How the hell did I end up here? I'm sure that's a question that's popped into all our heads at one point or another, while chasing that dream job. Sometimes it's great, you get the raise, the promotion, seal the deal! Sometimes it sucks, you end up sleeping in your car with a dollar to your name wondering how you're gonna make it till tomorrow. No matter what the job there is always unexpected twists and turns, and music has left me so twisted at times I didn't know which way was up. Sometimes you just gotta ride the wave, and that wave hit me hard on August 15th, 2005 when I was told my only brother had just been killed in Iraq.
I had recently graduated from the University of Kentucky where I walked on the football team and got a degree to be a history teacher. After graduation I decided to backpack and work in Australia for a few months to see what I could see. I'd never been out of the South, so hell why not? While in Oz I got a call from my old coach, Ron McBride, asking if I wanted a job as a coach in the college ranks, right on! So I hoped on several planes and spent about four days traveling to the metropolis of Garden City, Kansas to coach linebackers for Garden City Community College. I was there for about four months, when one day while in a coaches meeting I had about twenty missed calls from my parents. I step outside to call my folks back and I knew before my dad could tell me.....my brother Paul was gone.
For the next year I was numb, and if I did feel anything it was anger and pure rage. I quit my job as a coach, the only thing I've quit in my life. I then tried to go to grad school back in Lexington, KY and flunked out, another first. Then I began trying to fight anyone who felt like it and succeeded. After a few overnight stays in jail, one of my good friends looked at me and said I needed to get gone. His wife was from New Zealand and he suggested I go there. I saved up money for a plane ticket, took a backpack and guitar, and shot the deuce.
That year I spent in New Zealand taught me more than words can explain. I played my first song in public, and knew music was for me! I didn't care if I ever got good, it was all about therapy and perspective. I developed an opinion that was truly mine, and experienced things that opened my eyes to a whole new way of living. My passion for music began to consume me, especially when I realized not only can you sing other people's songs you can write your own. I got back to the US at the end of that year and headed straight for Nashville. Since then I've been through everything under the sun, but I'm still singing and writing.