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    The Shrimp Song

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My Story

I used to be a shrimper in the waters surrounding Charleston, SC.  I would go out in a skiff or even canoe and toss my cast net over bait balls and watch the sun set as I pulled in my hauls.  Then 20 years went by.  The huge hauls of the early 90's diminished to only a few shrimp per net.  We've eaten all the shrimp.  I've since done lots of volunteer work with marine non-profits on and off the water;   I respect the sea, but not as a "resource."    So I wrote a really sexy song, about shrimp, that you can listen to at the top of this page.    I write songs in English, songs in Spanish, songs about my childhood in the countryside of South Carolina, songs about my experiences on the water, songs about my years exploring, working, and performing in South America and Cuba, and songs about all of the fascinating people I've met along the way.    I write songs for children to learn Spanish and songs for children to learn about wildlife and marine conservation in a fun way.   I studied classical composition under Paul Elwood of Brevard College, NC and did a stint composing simple classical pieces for strings. 

I've opened up for Doc Watson, Tim O'Brien,  Asleep at the Wheel, etc.  With different bands and configurations I've played Merle Fest, Belle Cher, Flat Rock Music Fest, Mountain Sports Fest, Downtown after Five, Salmon Fest, etc.   But my real specialty is what I call “Adventure Gigs.”  I like to book gigs in off-the-map places where I can throw backpacking or sailing or something out-there into the mix; or where I can meet foreign musicians playing totally foreign genres.  I played a concert at the communist run Casa de la Cultura in Cuba and was gifted my first violin by musician friends there. I played the Festival Rio Cuale in Puerto Vallarta where I got to swirl around some of the greatest mariachi musicians on earth.  I recorded under the direction of Efrain Rios of the Afro-Cuban All Stars. I toured Alaska and played Salmon Fest just so I could backpack out there and meet rough & tumble Alaskans.  I've written and produced three records of my own and they reflect these experiences.   I'm also an unlisenced music therapist at several group homes which has taught me to write songs for OTHER people and not for myself.  

For two years I was the music director at Hangar Hall School for Girls and was the music director for the cabaret show "Alma Desnuda" in Asheville, NC.   I've been in several bands including Dunzip, Red Mango, Bayou Diesel, Pixiebilly, and my favorite personal project The Passionistas.  My song "I Drove in Circles" placed in the John Hartford Memorial Songwriting Competition and the song "Pablito" was in the award winning film "Coyote."  My songwriting and performing are nonconformist and non genre specific.   Each of my records plays out as though it were actually a compilation of various artists.   Current shows feature tunes that  oscillate between a backwoods Carolina swamp and a Los Angeles street fair.

I'm also a day sailor and a metalsmith.   My handmade jewelry can be found at www.musicandmetalsshop.com.  I prefer sleeping under the stars to the confines of building structures and spend a lot of time sleeping on my small sailboat anchored out in a cove on an Appalachian lake.  If I can put the whole world down and just go sailing around my lake and wake up in a remote cove; I am in heaven.   I am a proud sustainable home remodeler and spent a year building myself a really cool little house with reclaimed materials from old barns and falling down houses.   And  everyone wants to know about "the accident" that left me with a lifetime of jaw surgeries and medical bills.  But that's another story, and if you'd like to read it it's on the bio page of www.musicandmetsshop.com.  Thanks for stopping by!