I've always thought
of myself as a singer. I lucked out and had several good voice
instructors through the public school system. I got to work with
3 people over the course of 18 years as I started in Kindergarten and
had the same choir director through 6th grade. I didn't really
for the solo stuff but I was pushed a little and basically things got
out of control from there. I always thought about how cool it was
to always have your instrument ready and handy........and it never
needed strings! All through High School I lucked out by having
several good music and voice teachers.....the training then is one main
here sharing this with you.
Bass was my second instrument. In 8th grade my first band formed
with me and two guys from choir. One guy played guitar
a little and a ton of second chair trombone and piano and sang. I
played nothing and doo-whopped for the first few gigs. Begged my
for a bass....Santa was the man that year.......rock on. I took
string bass in the school orchestra and hacked away for the rest of
I taught myself how to play
guitar when I was 19. I sat
on my parents porch during a summer with a chord book, a classical
guitar book 1, and spent hours a day figuring out how to play well
enough to sing over. I felt if I could play just well enough to
not be embarrassed I could wander the Earth with an acoustic and at the
very least sing for my supper. So now...way in the future.....in
a strange way I do
just that......sing, play guitar and bass for my dinner. Strange
how life works out sometimes.
Music became a business, an idea, a philosophy of mine in 1996 as a way
for me to formalize what I do as a musician, teacher,.......and
all the things you will find around this web site. My role
as a teacher brought me the pleasure of witnessing people gain ground
and develop into songwriters, performers, and fine musicians. I
felt an obligation to those that worked hard to try to provide them
with the next layer or level in their efforts such as performing,
meeting and working with other talented people to get a taste of what
all professional players enjoy.......beyond the glitter it's the
you develop and cultivate that remain a large part of your life as long
as you live.
player, having moved here for a day gig and knew nobody, I noticed that
there was a ton of local super players that didn't seem to be household
names. They played with everyone, in front of and behind the best...but
nobody below a certain level musician knew who they were. All the hot
dog and sweetheart players loved them and that told me enough about
their character and personality......I heard them, got to work with
them, and I could hear they had the goods.
I set a
to try to bring my students together with these special musicians and
artists.......to give everyone a chance to share ideas, music,
philosophy, and art with the concept that the up and comers could meet
and interact with a high level musical niche to help them make good
choices for their careers.....and to better understand what exactly
they're dreaming about. Thanks to the time and generosity of the
musical community here in the Triangle area of North Carolina and
people are starting to dream big dreams. Thanks to professionals
Dave Sardinha, owner of the Six String Cafe & Music Hall in Cary,
songwriters have a place to try out their material in a great
hear students and friends play original music, compositions, and
every day of my life...musicians old and new that only me and a handful
of people even know exist....and it's all mind bogglingly beautiful. Support is
all they need to continue to sing, play, and write music. A
money and a lot of time on everyone's part and everyone wins.
With everyone, at all levels connecting, some folks will beneifit
wisdom and apply it to their knowledge...to find a focus for their
passion.....to create....to work hard and dream big.
will continue........as long as you, the public, wherever you live,
will work just a little harder to support live music in your community.
Go out.......visit the clubs, the venues, and the shows that
feature local musicians. Keep the pipeline full of new artists
and musicians that need to play out, need to be encouraged to stay
focused and goal
oriented. An empty club is a sad and heartbreaking moment for
a newbee........too many nights like that and most people will hang it
up.......make an assumption that they stink as a musician........give
up the dream because nobody but a few people support them.
the next time you're going to drop another $75.00 per seat on another
monster touring act coming through town that's been raking in the big
dough for decades.......that don't need your money, or time, or
allegiance......consider putting that money and evening into catching
some new music....some new performers....a fabulous jazz gig at a nice
venue for that matter.....or buying the new CD put out by a local band
songwriter that needs the money, needs your time, and really needs your
fan support. Down the road you can tell your children and grand kids
you used to know that guy or girl when they were teenagers playing
around town.......and that your money, time, and support helped push
the top......helped motivate them to work harder, smile bigger, dream
dreams......and helped get them up the ladder high enough to draw the
of the music industry.
communities supporting local art and music........all levels getting to
share ideas and success........that's the philosophy behind Bamboo
Music. Make it out to hear some of the artists featured on this web
site. Subscribe to the weekly bamboonews......the local e-newsletter
that keeps you informed about who, what, and when to catch some of the
coolest young and old musicians you'll ever meet or hear. Be part
of the future.......come back here often and listen to what's happening.
I thought a few
of my past musical lives might be a way to share where I came from and
why music is such a bigger thing than just the notes and staff.
is allowed and encouraged. Over time tapes might surface, I might
figure a way to play some 45's and digitize them....plug in some audio.
