I’m an Australian guitarist who’s been playing for some 35 years. Started off playing bass guitar mainly because at the age of 14, when I first picked it up, I found guitar an impossibly complex instrument to get my head around.
I fiddled around with the guitar for a few years, making a few half hearted attempts at playing songs but the tuning of the guitar and the thought of having to learn 10,000 chords and 1000 scales to make music (that I didn’t really like that much in the first place. 80’s pop has never really done it for me) seemed insurmountable. So…various acoustics and electrics all did a pretty good job of gathering dust under the bed and that riff from Peter Gunn got a thrashing whenever I did try to play.
Then one day at the local cinema I saw The Blues Brothers. John Lee Hooker played and that was it. It was the first music that ever just grabbed me. I was in. I had no idea anyone could play guitar like that. Blew my mind. I became totally hooked. (Still am really).
At the same time, I was trying to play slide guitar and was struggling in standard tuning. My high school library had some old Guitar Player magazines (they were just gold in 80’s Regional Australia) and there was an article by Johnny Winter talking about Open Tunings. I’d never heard of them but when I tuned my guitar down to Open D, it was like everything suddenly just made sense. Suddenly guitar seemed possible. John Lee Hooker’s groove and Open Tunings. They were two things that allowed me to start the long, slow and joyous journey that is playing the guitar.
35 years later I’ve had a crack at most genres. I like genres. I love ska and punk and blues. Old country and Cajun. I love artists that really define those styles. I’ve played in sludge metal bands and played Neil Diamond for three drunks in a country pub. I’ve busked on the streets of Poland. I’ve played pop festivals in Korea. I’ve done gigs at creches and avant guard gigs in tiny Melbourne bars. It’s been amazing. I don’t think there’s been many weeks in all that time where I haven’t played something somewhere.
This year, the year of 2019, after way too long, I’m going back to full time music. Which is great. I had a hearing injury that put me out of the game for a while and it’s true what the old saying say “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone”. Hearing damage for a musician is a punishment that belongs in some old dire Greek Myth. It’s horrible stuff. So I’m really happy that I can play again.
Music is intangible. I’ve never had much time for promotion and recording because the ability to play and instrument was, in many ways, all the reward I ever need. I know that sounds daft in this age of digital yelling but I was always quite happy, like 100,000’s of fine musicians, to just play music as a graceful and wonderful thing to do with one’s life. Which it is.
I’m now sharing more music with everyone. Recordings, co-labs, midnight ideas, fret frolics, electric boogies, hot picking…the lot. I’m always up for gigs and always happy to teach. Fingerpicking in open tunings is my special niche and I’m always happy to share the things I’ve found after 1000’s of hours fiddling around with the endless puzzle that is the guitar.
Feel free to contact me here for Bookings, Festivals, Gigs, Online lessons, Real time lessons, Clinics or Events where you need someone to talk about how important blues music is to the 20th century (you’d best put aside a few hours there….).
Either way, I just hope you enjoy my guitar playing. It’s endless fun for me. I’d advise you very strongly to go out and buy an instrument and go through the first awkward swamps of getting to know it. Once you make it through those first soggy steps, the lands that lie on the other side are truly joyous. In my humble opinion, learning an instrument is really is one of the best things you can do with your life.
All the best and feel free to get in touch anytime,