Like so many people, I came to Tallahassee to attend FSU. I ended up falling in love with the town and people here, and just never left. Because of my career, I’ve traveled constantly for many years– and that has made me appreciate Tallahassee even more. As I always say, it’s a great town to come home to. I just wish it was a little closer to the beach!
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
It’s a classic story– I knew I wanted to be a musician when I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. When I was on tour a few years ago through Mississippi, I was invited to lunch with Hartley Peavey (CEO of Peavey Electronics) and Len McRae, the Director of Artist Relations for Peavey. When I gave them the same answer, Len said he’d heard that many, many times from other artists. He thought perhaps that night of TV had a bigger impact on American culture than anything before or since.
What do you want visitors and locals to know about Tallahassee’s music community that they may not already know?
Tallahassee has always had a wonderful music community. We’ve always had great artists. Look at the roster of acts that has come from Tallahassee: Cannonball Adderley and Nat Adderley, Rita Coolidge, Meisburg & Walters, Creed, John Kurzweg, Pierce Pettis, Marcus Roberts, Bill Wharton… I could go on and on. It goes back to one of the earliest bluesmen ever recorded, named “Tallahassee Tight.” Imagine that– a peer of Robert Johnson, and one of the earliest blues performers ever recorded!Â Cannonball was a peer of Miles Davis– and he’s buried at the Southside Cemetery by the airport. All from Tallahassee.
How has Tallahassee’s music community changed over the years?
The music scene has always been strong, but it changes based on venues. Right now there are places all over town with live music, and that is terrific. Ten years ago, there were only about five places for local acts to perform. You really can’t have a strong music scene without places for musicians to share their art.
Where would you like to play that you haven’t yet?
I’d love to do a show at one of the grand halls, like the Kennedy Center or Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall is really like the Mother Church of music in America. I’ve been fortunate to play lots of great rooms all over the country, Japan, and the Caribbean. I think I’ve played almost every place in Tallahassee at one time or another: the Civic Center, Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, the Moon, the Club DownUnder, the Warehouse, the Legion Hall, and all the parks and great outdoor spaces.
What social media do you use?
Facebook and Twitter are my prime social media, with a little Instagram. Social Media is only social if it works with your social circles– not many of my friends and colleagues use snapchat or whatsapp, so I wouldn’t have anyone to connect with there.
Describe the Tallahassee music community in 5 words or less
Vibrant, Eclectic, Strong, Supportive, Excellent