of lime (or, lemon), even in the winter
time. I'm also a HUGE fan of juice ~ like, berry smoothies (the natural stuff - with real fruit not 'flavored' syrups). There are two places that I seek out when traveling: Keva Juice stores and/or Jamba Juice stores. Their products are outstandingly deeeeeeeeelicious!!! (And, yes, I WOULD marry one!)
A. HEY! That's mighty personal!! Let's just stick with music and not go there, o.k.?!! (Well... alright. I'll answer just this ONE TIME: flip flops on my feet, cut-off jean shorts, and meringue from my navel to my neck) ha!
A. Mmmmmmmmmm...... let's see...... Nope.
A. Not that I'm aware of.
A. Wait a minute....!!!
A. In my heart, yes. BUT - I spent the majority of my earlier life staying put and working a day job while also playing music with bands at night and on weekends. Like many folks, over the years I've been employed in a variety of positions: waitress, cook, painter, phlebotomist, E.M.T., private music instructor, cake decorator, teacher at a medical institute, research lab technician, tutor, drywall installer (including taping/ 'mudding'/texturing), tile-setter, landscaper, coroner's assistant, elementary school teacher, and now..... songwriter!
A. WOW! That's a VERY tough question... because there are SO MANY musicians
and artists that I really, REALLY admire! How 'bout if I just list
some of the ones that come to mind? These are in no particular order:
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Sarah Elizabeth Campbell
Alan Parsons Project
Jimmie Dale Gilmore
A. Oh, man... like, EVERY OTHER SONG on the radio is a favorite! It depends
on the genre, artist, my mood, etc. - but I have probably got a ZILLION
favorites! If you're just DYING to know a few, I'll list all that I can
think of at this moment - but be aware that even if I had
a MONTH to list my favorite songs, the list would STILL be incomplete!
"Ghost" by the Indigo Girls
"At Last" performed by Etta James
"Salisbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel
"Feeling Good Again" by Robert Earl Keen
"Toccata and Fugue in D minor" by Johan Sebastian Bach
"Piano Man" by Billy Joel
"Still, Still, Still" performed by Mannheim Steamroller
"Walking On Sunshine" performed by Katrina and the Waves
"500 Miles" by the Proclaimers
"El Paso" by Marty Robbins
"Wildfire" by Michael Martin Murphy
"Minnie the Moocher" by Cab Calloway
"Sheep May Safely Graze" performed by Leona Boyd
The soundtrack to "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
"Obla Di, Obla Da" by the Beatles
"Suddenly I See" by K.T. Tunstall
"Forty Years Ago" by Eliza Gilkyson
"Daniel" and "Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word" by Elton John