Here’s a fun throwback to 2012 when my band and I opened up the Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party as direct support for Of Monsters and Men / JJAMZ at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in Philly. We played to 6,000 people, nearly got bumped at the last second due to the rain (the skies parted just in time!), and I got to hang out and chat with this fantastic person – Wendy Rollins of Radio 104.5 WRFF Philadelphia.
People ask me all the time… “How’d you get into music?”. Truth is, I’ve been acting longer than I’ve been writing songs. I moved back to Philly a year after college to pursue an intership at the Prince Music Theater. I bartended/served at night to make ends meet and randomly began playing music out live at bars instead (thanks Sean Coyle and Rob Vigg). Funny how things work out. I still act… which is partly the answer to the other question I get most often… “What the hell do you do during the day?!”. Here’s an updated highlight reel to give you a look into that side of my career.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel the country many times over – performing to thousands of people – as the “house band” and live show producer for the multi-media show MyFixitUpLife. Thanks to the hosts Mark and Theresa, I’ve been featured on The Food Network, have worked on and played for several Extreme Makeover: Home Edition builds, and forged a relationship with the town of Joplin, MO. Here’s my song, “My Fix It Up Life”, inspired by this awesome couple!
Whoever said “Don’t meet your heroes… they’ll just disappoint you” was obviously not talking about Butch Walker. For the better part of my career, Butch Walker – producer/songwriter/motherF’nRockStar – has been my biggest influence both from a performance stand point and for his ever evolving style and sound in the studio.
See him live. Bottom line.
I first saw him live at the TLA in 2008 on the recommendation of my buddy John Chiaro. Mind = blown. Exactly 5 years later in 2013, Live Nation gave me the chance to open for him on the very same stage. That night, he treated my wife, friends and I like family before the show… and when I came off stage after my set he was the first person standing in the wings stage right ready to hand out a compliment. (First national act I’ve opened for to ever listen to my set… let alone intently). He also took my phone, called John to say hi, and then went on to perform a killer set… full of emotion given the fact that his father, “Big Butch”, had just recently passed away.
Afterwords, he welcomed us into his green room to have a drink and swap stories with his band. Brendan McGrew, my good friend and owner of Bourbon Blue, had given me a bottle of Bulleit 10 yr. for Butch… A peace offering of sorts… given the fact that his book is titled “Drinking With Strangers: Music Lessons from a Teenage Bullet Belt”. I thought it was perfect. The whole night remains in my memory as a defining moment in my career… where my biggest influence collided with my own personal musical journey. And at the risk of sounding like a motivational cat poster, it showed me that anything is possible. He’s a class-act. The musician’s musician.
Any regrets? No. Well… Maybe don’t smile like a cheesing asshole next time you get your picture taken with your hero.
When you get into the end zone… act like you’ve been there. Rookie.