When I was a little boy the only thing I ever wanted for Christmas was a guitar. I would ask my mom for the same thing every year, it didn’t matter what kind I just had to have one!
My career essentially began once I was asked to play with different bands around my home town Newport Arkansas. Newport is a tiny town with a population of about 8000 people, but despite the limited number of people, it was filled with talented musicians. There was a few horn players that were a part of James Brown’s band and other local musicians that toured around the state with different gospel groups.
After receiving more recognition around the country as a solid guitar player, I joined a cover band outside the state of Arkansas. I was enjoying my first time as a working musician.
I decided to move to Dallas Texas in 1989, where the opportunities would have more of an impact on my musical career. As my name started to circulate around the musical scene as a guitar player, I received more offers to play with some of the top cover bands in Dallas. The pay and the recognition was much better compared to my days back in Arkansas.
All in all, my goal was to be a successful working musician. I enjoyed performing with the different groups. However, I became frustrated with the conflicting attitudes from the band leaders, so I made a decision to try and put together my own band. I wanted a band where anyone who was an active member would be treated with respect and have the freedom to be themselves. Thus, in the year 2000, The Chill Factor Band was born and we became the number one cover band in Dallas.
Chill Factor was offered all sorts of opportunities from playing at big named hotels to appearances at local festivals and we even had a regular stint at a club on weekends. We were the talk of Dallas for the next 15 years. Even with all the success that a band could ask for, I still felt like something was missing in my music career. I studied jazz guitar back in 1997 through 1999 with one of the best guitar players in Dallas, Bobby Reeves, and wanted to do more jazz tunes. However, my band was known for R&B music and jazz wasn’t a part of our repertoire.
Three years ago I was sitting at home practicing, when I received a call from my brother Donnie. He confessed to me that he was worried about his health because he had been diagnosed with diabetes and the doctor said they may have to amputate his left foot. Sadly, two months later, his concerns were realized.
My brother Donnie became very depressed so I would call him every other day to try and cheer him up. With everything that happened , I was encouraged to attempt something different . I began the process of reinventing myself by writing multiple guitar tunes, and believe me I had never written an instrumental song before! The first song I wrote was Brother to Brother, I wanted my brother to know that I loved and cared about him very much and I would always have his back. From this encounter my first Jazz album was born. “A Smoother You” took something negative and turned it into something positive. Now, my brother Donnie is doing great he’s back smiling again. This experience made me take a step back and reevaluate the direction my life was heading and with that came a greater love and respect for family, life and music, something everyone can relate to.
I look forward to writing many more Jazz albums for you listen to. Here’s to hoping that you are a part of that journey, click here to listen to my most recent album, “A Smoother You”
Thank you for being a listener and making it all matter.
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