I grew up in a very musical family in Arlington, Texas. It was there that I began to pursue a career in music, although I didn't know it then - by joining his school band, where I played the trombone.
My parents went out one night and they hired a sitter who went to the junior high that I would go to the next year. She was telling me about all of the cool organizations and opportunities there and she mentioned the band - almost in passing. I said ‘Hold on! Back up. They have a BAND!? A BAND!? I AM GOING TO DO THAT! There was no question about it. I was a band geek from the start.
About the same time, I was given my first guitar and started taking lessons. It was also around this time when I started writing songs.
There was a wonderful lady at our church who played guitar, and she agreed to teach me. I basically learned all the hits of the day (Eagles, Doobie Bros. America, etc.). I started writing songs when I ran out of stuff that I could play with my four-chord vocabulary. They weren’t very good, but I found that I loved expressing myself through music.
My Dad, grandpa and uncle were all active in The Pekin Chorus in their hometown of Pekin, Illinois. The Pekin Chorus was a group of maybe 40 men who sang in the barbershop style: a cappella, four-part harmony. This group from Pekin was actually one of the first "Supergroups" for that style of music, because the won the International Barbershop Chorus contest three times. This was unusual because Pekin, IL is e pretty small town and the Pekin Chorus regularly beat groups from Cincinnati, Louisville, etc.
So, needless to say, I grew up with four-part harmony. As a teenager I sang alongside my dad in a barbershop chorus in Bedford, Texas and later sang in both a chorus and quartet with my dad and my brother, Jim. Our quartet, "Class Ring," was actually the number-one ranked quartet in the state of Idaho at one time in the early 90's.
Anyway, if you're wondering why there is so much harmony on my records, that's why. It all goes back to the barbershop.