I grew up in a musical family and started playing music myself at age 5. Originally I played ukelele and piano and later transitioned to guitar and piano. I took years of lessons on both instruments until 6th grade, when I focused on French horn and school band. By 8th grade I was playing piano in the junior high school jazz band, and in high school I played French horn in band and orchestra, piano in the jazz band and guitar and keys with The Distractions, my first "real band" that actually played a few paying gigs around Austin in the early 80's.
After high school I played with the Austin Community College jazz ensemble (led by Dr. Robert Wilson), Triktrax (fusion jazz band that became a funk band), rock cover band Stuck in Neutral (which made the 1985 Austin Chronicle "top 10 cover bands" list), and a few other bands here and there. In the mid 1980's David Nather and I collaborated on several cassettes of original music and performed some live gigs under the band name "Hello". Andrew Wimsatt was the recording engineer on those cassette demos.
In the late 80's I joined the Ken Ragsdale Orchestra (little big band) which had been gigging around Austin since the early 1960's. I stayed with the Ragsdale band for 8 years into the mid 90's.
In 1989 I released "electrophonic", my first professional grade original music release, to favorable reviews, and in 1990 I collaborated with Andrew Wimsatt on his "Reflections" cassette release, and in 1991 I released "The Illusion of Competence" cassette. From 1991 to 1996 I played with Ragsdale and worked on tracks for a followup release. I compiled the best of the 90's tracks on the CD "Lost In Time" which was released in 1996.
Sometime in the mid 90's I started playing with Java Jazz, and in the late 90's I was a founding member of UnderCover (rock cover band). I played with both of these bands around the Austin area until 2008.
Throughout the late 80s into the early 00's the Hidden Agenda side project crept along in the shadows: a loose collaboration between a few prefer-to-be-anonymous friends and anyone that happened to be standing alone when the record button was pressed. The Hidden Agenda "collective" produced several albums of less-than-respectable music, the most commercial of which can be found in the Music That Hurts and Topographic Pictures Of the Crimson Lamb's Tears CDs.
In 2008 after several years of work I completed the blues CD "Respectable", moved to Bryan and started playing with Grupo Luigi (jazz), Leannasaurus Rex (Texas rock and blues), Midnight Express (classic rock), Kathy Ross (pop country), as well as playing other shows with Andrew Wimsatt, John Orozco, Tim Lightfoot, Karen Chavis, Johnny and Lise, the Fire Ants, Joey McGee, the Texas Twisters, Ralph Moncias, and other local musicians.
2012 was busy with 72 gigs, thanks to new gigs at Wine Depot and more events with Midnight Express. Multiple months with 10+ shows. Thanks to everyone in the Bryan/College Station that supports live music!
2011 was my busiest music year ever. 80 gigs for the year, including some great December shows in Houston with Mike Reed and the Revelators. 12 gigs in October, beating the April record of 10. On track to play over 80 shows, with 10 different groups (Leannasaurus Rex, Midnight Express, Luigis, Kathy Ross, Johnny and Lise, Big Apple Trio, Karl Rehn group, Crackerjacks/Sam Mursky, Joey McGee, Java Jazz)
I set a personal record in August 2010, playing shows with 8 different bands in Bryan/College Station and Austin. October is looking like another busy month, playing with 6 different bands. April 2011 was another landmark month with 10 gigs. Typically the only month I am that busy gigging is December.
August 2010 - "evolution" project complete. Tracks from 1984-1994 restored, remixed, remastered from the original multitrack tapes. Includes all tracks from the Baf Ensemble release and other tracks recorded around that time.
Pictures from the 2010 LSRX show at Wolf Pen Amphitheatre
The new CD from Midnight Express, "Better Listen To It" was released on June 8th, 2013. The CD features 8 original songs and 3 covers. The band's influences include Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Steely Dan, Tower of Power, and classic albums rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, and Joe Cocker recorded with horn sections. The 8 original songs can be purchased online on iTunes, amazon, emusic, and other online vendors. The CD was officially released on June 8th, when Midnight Express performed as the headliner at the Starlight Music Series show, at Wolf Pen Auditorium in College Station.
In February 2015 I added some keyboard parts to the new Joey McGee CD, and continued work on a 3 song EP project with drummer Wayne Smith.
I was a guest on the KAMU-FM Wednesday afternoon jazz show on October 15th, 2015. The show can be streamed here, or you can download the show as an MP3 file here. Thanks to Dr. Wayne Smith of the Big Apple Trio for having me as a guest!
2016 summary; 106 gigs shows played, mostly solo piano/vocal gigs at Luigi's and Paolo's. Band gigs with Midnight Express, Brazos Valley All Star band, Java Jazz, Mike Reed & the Revelators, Johnny D and the Genotones, and my own trio. Did some studio work with Donald Ray Johnson.
More tracks available for free listens and downloads on my SoundCloud page.
The new Joey McGee CD, Terlingua Taproot, is now available. I played keys on many tracks.