Below is a compilation of my performance history -- a list of bands and collaborations I have had the opportunity to be a part of. Various samples of my guitar and mandolin work can be found below, as well as on my YouTube channel. If you are interested in collaborating with me, please get in touch.
Current Guitar Work
Having seen Chris Rattie perform in State College a few years back, there was no question that I wanted to audition for his band when the opportunity surfaced. Likely the most rocking band I have performed with, the man himself is honest when describing upcoming shows: “See me and The Brush Valley Rumblers attempt to blow the back wall off the place and leave a crater where there was once a stage!”
In addition to the full tilt rock and roll shows, I have been joining Chris on mandolin and slide guitar for a number of “Acoustic Rumbles”. The full tour schedule for both the Rumblers and the acoustic shows can be found on his website. Come check us out, and give a listen to his debut album, All These Things.
Performed by Black Coffee at Club Cafe (October 2011)
Past Projects & Collaborations
State College’s own class-soul, funk, and R&B band (formerly, The Hounds of Soul) has been performing in the State College area since 2008. Nine members strong, with a four piece horn section — performing with this band has taught me things about music that I would have never otherwise encountered.
Five piece soul outfit
Featuring vocalist Cait Cuneo, Black Coffee was a regional touring band of weekend warriors who cut our teeth as traveling musicians in this band. In 2011, we played over 80 shows in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. Some of my favorite performances include supporting Bettye LaVette in Pittsburgh, performing at Flood City Music Festival, and opening the People’s Natural Gas Park in Johnstown, PA.
My friend Gina Riggio cut a single a few years back called No Guarantee. I am thankful that she invited to me to play guitar and mandolin on this track. Also involved with the track friends Jacob and Micky (of Dirty Superb). Jacob is on drums and percussion, and Micky recorded the single.
Original funk, jazz, and jam music
From a four piece band to seven-piece ensemble, my first regularly gigging project spent most of our time in State College, PA at Zeno’s and Bar Bleu. We had a unique opportunity to perform in the City of Harrisburg’s Capital Rotunda, and also eventually ventured up to Burlington, VT for a couple memorable gigs at the world-famous Nectar’s.
Acoustic, folk, and bluegrass
Another short-lived acoustic project, The Jackdaw Boys formed after a few casual jam sessions in 2008, recorded a few tracks on a buggy Summer evening, dubbed “The Moth Sessions”, and brought the concept of live music to The Red Horse Tavern in Pleasant Gap, PA.
Buddhas of Budda
Acoustic guitar duo
In 2002, friend Aaron Billheimer and I wrote and performed a number of songs on acoustic guitars during our time at Penn State’s Mont Alto branch campus. Before we knew it, we were recording them to MiniDisc on a Sony MDM-X4 multitracker in my dorm room to create “Under the Sun”:
The first band I was a part of buried me deep in funk guitar. I listen to recordings from back then, and the funk elements in my improvisational playing sound very similar to how they do today. Without knowing it, it was around the time of U.P. when I first started to build a style.
Here are two of our singles, recorded in 2000:
(It is hard to believe this webpage still exists!)
A large portion of our repertoire included the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. The Rolling Stones tunes we played helped me learn how to play slide guitar, and were a great deal of fun. We also played some songs that you rarely hear any bands cover, such as Pink Floyd’s “Sheep”.
Funk for the people! “Born from interplanetary freakiness, raised in the Universe, marching to the masses, The Hot Sauce has one mission – to make folks dance! Sensing a need for people to hip shake out of their chairs and spend a few moments in bliss forgetting where you are and just cuttin’ that booty loose, The Hot Sauce was born.” — thehotsauceband.com
Original soul/jazz performed on organ, guitar, and drums
Taking their cue from experiments in jazz begun in the 60s and 70s, Dirty Superb recognizes the urgency of improvisation. Free Jazz in spirit–and Funk-Soul in fact–their mission is to mesmerize with rhythm and renew with original groove. In the land of a thousand dances, they unite the crowd under a single banner that reads, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” Through collaborative invention delivered with savvy and finesse, Dirty Superb epitomizes the jamocratic ideal.
I had the pleasure of performing as a musician with good friend Micky New in the Nittany Valley Shakespeare Company’s 2010 performances of Much Ado About Nothing. While we did not have intentions to be musical performers in a play, it just kind of happened, and turned into one of my more memorable Summers thus far in the State College area.
Closing out the string of Summer performances was a show at The State Theatre, in State College, PA. Below are recordings from that night:
Harold Taddy & The Midnight Strange
I joined Harold on mandolin for a number of his performances during his string of Zeno’s performances in State College, PA. Ask us about the time we traveled to perform in Allentown and a lot of laughs will be exchanged. A great friend with a great resonant voice, Harold can still be found performing down at Zeno’s on Saturday nights. These days he is also running a few open mics in town.
A groove-centric series of improvisations that blend funk, grassroots, and modern blues and bop using a variety of non-traditional lead and rhythm instrument pairings
A duo with woodwind and brass phenom, Michael Fortunato, Experimental Verses was a fun opportunity to perform with an old friend at some unique spots in Central PA.
An instrumental funk/rock power trio; born in Brush Valley
Among my most memorable performances was a wedding reception with Vitamin Funk where John Sebastian emerged from the crowd and hopped on stage with a harmonica to join a blues jam. (Rumor has it that this jam was recorded on video! Though, I have yet to see any footage surface.)
A short-lived acoustic trio
Our song-list spanned a strange mix of songs enjoyed by each of the band members, ranging from traditional bluegrass reels to blues and classic rock & pop.
During my first or second year of college, I acquired a copy of FruityLoops, and used it piece together this sort-of creepy electronic composition. I’ve always enjoyed it, and hope you do too.
- The Conquest **
Where It All Began (1991-2000)
Cumberland Valley High School Orchestra
I suppose it all began when I was nine, and a friend of mine was learning to play the viola. I wanted to learn too, began taking lessons, and before I knew it, had a solid eight or nine years of rusty viola playing under my belt. I have many good memories of performing with my high school orchestra, and even still have an old cassette tape of some live performances that our conductor put together for our class as a gift.
Sometime during those years, I figured out there was an alternative to the annoying cat-scratching sound I was getting out of my viola with a bow: turning it sideways and plucking it was more maneuverable for me. Shortly after, I began teaching myself how to play the guitar.
Unless otherwise noted, songs linked to above are property of their respective owners.
For crediting, sharing, and distribution restrictions on downloadable songs above (indicated with * and **), please follow the picture-links to the respective Creative Commons Licenses, below: