Like thousands of American guitarists, I took up my father’s old guitar at the age of twelve, learning folk, blues, and gospel tunes. Exploring classical guitar and early music in my college years, I later aspired to the finger-style mastery of the steel-string guitar.
As a strictly instrumental guitarist, I let the guitar do the singing. Incorporating melodies from American (blues, ragtime, folk), Irish, and Scottish roots, my repertoire has provided an evocative musical sound-scape for public and private events in the Pittsburgh area and beyond for over twenty years.
A typical performance includes a variety of genres, depending on the mood of your event. Many wedding couples, for instance, appreciate the traditional sound of Scottish and Irish tunes for the ceremony, and prefer something more upbeat for the reception. When possible, I make it a point to meet with my clients to discuss the kind of music they want to hear.
The quality of the music you choose can make or break an event. A loud band can make it impossible for your guests to socialize; on the other hand, some classical combos can put your guests to sleep! Solo guitar provides a musical landscape that is easy to listen to, and stimulating at the same time, not to mention: affordable. Apart from this kind of ambient performance, I offer a concert performance that includes explanations of the tunes, many of which have fascinating histories.
My approach can be summed up with a quote from the great American guitarist/composer, John Fahey:
“There is something about guitars—maybe something magical—when played right, which evokes past, mysterious, barely-conscious sentiments, both individual and universal.”
John Fahey, John Renbourn, John Doyle, Ernie Hawkins, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Craig Ventresco.
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 45 - 120 minutes
A typical performance includes a variety of genres, depending on the mood of your event. From haunting Highland Scottish melodies, to lilting Irish jigs and reels, to ambitious blues, sophisticated rags, and unpretentious folk melodies--all arranged for solo fingerstyle, played on six-string and twelve-string guitars. I know I've accomplished my work if the audience is either dancing or crying!
The shortest performance I offer is 45 minutes. Typically, however, I play two 45min sets with a short (15-20min) break between sets.
one sturdy armless chair
secure space to store empty guitar cases
I typically provide my own amplification, lighting and staging are ad hoc. No performances outdoors in rain or exposed sunlight. Food and drink is common courtesy. Overnight accommodations for events far from home.
All my tunes are played by memory, and the set list varies from gig to gig.
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Birthday Party, Concert Venue, Corporate Event, Funeral Service, Hotel, Luncheon/Tea, Private Party, Restaurant, Retreat, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Cocktail Hour, Wedding Reception