I could tell you that I was born in West Texas, my father was mostly Scotch Irish decent. How he was the only man I knew who could tell a story better than my grandfather. He had the most beautiful baritone voice and would often sing at Sunday morning services. How I loved to hear him sing but I hated to hear he was going to sing because he would often require me to accompany him on piano. My mother on the other hand could hardly hold a tune but her German father I believe was a musical savant. He could play any instrument that he could hold, he played the trumpet for the likes of the Jimmy Dorsey band during the big band era. I could tell you how during my adult life I have change careers about every 3 to 5 years. Careers like cowboying on ranches that measured themselves, not by acres, but by square miles, to buy cattle, managing a feedyard, owning construction companies and even a commercial laundry. But that stuff is boring.
I would rather tell you about the music in my life. From my earliest memories there was music in our home. Beethoven or Herb Albert and the Tiajuana Brass would be spinning on Dad's old turn table, Roger Miller would be singing about "The King of The Road" or Burl Ives would tell how "Bill Grogan's Goat" flagged a train. Then the Beatles happened. They were my gateway drug. Dylan, The Stones, Iron Butterfly, CCR, CSN&Y, Cream, Cocker, Allman Brothers, Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath. None of that bubble gum crap for me! Then I heard Guy Clark. The drug had changed.
I needed to hear songwriters, but not just any writers and any old songs. I needed a country beat. Songs that spoke of real folks, folks that I knew. I needed to hear Jerry Jeff, Prine, Fromholz, BW, Kristofferson, Emmylou, Pure Prairie League, Flying Burrito Bros, Lucinda, Nancy Griffith, Steve Earle, Townes, Cash, Jones, Waylon, Ray Wylie, Chris Knight, Hayes Carll, John Moreland and on and on. Don't get me wrong, Beethoven still moves me to tears, and Rock and Roll will never die.
I was surrounded by music and by friends who played and wrote music. I had no choice but to write songs