My name is Jay. I’m 45, divorced once and now remarried to a wonderful woman who supports everything and anything that I do(more on that later). I live about 25 miles west of Boston, MA with my wife and my 3 dogs. I have two kids; a boy who is 16 and a girl 12 who are with us part time as well.
After graduating college I worked for 13 years in the software world, at the end managing technical support organizations for a large software development company. All the while I was coaching my alma mater’s ice hockey program on a part-time basis. Well, the pay was part-time but the work was full-time (a big reason why the first marriage failed!) Around the same time as my divorce I was afforded the opportunity to leave the software world behind to chase my dream of coaching hockey and lacrosse full-time. I jumped at it and had a great 7 year run. While coaching on campus I also stayed involved with software by teaching a class or two each semester.
About 3 years ago I decided that I loved coaching but the hours were ridiculous and the pay was worse. In order to make more money (sadly, not a LOT more!) and spend more time with my family I left coaching and came back to software. I now act as a trainer/consultant/software implementation specialist for a small company that resells hardware and software to retailers for their point-of-sale and inventory control systems. It’s a fun job. I work with good people, have honest and caring bosses and I’m challenged on a daily basis.
How did I come upon the harmonica? I just had this conversation with my son this weekend. You see, I RARELY play in front of anyone in my family. Not that I’m embarrassed but when I’m around them I want the time to be about them. So, this weekend I took out my Budha D harp and absentmindedly began to jam out Key To The Highway. My son was sitting there and commented on how much better I sounded since I started a couple (few?) years ago. He asked me what drove me to play the harp since he knew I had picked up a bass that immediately collected dust. I told him that, although I had never told anyone, I had always wanted to learn to play the harmonica. I grew up listening and seeing The J. Geils Band and Magic Dick as well as the early Aerosmith stuff with Steven Tyler on harp. It wasn’t until I met his step-mom (my son’s, not Steven Tyler’s!) that I felt motivated to try it. The rest is history, as they say.
I think my ultimate goal is to be able to pull out my harp and jam along with most blues or rock/blues tunes. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting there, finally. Adam’s lessons have given me the tools to be able to play some different 12-bar blues jams and to even expand upon his lessons. Until recently I haven’t had a CLUE as to what to play if somebody were to put on a jam track and just say “play”. At this point the only things I can pull out of my bag of tricks are licks from those lessons. I want to get beyond that. I want to be able to “hear” in my head the sounds that I think I should play and then PLAY those sounds. Recently I’ve been hearing those sounds and that’s very exciting. The problem is that I just don’t hear them enough and it’s usually as I doze off to sleep. Then they are gone when I wake up in the morning!