A brief history of my journeys with guitar and wildlife
I’ve been playing guitar since 1978 when I first became enamored with the instrument while attending art school in Minneapolis. Drawing and painting were my primary passions growing up, but the exciting contemporary music scene that I was exposed to in the sixties and seventies also exerted a strong pull on me. Once I started writing songs and creating music of my own on the guitar I was hooked and I have continued exploring this wonderful medium ever since.
Along with my love for the guitar over the years, there has always been competition from many other interests in my life including a great love for the outdoors. In the late 1980’s I went back to school, this time for a biology degree, in order to learn more about the natural world that surrounds us. I did not know where my education would lead me, I only knew that I wanted to learn more about the wildlife and plants of Minnesota.
While I was a student at the University of Minnesota in the early nineties, I started working as a naturalist at the Bell Museum of Natural History and at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis. During this period I wrote a number of songs about wildlife subjects and performed at nature centers and for special events around the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
Soon after graduation from the University of Minnesota in 1993 I got my first field job conducting forest bird surveys in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and I realized quickly that wildlife research was a perfect fit for me. Working outside, getting great exercise, and learning about wildlife – all for pay – seemed too good to be true. There were plenty of challenges along the way, as well as lots of biting bugs, cold weather, rain, intense heat, and just plain hard work, but I never tired of the subject.
From wildlife and vegetation surveys in Minnesota’s boreal forest to endangered species recovery work in the Hawaiian Islands to desert bird surveys in New Mexico and many other places in between, wildlife jobs took me all over the U.S. including work on projects in 9 different states. Lots of hard work, lots of fun, lots of wildlife encounters, and lots of good stories.
Meanwhile, I always brought a guitar along wherever I traveled and I never stopped playing. And while there were times when my guitar had to take a temporary back seat to my career as a wildlife biologist, my songwriting was inspired by my experiences. I found that my most creative music and best song ideas came to me while I was traveling or working – when I was “out there”.
Recently I moved back to Minnesota with the intent to prioritize my guitar playing once again and begin recording and performing some of the songs that I have written over the years.
So that’s where I am today. This blog/website is a vehicle for putting my music out in the world. I hope that you can find something here that you will like.
Thank you for your interest!