I started playing when I was eight years old, on guitar, but never really saw it as a viable way to make a living. My dad was a musician. He loves music, but he was a little more on the conservative side. He played guitar and taught me a vast knowledge of music. We listened to anything from John Prine to the Grateful Dead to Led Zeppelin. And he’d listen to music I was into, too—Metallica, Megadeth. He was really open-minded musically, but there was never the sense that music was something I could go out and do for a living.
We [Dave Jordan and the Neighborhood Improvement Association] have been playing all over the place this year. This summer, we bounced around all the mountain towns in Colorado for a month. A bit later, we toured Florida all the way from the panhandle down to the Keys. Just recently we explored some new territory: Savannah, Charleston.
I’ve been playing with Dave, off and on, since 2004. His old band, Juice, was one of the first bands to give me a stage to play on, on Wednesdays when they played Banks Street Bar. At that point in time, that’s all I was doing—sitting in. I was sitting in with Marc Stone, Mike Hood and Eric Lindell down on Frenchmen Street. Eric called me up one night and says, ‘I got a gig for us. An acoustic duo gig on a boat. Just bring your guitars.’ I’m thinking this is cool, because I looked up to Eric—I still look up to him—and he’s calling me for a gig.
I’m thinking we’re going to go the lakefront, but he’s going in the opposite direction, and all of a sudden we’re past Belle Chasse, down Highway 23. I was nervous, really green at this point, and just glad he gave me the call. We finally pull up to the Empire boat launch and I go to grab the guitars. Eric says, ‘You’re not going to need those.’ So at this point, I’m thinking, ‘He’s taking me out here to kill me.’ [laughs]
We board this shrimp boat—his brother-in-law was captain. We started pulling up nets and finally, after a few beers, I asked him, ‘Eric—why did you take me out here?’ He said, ‘I took you out here to get you away from everything you know and tell you: Quit your day job and play music full-time.’
It resonated so deeply. We brought home 40 pounds of shrimp each. And within six months, I had quit my job and was playing music full time.”