My story begins in McAllen, Texas, ten miles from the border at Reynosa, Mexico. (Ten miles further south, I would have been born a Mariachi musician.) Piano lessons would happen at age eight, and finally the guitar at age twelve. I took to it immediately, joining a surf band at age thirteen playing "Pipeline" and Ventures favorites and later Beatles and Stones tunes.
Then came the "guitar hero" worship years, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, and of course, Jimi Hendrix. I was never the same after "Are you Experienced". Along with these rock leanings I was also digging a lot of classical music (Bach, Faure, Stravinsky, Varese, and many others). I attended Texas Christian University for a year on a choral conducting scholarship, before deciding to quit school and join a rock and roll band. After two years of slugging it out in a refurbished psychedelic school bus, I decided to return to college, this time the University of Texas, where I studied composition for four years. Here I also became immersed in jazz guitar, and listened to a lot of Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Lenny Breau, Joe Pass, Ted Greene, Ed Bickert, Early George Benson organ trio stuff, and others.
The blend of rock and jazz, pioneered by Miles Davis during the Bitches Brew sessions appealed to me as well, with guys like John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, and of course, my favorite group to date, Weather Report. (Joe and Wayne, please reunite and add guitar!) I formed, with some other guys I knew at school, a fusion group, Passenger. We were cult faves around the Austin area, although we were never signed. A very strange series of events led us to become Leonard Cohen's backup band in 1979, where we toured with him for two tours of Europe and Australia. From there the playing experiences got extremely varied, which has been very enjoyable for me. People I have enjoyed playing with over the years include Joe Ely, Jennifer Warnes, K.T. Oslin, Bennie Wallace, Jack Walrath, Barbara Dennerlein, and Friedrich Gulda, as well as many local favorites aroung the Austin area. Each of them has been a unique and exciting musical experience.
I currently have five CD recordings of my own to date: "Underneath it All" (Enja-1989), "Curves" (Enja-1990), "Strings with Wings" (Enja-1992), "Humhead" (Dos-1995) and "In the Time of Long Shadows" (Viewpoint -2006). I also have a CD coproduced with Austin songwriter Bob Schneider "Underneath the Onion Trees" (Shockorama-2000) I currently divide my time between performing with my own band, working on production projects in my home studio, and playing with other artists the likes of Lyle Lovett, Jerry Jeff Walker, mandolinist Paul Glasse and bassist John Fremgen.