A native of Royal Oak, Michigan, I have played music on stage since I was eight (4o years as of 2013). Starting in elementary school, I formally studied clarinet, violin, piano, voice and composition (although I switched from violin to double and electric bass at 11) and taught myself guitar, accordion and lap steel. Over the years I learned a repertoire and style crossing, blending and defying genres. At 12 in junior high, I played bass in my high school’s jazz ensemble, earned outstanding ratings from the Ohio Solo & Ensemble Federation on clarinet and violin, and played briefly with the Lima Youth Symphony; at 15, I replaced a graduating senior as bassist in another high school’s jazz ensemble; at 16, I sat in with a Community College adult orchestra and got my first paying gig in the pit band for the entire run of a Cal State Dominguez Hills musical. My instructors recognized my achievements in instrumental and vocal music, including receiving the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. After high school I met a group of older Chicago blues musicians and started playing clubs throughout Los Angeles although still underage. Here I met blues legends like Peewee Crayton, who called me a “bad m*f* bass player.” A few promising opportunities (like a project with Peewee’s grandson Marshall and keyboardist Jeff Lorber, a band with the lead singer of Corpus Delicti, and a revamped lineup of psychedelic revival band The Things) failed to materialize, but I kept playing and writing as part of the goth, punk and garage band scene in LA. At 26, wanting a change of scenery (and coasts), I applied to and was accepted by Berklee College of Music on a voice scholarship.
After two unfocused years hanging out in Boston, I shifted musical gears again by moving to the home of many of my influences – Memphis. Hundreds of acoustic shows and a stint as an ordained Elvis impersonator later, I looked westward again, to Seattle. Once used to being married (and the weather) I realized while grunge and punk had attracted me, my folk and country roots and focusing on guitar playing kept me busy. Relationship problems then forced another move; this time, back to rural Ohio, where my cousin happened to have a band. Soon, though, I got bored and looked to another great musical inspiration — New Orleans. There from 1999 until Hurricane Katrina, I established a family and immersed myself in writing and recording.
Since relocating to Natchitoches, Louisiana in 2005, I’ve regularly performed on guitar, bass, lead and backing vocals. I currently work with Hardrick Rivers in both the Rivers Revue and Rivers Blues Band. I also maintain a 32-track digital home studio, and continue to write and record on guitar, bass, dobro, mandolin, violin and piano. I’m also part of several side bands including Plan B, the Sidemen, Cane Mutiny.
I’m also an internationally known and published poet.
On the occupational side, I have 28 years of systems development, programmer, analyst, and IT and project management experience. Before joining COPLAN AND COMPANY as Director of Technology, I was a network administrator and IT Director. I currently focus on research and development, web design, and development and implementation of COPLAN AND COMPANY’s integrated project management software, FOUR. I have extensive development experience using Microsoft .NET and SQL Server to deliver web-based database-driven applications. I also have extensive experience building, modifying and testing custom-built and Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) applications.
My specialties include project management, quality assurance, independent verification and validation (IV&V), technology and technical process best practices, change management, development management and review, system planning, definition, acquisition and implementation.