A LIFETIME IN MUSIC
I started playing music when I was 8 years old. I tried alto sax and viola in fourth grade school band before settling on drums (percussion). I had a friend who was also part of the percussion section. It just so happened that his grandma gave him a 1940's vintage Slingerland drum kit. His mother also had an old parlor style acoustic guitar. His dad new a little about electronics and wound a homemade pickup to it to make it loud enough to be heard with the drums. Since Ricky owned the drums, I ended up on guitar by default. We jammed in his basement to The Byrds and The Kinks, which were the only two albums they owned that we liked. We did it all by ear and I got pretty good a picking out one note lines.
Then one day a couple of other kids in the neighbor hood got an electric guitar (a Gretsch solid body) and a new Ludwig drum kit. Doug let me play his guitar with Dave on the drums because I new more on it than he did. They played me a Beatles record and I had an epiphany - these guy are playing more than one string at a time (chords), and it was off to the races.
I talked my parents into getting me guitar lessons, (with getting my own electric guitar in mind). I took just enough lessons for my teacher to talk them into ordering a Univox hollow body from him. As soon as I got the guitar, I quit taking lessons. I was learning to play, but not what he wanted me to. I learned to play by ear, practicing from the moment I got up in the morning until school, and after school as long as I could (around stupid chores and homework). I was obsessed! Later I took a bunch of music theory classes (and figured out just what it was that I was playing).
By the time I was 12, I was playing in a band with a bunch of guys that were older and we were getting gigs. At 13 they snuck me into a 3.2 beer club owned by a local disc jockey named Hal Moore. The club was called Hal Babies and the band was The Yardbirds. This configuration of the band featured Jeff Beck on guitar and Jimmy Page on bass. It was the first time I had ever heard a wah wah pedal and it changed my life! Since then I've spent my life experimenting with every pedal and device (including guitar synth) I could get my hands on. The music on this site archives a lot of them.
I saw everybody I could in concert; Hendrix, Clapton, The Allman Bros., Janis Joplin, Yes, Mountain, Jethro Tull, Vanilla Fudge, Zappa, etc... I also toured extensively for years locally, nationally and internationally with more bands than I can recall.
I envisioned being a studio musician, so I tried to learn and play as many types of music as possible. While developing my own style I tried to stay as true to the idiom as I could. This is evident in my original compositions as well.
As I said in the intro I have had the chance in my career to do some really cool gigs. The following list is as many of them as I can remember. The first group is people I've played with as part of their backup band, with them in my band or with whoever I was playing with at the time:
Bill Champlin (The Sons of Champlin and Chicago)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
John McKuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
Doug Kershaw (The Ragin' Cajun)
Roy Head (Treat Her Right)
Tom Fowler (bassist for Frank Zappa)
Lewis and Floorwax and The Groovehogs
The next list is bands I've had the pleasure of opening shows for. Most of them (except the country artists) were with The Kenny Cox Band.
John Entwhistle (The Who)
Mic Taylor (The Rolling Stones, John Mayall, Jack Bruce, BobDylan...)
The Amazing Rythmn Aces
Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders)
Black Oak Arkansas
Blue Oyster Cult (On Halloween!)
David Allen Coe
Freddie Fender and the Texas Tornadoes
Michael Martin Murphy
Emmie Lou Harris
Pat Donahue (A Prairie Home Companion)
The Kenny Cox Band also got to record an hour long special for a PBS series called Night Music 5280 and a syndicated radio show hosted by A. Whitney Brown (Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with John Stewart), called Naked Radio. It was and hour long interview that featured 8 songs from the STRATegy album. In addition we played live on the Lewis and Floorwax Show on 103.5 The Fox radio.
"And that's all I got to say about that." Forrest Gump.