Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, now based in Toronto I’ve been involved in music since my early teens. I remember vividly the music I heard on the radio in the ’50s and ’60s – the local stations with their mix of country and pop and faraway places like Chicago, Detroit and Wheeling West Virginia that my brother and I could pull in on an old tube radio at night when the weather was right. It was my older brother who really got me playing an instrument. He was playing electric guitar and big on Dwayne Eddy, the Ventures and ’50s/early sixties rock & roll. Somewhere he heard Gordon Lightfoot’s self-titled first album, went out and bought it, a Guild 12 string guitar (which I still have) and became a folkie. I began playing folk and bluegrass on the banjo, later picking up the guitar and more recently the mandolin. This all led to the folk groups we were in together in Sault Ste Marie. As The Natural Men together with some friends we were one of the top folk groups in the Sault during my high school years. All that music has stuck with me and forms part of my musical DNA.
A major shift in my musical life happened in my early years at university when I attended a concert by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. They blew the roof off staid old Grant Hall and I was transformed. While I had enjoyed the country blues of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, Lead Belly and others during the ’60s folk revival. That opened my ears and mind to the music of Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, and so many others. The blues in its many forms is a major musical influence for me.
Twenty years ago or so I picked up an electric guitar and began jamming weekly with a group of friends. This evolved into the band Vintage Debris, playing an eclectic mix of covers and original material in a wide variety of styles from R&B, roots rock, blues to bluegrass. I play guitar mandolin and add vocals. We still perform occasionally and get together weekly.
For the past 15 years or so, I’ve been writing songs in a variety of styles: folk, bluegrass, roots rock, rockabilly, blues, as well as R&B and reggae influenced songs. Several years ago I founded the Olde Stone Cottage Songwriters’ Circle to hone my craft by learning from others and hearing their songs and comments. We meet monthly at a local pub, The Olde Stone Cottage.
Also, I am a volunteer organizer for the Dinner and a Song concert series where we present great local/regional performers in an intimate setting. As well I’ve begun hosting backyard concerts as weather permits at my home featuring a variety of acclaimed Ontario performers. I perform as the opening act.
Over the past few years, I’ve channeled my songwriting output into a series of original solo albums. “Songs of Love and Longing” was released in May 2020. “Northern Reflections” was released in January 2022. In 2023, I celebrated the release of “Shades Of Blue.” All three albums were recorded and produced by Vezi Tayyeb at his legendary studio, Kensington Sound, he founded for more than 50 years ago recording over the years with an incredible range of artists and styles.
My current project is recording a song cycle of seven songs, each I think of as a scene from a film noir srtyle movie. The overall title of the project and the title of the lead song is "Looking For Redemption". Keep your eye on this site and my social media for updates.