Music has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. While my parents didn’t play any instruments, they would always have music playing around the house and anytime we were in the car. The Police, Led Zepplin, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, and many more were all shaping my musical taste from an early age.
My interest in performing music didn’t begin until around the age of twelve. When attending middle school orientation I was introduced to the violin, which I was lucky enough to learn through high school. There I learned to read sheet music and play classical violin. But my heart was in being in a band, not an orchestra, so on the side, I was teaching myself to play guitar.
After high school I moved to Athens, GA to attend college. But, college was short-lived after joining my first band The Hill. That was the first time I fell in love with performing music. The Hill was a rock/jam band of original music and it was then I learned about the recording process, touring, and writing music.
After The Hill had run its course I found myself looking for a new project which landed me with the Dave Matthews Cover Band (DMCB) out of Athens, GA. Playing in the tribute band was a great experience for me. I was already a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band when I joined, as DMB was a big influence in my music. Also, it was my first time regularly touring nationwide. I built many memories with a great group of guys, but we all knew it was a temporary gig, as everybody felt unfulfilled without writing and performing original music.
After 4 great years with DMCB, we split up, and I found myself again looking for the next opportunity. During this time was when I met my then future wife Stacey. She has been the rock of my life and since then has blessed me with two beautiful boys, James and Joseph.
About a year after DMCB, I was playing one of my odd gigs around town, when the greatest opportunity of my life found me. I was playing in a small bar/restaurant with a fellow musician in Atlanta. After the gig, then bartender, Wyatt Durrette called me over to the bar and asked me if I knew Zac Brown. I told him I had heard of him, as Zac had begun making a name for himself around town. Wyatt passed on Zac’s number to me and I gave him a call. He had me out the next night to play a gig in a sports bar with him and I was blown away by Zac’s performance. It was a treat to be able play with such a talent and a no-brainer when he asked me to continue to play with him.
Soon after John Hopkins joined the band, we thought of naming the band Zac Brown and the (insert band name here), but decided to go with Zac Brown Band. I’ve always felt this shows great homage to the rest of us lucky enough to play with Zac, and his philosophy of this being a team effort. The band we have now are not only some of the best musicians in the world, but guys I will have as friends for life. I count my blessings every day to be in such an amazing band.