Def Leppard Super Fan – Age 16

My love of music began in the family Jeep, taking camping trips and listening to John Denver, Harry Belafonte and Kenny Rogers 8-tracks. In fourth grade I took violin lessons and the school orchestra. I then played saxophone in the junior high band and briefly took private piano lessons. At the age of 16 I found and old electric guitar in my grandfather’s closet and started learning how to play. In those days, I learned and listened to mostly hard rock and heavy metal. If it didn’t have Marshall stacks and pointy headstocks I wasn’t interested. Over time I my ears opened up and I started taking music more seriously. In my early twenties I played in the popular Chicago alternative band Huckleberry and the progressive hard funk/rock band Lukka Brazi. Around that time, a friend turned me on to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Blues/Jam Band “Vida Blues” at Taste of Chicago

That love of blues was immediate and the impact was profound. I dove headfirst into the Blues and began learning the styles of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, T-Bone Walker, and The Allman Brothers; as well as drawing from other forms of music such as gypsy jazz, country, and fusion. In 1997-2000 I played with the blues/jam band Vida Blues, which has played everywhere from the Taste Of Chicago to Famous Dave’s Blues and Ribs to numerous shows at Life’s Too Short and a weekly stint at Lilly’s.

A “Zeyer” original tune in Chicago

After leaving Vida Blues I performed regularly with local musician (and soon thereafter wife!) Stephanie, forming an eclectic rock band Zeyer and doing acoustic-duo shows all over Chicagoland. I began honing my acoustic guitar, finger picking, slide, and resonator chops and performed as a solo acoustic blues musician. I also began filling in as a side man for great Chicago blues performers like Dawn O’Keefe Williams and Ronny and the Rockits, as well as doing shows on both guitar and bass with acoustic folk and roots singer Jen Dainton.

It doesn’t really…

I considered myself a guitar player until I discovered Lucinda Williams, from whom I learned the power of writing great songs with great lyrics. Even to this day I think a lot of songs I write have her fingerprints on them. She’s as much an influence on me as a musician and writer as Stevie Ray Vaughan or Santana are as a guitar player. I always try to find unique and creative ways to say what I need to say, in a singable, rhythmic way.

After moving to Orlando in 2003 I continued the acoustic-duo shows for a while, promoting our CD “Zeyer” and continued writing songs. For several years I performed at EPCOT with the Norwegian band.

I taught myself to read music and started building a repertoire of jazz standards, learning the styles of Charlie Christian and Eddie Lang. I also dug back to my teenage interest in heavy metal, hard rock, fantasy and science fiction. All these influences blend together to make what I hope is a unique and interesting sound. I continue to write and record, and have focused on the studio rather than stage. My love of music continues to grow, and I want to share that with the world through my unique lens.