It’s possible that by now you know I play guitar with Yonder Mountain and it’s what I’ve been doing since the band’s inception in 1998. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that as of of July 2015 all my years in Yonder is equal to all of my years of education. That’s Kindergarten through 12th grade and 4 years of college. I started playing guitar in 1986 which is 2 years before Jake Jolliff was born. I feel old, but not really. I was mostly interested in what Greg Ginn of Black Flag was doing at that time, but a few more years into it I found myself learning Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Paige licks in addition to Metallica riffs. It was around that time my good buddy introduced me to the Grateful Dead and their accompanying medicinal herbs. I took a sharp, but very mellow left turn into Folk music including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and eventually, Old & In The Way. Bluegrass charged me in the way Hardcore and Punk did, particularly on the fast songs. I recall a friend giving me a mix tape my senior year at UMass that included some Doc Watson and Norman Blake. As much as I loved what those guys were doing on the guitar, I was drawn to Jerry’s banjo playing from Old & In The Way and so I bought a banjo at a pawn shop. In 1996 I attended RockyGrass in Lyons, CO and saw Scott Nygaard when he was a part of Tim O’Brien and the O’Boys. This was the first time I’d ever really seen anyone flatpick and realized I had a new goal to work towards. In the spring of 1997 I saw the David Grisman Quintet at the Warfield in San Francisco and bought the first self-titled album which features Tony Rice on guitar. I was hooked. When I think back to when I was 13, I never in a million years could I have predicted my future. From Punk Rock to Bluegrass? You’re damn right. And I couldn’t be happier to share the stage with my fellow bandmates. I love what I do and will never take it for granted. Thanks for listening and see you out there.