Other Bands and Past Projects
I have been blessed to work with a lot of unique and talented musicians over the years in a wide variety of styles, whose disciplines and philosophies shaped me into the musician I am today. Here is just a little bit of the evidence:
Veruco Moon & The Figment
Hip-Hop & Experimental Rock (Unreleased,) 2007-2009
I've been friends with Frank Vasquez (The Figment) since 2006 when we learned audio engineering together. Frank introduced me to live hip-hop and hip-hop culture. When I lived in Los Angeles, we would link up for session work on hip hop productions. I recorded a lot of bass, mini-Moog, and guitar for other projects before recording a few of our own.
We produced an EP's worth of unreleased tracks in progress such as Show Me the Way, Listen, & Still Time. We've made several other tracks together in groups, and here is one of them!
Sandpaper Blues is a track that a group of friends improvised while on a trip to the NAMM show in 2012, with more musicians and parts added after. Mike Tompkins-Pugh was jamming a blues bassline and Frank sampled it, quickly putting a beat to it on an MPC. I sang and wrote the hook and played lead guitar. It was released in a collection called Sandpaper Smooth 1.5 by XP and IllWerd featuring The Figment and Nick Garrett-Powell, et al.
More info and free download available by following the link in the media player to the left.
Her Death and After
Metalcore - Hardcore, 2013
In 2012, my band Stray Kingdom had lost its drummer and Andrew Rossetta's band Her Death and After lost its singer and guitarist. We agreed to help each other complete some shows that were booked. Then, in 2013 an opportunity arrived for Her Death and After to record a single at a major studio, and I joined the line-up to co-write and perform the song "Let's Get Super Smashed, Bros."
After one tour together, the band partied itself to death, I think. Plus the bass player wrecked my car and the keyboardist deafened my right ear at a soundcheck. Brutal.
Jam band - Blues - Classic Rock, 2010-2012
The Jamlanders were the house band for a Sunday open jam at a bar called Dorman's Place. We played all kinds of classic rock and blues, but the real draw for a lot of the crowd was when we would became a jam band and take it to the next level in what we called our "space jams."
Somehow, this became celebrated, and we would get abstract and crazy out in the woods. I distinctly remember dueling with Michael Smith on top of a park bench, playing guitar behind my head while he played behind his back. Other times, I would play guitar with my left hand and piano with my right hand, or that miniature guitar in the photo.
This is where my persona Veruco Moon arrived, a stage character for me to explore my showmanship and practice being fearless and real on the guitar. Veruco Moon was how I was introduced and announced to people a great deal of the time.
In 2009, GT Albright approached me with a question if I'd help him create a jam scene on Sunday out at Dorman's. I needed a real musical gig, a gear testing kind of band where I could cut my teeth and learn onstage a bit. The Jamlanders, in this sense, helped raise me. Meeting Michael Brisbane Smith, Mike Pugh, and Jesse Kennemer made them my brothers.
In 2019, The Jamlanders got together for a special reunion performance in order to say thank you to our friend Dorman Cox, who owned the bard we played at.
Black Lung Riot
Swamp Rock - Indie Rock, 2018-2019
While hanging out with my friend and fellow singer-songwriter / acoustic guitarist Adam Gabriel, we started talking about how much we miss rock music. Just ass kicking riff rock with a stompy sound. Then we started talking about how we should start a rock band, and just cut loose.
He asked if I knew any drummers, and I leapt at the chance to try out. We rehearsed with our friend Bryan Oliver and played several bars and a benefit, probably 8 performances in all with me as percussionist. I love to rock out and play drums, and there were a few really good shows. Adam's songs really carried it all.
When gig season got too heavy for me and all of my weekends got booked with solos and Fret Drifter gigs, I reluctantly passed the sticks on to other drummers.
Romancing The West
Variety Show and Music Review, 2012-2013
While editing video for a fellow musician as a gig, I found myself offered an opportunity to perform alongside some excellent musicians in a series of travel gigs. I leapt at the opportunity and soon found myself on the road becoming colleagues with very skilled group of music professionals.
The bandleader was Christina Duane, and through this musical review I befriended several musicians for life while also learning from them and getting more equipped in the process. I was able to work with Woodstock performer and songwriter Melanie Safka, befriend her genius son Beau, meet the band Gypsy Soul with whom I'd work, Patti McCoy who I befriended and have played many gigs with, Monte Byrd the sax man, and a man I call sensei at the guitar, Byron Fry.
Alternative Rock - Pop, 2009
In 2009, I formed a band with Nick James and Kellin Quinn called Screenplay. Within hours of our first meeting as a group, we were songwriting music we believed in.
Our first single "Notice Me" was released to MySpace and quickly had 40,000 listens in the first month, an indie milestone for us. The next release "Someone Else" would see similar success within our social reach.
While working on a third song, opportunities and life goals split the band apart to work on other projects. My follow-up project was Stray Kingdom, also with Nick James on drums.
I had the privilege of working with the duo Gypsy Soul during a concert series in 2013. I happened to be performing in the same concert series with the phenomenal duo of Cillette Swan and Roman Morykit, and due to the ensemble nature of the show, I was invited to play mandolin and bass with them. Roman is an exceptional guitarist and bassist, which I discovered by learning his instrumental parts.
A few months later, they contacted me to play in a concert series that culminated in a performance at The Britt Festival as the opening act for The Doobie Bros.
Folk - Rock, 2018-current
In 2009, shortly before forming the Jamlanders, GT Albright and I connected with a songwriter named Ernest Adams. We jammed a few songs and hit the studio to record together, with me on guitar.
10 years later, Ernest calls me up and says he has some new songs, and soon we're collaborating again and making videos together in a fun group of musicians called Jacksaphine Radio, with me on guitar and keyboards.
Featuring Kevin Masterson on drums, Jesse Kennemer on guitar, Duke Davis on Saxophone, "Funky Joe" Medina, Ernest Adam on bass and lead vocals, and myself on keyboards and guitars.
Patti McCoy is one of the greatest musicians I've ever worked with. Patti is the legendary recording artist Pat Moran, a one of a kind jazz prodigy.
I was privileged to work with her while playing in the project Romancing the West, and even though I wasn't trained at all in jazz, she started tossing little challenges at me to see where my ear would go. This inevitably led to me learning Autumn Leaves, which changed my guitar game, and soon after we would perform together in a concert series where we covered (among many other songs) Take Five, a song which would become part of my solo set.