Born in Hartford, Connecticut. 1960.
Raised in a white-bread suburb of Boston.
Introduced to the blues by The J. Geils Band.
Started playing in high school, trying to copy Whammer Jammer.
Begged my way on stage with a couple dozen rock and country bands.
Found out a little more listening to the Blues Brothers.
In college, though I only had an inkling about who they were, got to see live Muddy, James Cotton, Koko Taylor, Albert King, and JB Hutto in tiny clubs around Amherst Massachusetts in the early-80's.
Moved to NYC in the late 80's and hacked my way through open mic nights at Chicago Blues just down the street from my apartment. Got to see Kim Wilson, Cab Calloway, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt as they cruised through town. Missed a LOT of shows.
Studied harp with a player named Bob Shatkin at the New school of Social Research in Manhattan where my real introduction to harmonica began. Bob was a classic country and Chicago blues player. He taught four or five of us at a time, face to face, and gave us names of harp players that really set the foundation of the blues. Until then, I had never even heard of Little or Big Walter. Bob was a hard guy, and cut our heads every week. And it made a big difference in our playing.
Spent two semesters with him learning how to bend, tongue-block, syncopate, and finally carry 12-bars with a little authority. No style, but some authority.
It still took ten years to get into a solid band, Walk That Walk, outside of Boston in 2000. . We backed up Bo Diddley a half dozen times at the original House of Blues in Cambridge, and Johnnie Johnson, Chuck Berry's keyboard player in a couple more venues. That's our claim to fame.
In June 2013 I come full-circle. Playing a gig with Danny Klein, the bassist from J. Geils. Only took 40 years to get on stage with him.