I started playing guitar at the age of eight, initially learning the basics through classical music. Having an Irish mother, I grew up with the sounds of Irish jigs and reels at home and they have always been an influence on my playing.
I soon became fascinated by the electric guitar and in particular the improvised approach to blues used by many famous guitarists, most notably for me, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green and Jimmy Page. I studied the art of improvisation, that took me on a journey through blues and like many of those early players, on towards rock and jazz. Then came the influence form the 80’s rock guitarists: Slash, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and alike; taking my electric playing in the ‘big hair rock’ direction - before scaling it back again to a more melodic approach!
This then led me to play in my first band, Boa - a very hip 90’s rock band formed at college! You can see a couple of photos above from the early years - no comments about a dodgy fashion sense required!
I had been composing guitar pieces for several years that had drawn on the rich exposure to the variety of music styles I’d had the privilege to listen to, but I hit a wall and needed to know how to break it down! There was one album that did just that: "Friday Night in San Fransisco" by Al Di Meola, John Mclaughlin and Paco de Lucia.
Although mesmerised by the skills of Al and John, it was the flamenco playing of Paco that I was drawn to and a quest to discover more about the fabulous art of flamenco. After buying more of his albums (and by the way, check out “Fuente y Caudal” - you will never ever hear a guitar played better than on this album in my opinion!), I spent a month in Spain studying this amazing music. It is my ambition to continue returning to Spain to absorb more of the flavour of flamenco and add it to my own style.
The flamenco influence is now ingrained in my playing as you can possibly tell if you listen to any of the musical projects that I am involved with! Add in a bit of gypsy jazz and you start to get an idea of where my style currently lies.
Now I just need to wait and see where I end up next!