I heard my first live bluegrass band when I was 12. It changed my life. I knew then and there that bluegrass fiddling was what I wanted to do. I managed to get the fiddler in that bluegrass band, Vivian Williams of Tall Timber in Seattle, WA to give me a whole bunch of fiddle lessons. First I had to master the art of playing fiddle tunes for square dances. Three years later I started to really learn what bluegrass fiddling was all about.
Decades later I can say that I have played bluegrass for most of my life. I have toured with Tony Rice, Herb Pedersen, Chris Hillman, Peter Rowan, John Cowan, Scott Vestal, Tony Trischka and Dave Parmley to name a few of the bluegrass luminaries. I have been a member of lesser known bluegrass bands established in the Pacific NW before I made the move to Nashville twenty years ago.When I was fourteen, I started teaching the fiddle. My first student was eleven year old Mark O’Connor. My most recent student who is experiencing a lovely rise to fame is young Robbie Mizzone, fiddler with his brothers in a band they call Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.
As a lover of bluegrass and bluegrass fiddling I have had some great experiences including jamming with Kenny Baker and Bill Monroe at a very young age, playing on the Grand Ole Opry many times and touring the world.
Recently (2014) I took a bluegrass band, Barbara Lamb and the Sheepless Knights to Russia and Belarus courtesy of the US State Department to spread the bluegrass love. In 2012 banjoist Bill Evans took me on a very similar trip to Russia with Todd Phillips and Tim May.I play many styles of fiddle including western swing, gypsy-style jazz, Texas stuff, oldtimey, Swedish traditional, rock, singer songwriter stuff, you name it. Knowing the difference between all of these styles and true bluegrass is crucial in my world.