To put it simply, my influences are drawn from everything around
me. From my day to day experiences to my family and the people
I meet to the natural beauty of our world and the wonderful
music we are gifted with. All of these things affect the music
I compose/arrange. With these experiences come many artists/albums
that have had a profound affect on the music I create. The list
below is a depiction of artists/albums from the classical age
through present day that have somehow shaped me as a person
and a musician.
1.) John Denver: Rocky Mountain
Christmas / John Denver's Greatest Hits / Back Home Again
It's hard to pick any one album from John Denver but there's
no doubt in my mind that he is the reason I became a professional
musician. His music enabled me to redirect my entire style as
a guitar player from Rock to Folk/Classical/New Age. His inspiration
also caused me to abandon my marketing career to become a full
time musician. John's music is heartfelt and real with each
new song being as pure as the last. There is no greater musical
influence in my life. My discovery of John Denver and his music
in December 1996 was truly a life changing event for me.
2.) The Beatles: Abbey Road
A groundbreaking album that gives me pause still today.
3.) Simon & Garfunkel: A
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Yes it's true, I didn't really care much for these guys when
I was a youngster but have grown to love and respect what they
created so long ago. As with John Denver, they are a big influence
on my performance style.
4.) Mantovani: Mantovani's Golden
Here's a change of scenery. I recall hearing Mantovani at all
our holiday gatherings at my grandparent's house when I was
a young boy. Although I didn't know who I was listening to at
the time, the intertwined melodies with his unique use of cascading
strings always made me feel at peace. Today, the mood of Mantovani's
music influences the mood of my compositions/productions.
5.) Duncan Sheik: Duncan Sheik
/ Humming / Daylight /White Limousine
I love all of Duncan's albums. I feel he is one of the most
talented/creative songwriters to hit the scene since the early
90s. He has an amazing sense of rhythm and truly understands
how to use it in a way that most artists fail to recognize.
Lot's of inspiration here!
6.) John Williams: Romance of
Of all the modern day solo Classical Guitarists I would have
to say John Williams in my favorite. He blends texture and color
with a dynamic that most classical guitarists are unable to
achieve. Really love this guy's playing.
7.) Christopher Parkening: A
Anyone who truly understands classical guitar performance knows
that playing Bach and playing it well takes some doing. Chris
Parkening captures Bach's music in its purest form. He also
manages to deliver spontaneity in the process. If you like Bach
on the guitar check this guy out.
8.) Pete Huttlinger: Naked Pop
I first came across Pete by watching John Denver's wildlife
concert from 1995. Pete was JDs second acoustic guitar player.
After John Denver passed in 1997 I started researching Pete
to see if he was still involved with Music. Was he ever. I never
realized until then he was a solo instrumental guitar performer.
Today he is considered one of the best fingerstyle acoustic
guitarists in the country. Unbelievable player!
9.) Jim Croce: Photographs &
I began listening to Jim Croce shortly after discovering John
Denver. I mostly enjoyed learning Jim's riffs as he had his
own unique style of playing. Jim's music helped me create diversity
in my playing and arranging.
10.) James Taylor: James Taylor's
As with Jim Croce, I began listening to James Taylor during
my rediscovery of the 60s and 70s folk scene in the mid to late
90s. As with John Denver and Jim Croce, James Taylor also has
a style all his own. His melodies and vocal are pure and his
songs are complete. Most of all, his performance style has had
a profound influence on my own melodic interpretation.
Some more albums I love.
These artists/albums are also worth mentioning
(No particular Order).
1.) Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
2.) Toad The Wet Sprocket: Fear / Dulcinea / Coil
3.) Enya: Shepherd Moons / A Day Without Rain
4.) George Winston: Winter into Spring
5.) U2: The Unforgettable Fire / Achtung Baby
6.) ELO: Strange Magic – The Best of Electric Light Orchestra
7.) Def Leppard: Pyromania / Hysteria (My Rock & Roll Days)
8.) The Police: Synchronicity
9.) Johann Strauss: Strauss' Greatest Hits
10.) Beethoven: Beethoven Symphonies I
11.) Mozart: Violin Concertos No. 4 & 5