I was driving my mom nuts. She decided the best thing to do with an over-energized 5 year old boy was give him something challenging to learn: Piano Lessons!
I was talented but headstrong. I burned through, (or burned out?) three different piano teachers by the time I was eleven.
Teacher number 4 was Miss Boucher. She was unmarried and had no children of her own. To flaunt her power over her students, she always scheduled her annual student recitals on Mother’s Day. (My mom still hasn’t forgiven her.)
I pushed Miss Boucher’s patience to the limit. I didn’t want to play Bach, Brahms and Beethoven. I wanted to play the Beatles, the Beach Boys and boogie-woogie. Miss Boucher was firmly in the Bach camp. I suspect she regarded Beatles as an existential threat to western civilization. Nevertheless, we survived one another.
Later, I earned – or at least was awarded – a degree in Music Composition from Baylor University. So I went into computers, because why not?
But I never quit playing, singing and learning new music.
My influences are keyboard players like Elton John, Billy Joel, Michael Omartian, Keith Green and Carole King. I fell in love with the feel of Bach while in college. (Nothing feels like Bach.) And then I began to love Chopin, the pianist’s pianist.
Played a lot of gigs with a lot of bands. Eventually I got bored with rock & roll and wanted more challenges.
Blues, jazz and the American Standards started to fill up my playlist. And since I was raised in Oklahoma and schooled in Texas, I have a deep love for Country music.
Today, I play and sing in most styles. I still love rock & roll. But my loves have deepened, broadened and expanded over the years. Whether its Patsy Cline or Bruno Mars or even Barry Manilow, if the music moves me, I’ll play it.