You’re here, so I guess I’d better get to spilling the beans about who I am.
I’m the keyboard player for a band based in Birmingham, Alabama called Pyrite Parachute. Within those friendly confines we focus on what we call “Progressive Southern Rock” which amounts to a fusion of jazz / funk / blues and rock with an improvisational flair.
I generally play Yamaha instruments. While their weighted keys are a little heavy for some people’s tastes, they’re perfect for me. Having grown up playing acoustic pianos the ability to infuse feel into the notes is paramount. On stage I play a Motif XS and a P60 (Japan, not China, yo!) that I use as a midi controller. I also add a Hammond M-111 to the mix and pair that with a virtual Leslie simulator known as a Ventilator.
I’ve always been into music, so my influences range from the classical composers to Chuck Leavell to Page McConnell and anything in between. I played growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, but in 2000 a family tragedy took me away from playing piano and I turned to the guitar for a while, so there’s a gap in my influences that spans most of the early 2000’s (maybe for the better, some would argue). Eventually I found myself back on keys within the context of my current project and I’ve rediscovered the joy of playing improvisational music on a mathematical instrument.
As for listening to music, my tastes are extremely broad. I have a passion for listening to classical music (not so much for playing it) and my buddy DJ Vulcan recently got me interested in EDM which has started to have an influence on my tastes. Beyond that I really like just about anything as long as it isn’t produced factory-style (I’m looking at you, Nashville) or to meet the preferences of a marketing company’s focus group(s). I like originality in writing and improvisation in playing.
I’m located in Birmingham, Alabama. I grew up here, have been a ton of places, and have decided to stay. I know there are stereotypes about the south and to be honest, I like to somewhat support them (even though they are almost all incorrect to some degree). See, it’s paradise down here. We have great weather, friendly people, beautiful landscapes, year-round outdoor activities, unbelievable musical heritage and the most beautiful women anywhere.
If everyone knew how awesome it was they’d want to come down here, and… well… then it’s not paradise any more. So we’ll leave other places to claim to be paradise while we know we actually are.
I’m a family man, although I never really pictured myself that way. I’m a proud father of two (a boy and a girl) and I’m married to my favorite person ever. So yeah, I’m a lucky dude. Oh, and we have a dog, because the last census numbers said “two kids and one dog” so we’re shooting for average, as not to stand out when the aliens attack and are looking for stragglers to harvest.