Being a multi-instrumentalist has given me a great deal of freedom as a musician, songwriter, and producer. Honing my skills as a percussionist, bassist, guitarist, pianist, and vocalist has made me capable of performing with a wide variety of musicians in a multitude of settings. I’ve backed up groups like NYC’s Rosy Street, The Royal Drag, Madison Cano, Filup Groft, and Boston’s Xenia Dunford. Through my work as a solo artist and sideman, I’ve performed at SXSW, The Canadian Music Week Festival, The International Pop Overthrow Festival, The Millenium Music Conference, and The Launch Music Conference. The majority of my work as a for-hire musician has been at the drumset, where my years of experience performing on melodic and harmonic instruments has allowed me to understand the material and communicate with my colleagues in ways that other percussionists can not.
Performing as a multi-instrumentalist in recording sessions is also a blast. It’s exhilarating to have an artist like Keith Cooper allow me to arrange and perform most of the instrumentation on their record (particularly working on the fly as we did, completing songs in 2-3 hour bursts). But even more rewarding is being able to put my broad base of musical knowledge to work producing a full band like Honey Wild. Having over a decade of experience recording everything from the drum kit to the banjo really came in handy on those sessions, allowing me to engage and coach each individual musician on the specifics of their instrument in the setting of a studio recording- on top of laying down a few guitar tracks.
And then theirs my own “band”, Young Mothers. I started out as a percussionist, but I became the multi-instrumentalist that I am today so that I could create and record my own compositions independently, composing, arranging, producing, and engineering the complete recording. My years pressing my nose and ears to the grindstone in my personal studio have afforded me a unique insight into the interplay between each component of a band and recording. Sometimes that’s led me to recording solo, performing all of the instruments and engineering the track myself. Other times that’s meant working with talented producers like Fen Ikner, assembling full bands, and working out of other studios like Tucson, AZ’s Wavelab Studios. Whatever setting I find myself in, I’m always eager to hop on the Rhodes and bust out a rhythm track, guide a drummer closer to the grooviest beat, or sing with a group of backup vocalists on a gospel-tinged call and response part.
And yeah, it’s as fun as it sounds.