My first instrument was not the guitar, it was the clarinet. And that was mostly because my mother would rather listen to a beginner on a clarinet than a beginner on a saxophone. It really didn't matter; asthma made sure I would never be very good on a wind instrument. Like Sonny Sharrock (who was a big early influence), I originally saw the guitar as a good stand in for a horn (I had originally wanted to be the next Pharoh Sanders), but I began loving the versatility of the instrument. Jazz and blues were my main loves, but as I got older, rock moved more to the forefront. Wes Montgomery and B.B King weren't difficult to reconcile together, but the guitarist with the most influence over my early years was Carlos Santana. He was where jazz, blues, and rock intersected, and from there I could make my way to Jimi Hendrix, Joe Satriani, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and loop back to Pharoh Sanders and Sonny Sharrock. The result is that I hope I have developed my one style and sound, an expression that conveys not only what I feel and where I've been, but also where I am trying to go next.



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