Collaborates with: Ken Lawrence, Andrew Naylor, Karen Carpenter and Jeff Hostetter
When did you become interested in music? I've always been into music and art growing up. I wrote my first song when I was 9. I kind of knew that what I wanted to do, but I couldn't read a lick of music. After the Marine Corps, I went to art college (at Antonelli Institute of Art and Photography in Montgomery County). After that, I went to Florida and that's where I really started to hone my skills. My first gig was in 1983. I only had two years of guitar under my belt from teaching myself. I put out the first album "Fear" in July of 2001.
What made you decide to make a video for one of your songs? Sept. 11 happened. Like everyone else, I was mesmerized and sat in front of the TV for two days. I saw an interview with this lady . . . and she was talking about her husband who had died in the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and she started laughing. In the song I had recorded two months before, there was a phrase that said "I want to laugh when I get emotion." When I saw this happen on TV, I was like, that's exactly what I meant in that song. I picked up a piece of paper and started writing every line to the song and wrote what (I was seeing on CNN). I just wrote this video storyboard out. I call it a documentary music video. Eight years ago . . . the technology wasn't up to par. But now, it's getting done. We're having a pre- national premiere of the video (Sunday).
What brought you back to the York area? I moved back to the York area in 2002. I wanted to establish myself back in this area - closer to New York, closer to Washington, (D.C.), and the points of interest I'm trying to market toward.
How did you meet local musicians featured on your CD? I fell off a roof. I was doing construction and playing (gigs at night). I was laid up for three months in Colonial Manor (Nursing Home). That's where I met my drummer. I said, "Well, if I ever get out of here, maybe we'll get together." While I was in there, a gig got set up for me at Brenn's Pub. My first night out, I went up there with crutches and a guitar under my one arm. I think at that moment a lot of my peers in the music area looked at me and said this guy's serious about something. I've had some really good support from musicians. I surround myself with excellent people . . . who really know what they're doing. I hand-select the people (who play) on my albums.
Where are you in the process of making your next album? We just finished recording up at Mellow D's (Sound Studio). Dave Forney is my engineer. He's excellent. We're in mixing right now.
Where do you get inspiration to write your songs? Everywhere. (Laughs) I used to say every relationship is worthy of at least two songs. One when you meet when you're all happy and in love, and one when you get fed up and kick them out or they break your heart. If you listen to any of my lyrics . . . I play on words. I'm a word man.
Do you play any covers? I have a long set list (of covers). A song has to really move me for me to learn it. Earlier on I think . . . Bob Dylan, Neil Young (and) Cat Stevens were my first introduction to lyrics and words. I try to listen to new (music). I have a pretty wide range of tastes.
Do you have a best memory from music so far? I was on stage with Pat Travers and Les Dudek. I was doing photography and they invited me up on stage. I got photos of (them) showboating for me.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF.