I began playing guitar when I was 13 years old as a song leader for a church and
count myself very blessed to have been consistently led in this direction. I heard a
variety of music in my home: everything from the Beatles, Handel and Gershin to
Aaron Copeland and the beginnings of electronic music. All these influences have
given me a good ear for harmonic complexity and possibilities. I grew up as a
liturgical worshipper, and as a result I have a deep appreciation for historic liturgy,
the rhythms of the Church year, and the theological depth of hymns from a variety of
traditions. These traditions taught and grounded me, and have much to say to those
who seek to understand their depth. I am a fan of Robert Webber and "Ancient
Modern" worship, and enjoy writing liturgy that incorporates old and new elements.
The fact that I am a guitarist with these values (and know next to nothing about
playing piano) has been quite a curiosity over the years. Many traditionally minded
musicians expect me to strum through "kum ba ya", and instead I play "Fairest Lord
Jesus" in a Celtic harp tuning complete with pipe organ pedal line.
I love the sound of wood and steel. I've been blessed to play some fine instruments
built by James Goodall of Goodall Guitars. His strong over-tone rich fundamental note
is so musically dense that it can carry a melody line of an old hymn beautifully. A
recent addition after selling two instruments is a Lowden Pierre Bensusan model. Oh
Artists that have inspired me include Phil Keaggy, Bruce Cockburn, JS Bach, Leo
Kottke, David Wilcox...to name a few. I play fingerstyle guitar in standard and
alternate tunings. My style is acoustically pure and harmonically dense-piano like to
some people's ears. To round things out, I've just started using a Boss digital looper
to add percussive sounds from tapping on the guitar body. The creative possibilities
are pretty amazing!
I am a lamb of Jesus my shepherd, a husband, daddy, songwriter, best friend to two
German Shepherds, and pastor in NE Minnesota.