It's hard to pinpoint any one style of music or any one band as the major influence. As America evolved to be a melting pot of cultures, we have also become a melting pot of musical styles. Some are easy to identify like the blues or straight ahead jazz. Others are harder to pin down. Artists like Ry Cooder fused American roots music such as blues, country, zydeco, and rock to create a unique sound. I like to infuse different elements from many of these same genres to create my own sound.
Since I was a kid Blues and all sorts of roots music was the thing that turned me on the most. BB King and Clarence Gatemouth Brown were my earliest guitar heros, along with soul and R&B players like Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale. Blues continues to be one of my greatest influences.
I Love old country and bluegrass, There's a power and honesty in this music that has always moved me. I can't even begin to list all the artists I love but a few are Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, The Stanley Brothers the Louvin Brothers,Merle Haggard and George Jones of course and so many more.
From Little Richard and Chuck Berry to the Stones, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, blues driven Rock & Roll has been a major influence. My earliest influces were bands like The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Little Feat.
I was first introduced to jazz while playing with some older musicians who turned me on to Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report, Joni Mithcell, Pat Methany and Lyle Mays. As a student at Berklee College of Music I was exposed to a new world of jazz artists such as Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, Ed Bickert and George Benson.
I love the traditional music of the southwest and it often finds its way into my music. Artists like Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm and the Texas Tornados and of course Los Lobos.
I have been fortunate enough to play with some of the country’s top singer song writers in the roots / folk scene. Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ray LaMontagne, Lori McKenna and several others.