I was born in Nashville, Tennessee on August 28, 1964 and lived outside Fairview, a little country town about twenty-five miles southwest of Nashville, until 1999 when Inge and I moved to Flat Creek, just south of Shelbyville, Tennessee. I started fiddling at age ten and was fortunate to have some really strong music around me ever since I can remember. The local grassroots scene where I grew up was incredible, and some of the best professionals in Nashville lived in my neighborhood. Buddy Spicher and Hoot Hester were only a short piece away, and through them I not only met about every fiddle legend you can mention, but I also learned what kind of musical standards the word “professional” implies.
My dad, Jimmy, has also played a huge role in my musical life. He is an excellent rhythm guitarist, and we went to literally hundreds of fiddle contests together over the years. These competitions were enormously important to my development. I got to hang out with some of the best older players like J.T. Perkins, Benny Thomasson, Dick Barrett, and Frazier Moss, and I competed against and became good friends with the best fiddlers of my generation.
I had years of formal training and went to Berklee College of Music to study jazz theory, but I am really just a country fiddler at heart. The standard old tunes give me a feeling that few things can touch, and I want to give something back by sharing it with others. Toward this end, I have always devoted a part of my schedule to teaching, and I have had the honor to help out many talented young players.
Inge is now my musical partner now in most of my endeavors, and my life of music has been an incredible blessing.