All credible evidence suggests that I grew up in North Carolina during the ’60s and 70’s, although in truth I have almost no memory of anything before the eighth grade. I have the vaguest recollection of a suitcase-type record player, a swing set, a rust-colored bicycle (who ever thought banana seats were a good idea?), and a sister. But all of that could be completely anecdotal except for the sister; her continued presence over the years convinces me that she’s real. Anyway, in the eighth grade I started taking guitar lessons, and I remember a lot more after that. From college onward I remember almost everything. Of course I don’t have time to write everything so, lucky for you, I’ll edit.
Like most high school guitar players, I thought I would be a rock star when I grew up. But my rock group hardly ever got any gigs, while a bunch of guys I was playing bluegrass with got more gigs than we could handle. Over the next 6 or 8 years The Southland Ramblers built quite a following, playing hundreds of gigs and recording three albums. If you so desire, you can read more about the records here. And through the miracle of modern technology, you can click here to listen to them. Alas, the band eventually dissolved as the youngest of us went off to school, got jobs, got married, and started our families.
Speaking of school and marriage, I studied visual arts in college, with a concentration in painting and drawing. One day in sculpture class I met Suzy, the woman who would soon become my wife. That’s far more than most people get out of a fine arts education, I can assure you.
Leaving school armed with my trusty BFA, I worked a string of jobs which were completely unrelated to my education and had the added benefit of paying almost no money. So I was in the perfect position to pounce when the textile industry came a-calling. Actually I went to them, they didn’t come to me, but the beauty of writing my own bio is I can tell it any way I want. The point is that I’ve spent the last 25 years as a technical designer in the upholstery industry.
In 1990 Suzy, a jewelry designer and dog trainer, and I packed up our dogs and all our belongings and followed my job to Pennsylvania, where we lived for 14 years. Rather than communing with the Amish, I made some new musical friends, played rhythm guitar for Frankie Big Face, and started writing songs again. We discovered a weekly online songwriting competition called SongFight!, and that’s when I began using the band name and pseudonym Brick Pig, which my friend Jim and I had made up on a lark years earlier. I was never a prolific songwriter, and it doesn’t appear that I ever will be, but I still enjoy writing and recording whenever I get around to doing it.
In 2003 I changed companies again and we (Suzy and I, not Frankie Big Face) moved to New Jersey, just outside NYC. During the few minutes each week when wasn’t working or sitting on a commuter train, I managed to squeeze in some guitar lessons, watch a lot of hockey, go to a lot of concerts & shows, and I even tried hang gliding a couple times.
Then in the Spring of 2018, the economic situation at that company finally caught up with me and I was downsized/laid off/made redundant. It was pretty scary, but with overwhelming good fortune I was able to find a job at another mill, back in PA. So we moved to western NJ, where I’m close enough to commute into PA every day and we’re still within range of Suzy’s clientele.
That pretty much brings you up to speed. Email me if you need more information.