In 1995, I formed Wishing Chair with my collaborator Kiya Heartwood. Wishing Chair is a folk/roots, contemporary singersongwriter duo and in it I get to have it all: singer, instrumentalist, stage performer, studio musician, touring artist, local musician.
My experience being a band member has been rich and varied. While Wishing Chair has developed and grown over the years it has taken many forms, with the duo always at it's core. We've played as a trio many times; with percussionist/drummer Kopana Terry, with banjo/mandolin diva Kara Barnard, with bass player Dave Arms, and as a rock band with bass, drums and electric guitar. From sports bar to biker bar, from cowboy club to frat house, from folk festival to women's festival, from cruise ship to horse park, from house concert to street concert, Wishing Chair's performing experiences are never dull!
I have driven through tornados, snowstorms, sunflower fields in Wyoming, mesas in Arizona, the Poconos and the Beltway and retired a 2002 VW with over 300,000 miles in four years.
My experience as a collaborater continues to be rich and rewarding. Starting out as a keyboard player, I have picked up many instruments along the way, starting with - the accordion. Growing up in Philly with that great hometown phenom of the Mummer's Parade and stringbands, I didn't feel much affinity for the instrument. It wasn't until my move to Lexington, KY and I needed a portable keyboard that I asked my dad if he wanted that accordion in his closet ("...do YOU want it??"). It was then love at first sight. It is a beautiful melody instrument, a growly B3, a string pad, a great foil with an acoustic guitar, all with the lovely sentiment of needing to breathe to be heard.
Playing the banjo pretty much started out the same way - with my $99 Bakelite banjo in my parent's backyard, learning bluegrass licks from a book. I still can't play bluegrass style to save my life, but my trad style suits Wishing Chair's often Appalachian flavor to a tee. Hand drums, mandolin, toy pianos; what ever it takes to make the song work is what I do!
As a singer, I have done so much, as have so many other people who love to sing have. Harmony singing is my passion, being an impeccably compatible and companionable backup singer is my pride and singing at all is my joy.
It has been my priviledge lend myself to my friends and peers who can find a way to use my offerings in their own projects. I have sung backup and played all the instruments in my bag of tricks on many a CD project. It is the most fun a person can have.