About Me

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Atlanta, GA, United States
When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Going Acoustic

I bought a new Taylor guitar about a week ago. Although it is an acoustic, the low action makes it nearly as easy to play as an electric. I'm absolutely in love with this guitar, so much so that it has become my main guitar, even for jazz.

I started out with the intention of playing acoustic guitar. David Wilcox is the musician who inspired me to begin playing guitar in the first place, and I also loved (and still love) folk music, particularly the folk music of the British Isles. In my first year of playing, I found Bob Shaw, an excellent guitar teacher  whose main focus was jazz. I gradually turned into a jazz player and began playing electric guitars. My first electric was an Epiphone Sheraton II. Then I bought a beautiful Heritage 575, and for the past few years, my main guitar has been a Godin XTSA.

Although I've been playing electric guitars, many of my favorite players play acoustic, including Earl Klugh and Tommy Emmanuel. A new favorite of mine is Vinny Raniolo. Vinny, who tours often with my favorite guitarist, Frank Vignola, plays an acoustic guitar…not an archtop, just a really sweet sounding acoustic that would be a folk guitar in someone else's hands. Inspired by Vinny, and with a natural preference for acoustic sounds, I bought the Taylor 314CE, and I'm glad I did.

I will still bring out the electric guitar from time to time, but I feel that I'm able to express myself more authentically with the Taylor. I can hear each string more clearly, and I hear more "wood" in the sound. My rhythm playing has a nice "chunk" to it, and my solo guitar arrangements have more life. I'm looking forward to taking the Taylor out for its first gig tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. I also love the folksy sound and celtic music. Way to go on your weight loss and fitness routine. Thanks for a peek into your life; I often use you as an example for my commercial music students. Many are guitar players who will most likely lead a similar life some day. School starts Monday.