How did you get started playing guitar?
I had been playing piano since I was 7 and then a couple weeks before my 15th birthday I had a dream that I was playing guitar in front of a massive crowd of people at stadium or festival). I woke up and I wanted to play the guitar. Since it was close to my Birthday, my parents bought me a used Peavey Predator strat for $150 from a local guitar shop. I was fortunate that a world class guitar player/teacher named John Papadolias happened to live a few blocks away from me. I was hooked from my first lesson and all I could think about was playing guitar from that point on and in to the present.
Tell us about your current gigs?
I’ve performed with a ton of people in the Nashville music community but nowadays I mostly write/produce music for film and television but I will go on tour if I really enjoy the people and the gig. I also do a fair amount of session work for established and upcoming artists in the Nashville area and beyond.
Currently, I perform with a husband and wife duo called “Haley and Michaels” who also happen to be very good friends of mine. They convinced me to move from Chicago to Nashville in 2013 and to this day I still happily play with them whenever they need me. With them I have played The Grand Old Opry, The Today Show and several NFL Halftime Shows including a Monday Night Football game.
Another artist I regularly perform with is like a little sister to me. My friend, Lilly Winwood (daughter of Steve), is an immensely talented singer/songwriter. I can often be seen performing with her at clubs around Nashville or on tour opening for her father. 2 of my favorite gigs we’ve played are the Ryman in Nashville and the Chicago Theatre in Chicago.
How did you hear about Vintage Guitars?
I was at my friend Peter Baltes’ (bassist for Accept, Dokken, etc.) studio and he told me try out a couple of his guitars. I picked up a Tele, a Strat and an SG style guitar. I didn’t bother looking at the headstocks because I was having so much fun playing them. He asked me if I had heard of Vintage and I said no. Then I looked at the headstocks and realized that I had just played 3 Vintage guitars. My mind was blown. They played and sounded fantastic. A few weeks later Peter took me to the Vintage NAMM party at British Audio where I played more Vintage guitars and my mind was blown yet again.
What do you like most about our guitars?
They are affordable instruments but the way they play and sound is better than many instruments in the $2k – $3k price range. The quality control is excellent because every Vintage guitar that I have picked up and played has sounded fantastic.
Any advice for players just getting started?
Don’t ever fall into a rut. There are so many different styles of music to explore and so many different ways to express yourself. Always keep an open mind because you never know where your path may lead you and you never know what styles of music you’ll fall in love with until you try them. You need to find people to play with because you will learn from each other and grow with each other. Also, respect your musical elders. When I was young, I always liked to play with the older musicians because they would kick my butt which made me learn faster. Most importantly, listen, listen and listen. All the answers are waiting to be deciphered by you within the recordings of the musicians and bands that you love.