From the moment my mother placed a guitar in my hands at the age of six, I knew that music was my calling. She taught me how to play Beatles songs on her 1961 Harmony 335-style guitar, and I fell in love with the feeling of creating something beautiful with just my fingers and a set of strings.
As I grew older, I became more and more fascinated with the guitar, and I began to explore different styles and techniques. My grandfather introduced me to the work of Chet Atkins, and I taught myself Travis-style fingerpicking, a technique that would become a staple of my playing. I also drew inspiration from guitar greats like Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and I began to develop my own unique style.
Throughout high school, I played in rock and blues bands with musicians who were often three times my age. It was a challenging and rewarding experience that taught me the value of hard work and dedication.
When it came time for college, I initially enrolled as a pre-law major. However, music was never far from my mind, and I found myself playing in university bands and performing at local clubs. Dave Parmen, the Director of Music and former John Mellencamp guitarist, heard me play and convinced me to take some music classes. It was the push I needed to pursue my true passion, and I switched my major to music.