My musical career began at the age of nine with a rented instrument and group lessons at Reifsnyder’s Music Shop in Ottumwa, Iowa. This shop had been in existence for quite some time and was the incubator for many local musicians. My interest continued and led me to private lessons. This included studying with Ottumwa’s very own, Tony Blew. With Tony I learned the blues and rock-n-roll.
It was while living in Fort Smith, Arkansas that I began taking lessons with guitarist extraordinaire, Gary Hutchison at a place called Ben Jack’s. Gary taught me to play the entire instrument and pushed me to learn my guitar forwards and backwards. Gary plays many styles and was himself studying classical guitar with a gentleman from Cuba, the late Paul Mendy. It was the introduction to Paul that changed my musical direction.
Paul Mendy introduced me to the rich tradition of the classical guitar – its music, composers, styles and techniques.