I also think somewhere there are other short-lived bands and
Chessman . 1964-66
My first band......me
the back left with my pride and joy Kent bass.
Tony Thompson . center . piano
has pursued jazz
Bird beside me......monster musician.....super talent.
Jeff Gintz on
Keith Widdon....on guitar.
Dave and I found
through a local music store......he came recommended
as a solid rhythm
who owned a fab National guitar.
Next.......the band morphed into
Royal Chessman . 1966-69
We added a new
cute, the charming, the white shirted
good guy Rich Bellanco and Dave's bro Rodney....bottom right on keys
and sax. Bunch 'a posers huh!? We had a good band........we
opened for Cream, the Young Rascals, the Association, Vanilla Fudge,
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Neil Diamond, and a dozen hot big
rock groups and had 5 part vocals knocked. We did all the rock
and all the Mo-town...and had an
original tune that got some air play regionally.
management team, ate, slept, and breathed music. We traveled
a lot....covered 8
states......we were 16. My high school days were kinda
unusual. We did a lot of TV dance shows where you have to 'mime'
the performance over a canned track
blasted onto the stage set. Acting cool, enthused, and matching
jaw movements isn't easy at first........and in front of maybe 100
dancing teens....sometimes taped....sometimes live it just can feel
really weird. I have a million road stories associated with this
band......not many of which
anyone will ever hear.
This is Suite:
the front man singer. Grant Casper on Hammond B3...loud....probably
me some hearing loss and brain damage as I
next to him. Greg Erb on bass and screamin harmony....seated is
Jam Master Jim Breznak.....one of the first
package musicians/talents I got to work with. He could play any
instrument well and could sing well. Mike
Breahl on drums
on the end was nothing but fun and a good guy. We
anyone from dead on Kansas to Yes to Eagles as we had big skill,
That's me down left
headband and the attitude.
about the music, and had five part vocals that were honkin.
Major, major fun and some super
vocal stuff. Greg Erb on
bass (left), me on vocals,
Carl Dreher on drums, he'll kill me
for forgetting his name but he played keys and guitar, Grant Casper
on organ, and Dan Gribble on lead guitar.
Cookin . 1978-81
Ron Powers, Dawn
you-know-who tearing up
Tampa Bay area.
Nice trio doing music from Dan Hicks and the
Hot Licks, to
Eagles, to Riki Lee Jones.
Ron played guitar and sang. Dawn
sang the front a bunch and Ron and I would harmonize.
I sang, played
and bass. We always had a good time and a good crowd.
Jim Savage . right .
the songwriter and inspiration behind the
Poole on drums . left . then Frayda Bluestein on vocals, me in the back and
Strickland on sax had a great time playing and recording Jims tunes.
Franklin . center . ran this band of loose cannons and great players.
Jazz piano man Billy Farmer on the left. Me on bass. Jazz
critic and horn man
Owen Cordel behind the Swing Time banner. Vibe,
keys, drum dude Steve
on the right. Of all
experiences I've had this was one of the
me as a musician and as an adult man. The
band was all seasoned
rich historys with
dozens and dozens of storys
to tell during breaks in the back hallway.
I truly felt
play with them and to get to know them.
Big Mama E & the Cool . 1995
and roll soul get's it's fix with this band.
Emma Davis . center .
brings us all together under one rockin roof.
Mike Edwards . left .
lead guitar. Dan Davis...drums. Emma.
Olly Roberts is next
bass, guitar, and vocals.
Then me on the right
guitar, bass, and vocals.
Click the pic and
Tony Thompson Trio . 2000
his entire life. A veteran player....Tony has pushed his own
and arranging over the past decade or so. It's a pleasure to
someone writing jazz tunes. It's drummer Eric Weaver on the left
looking happy on the right. Heck......when I started to play
bass at 13 being in a group doing what I get to do with Tony was a
vision for the future. Here I am....having a blast.
now..................that's a wrap for my magic history tour.
As with the entire web site.....keep watching for changes and up-dates
and thanks for being here and supporting live music.
now....the story behind the
This cat was 17 when he kicked. I had him when I lived in Tampa
back in the late 70's. I have never met a cooler cat.
I meet and work with a lot of 'cool cats' but this guy took the cake.
I decided the word Bamboo was fun to say....sort of a drum rhythm.
I had also gotten tired of answering if he was a he or a she when
he was a kitten. I decided who really cares besides another cat.
I chose the name to confuse people a little more.
The image of actual bamboo growing....lush, cool, mysterious,
exotic....the multiple uses for it....it's beauty and form all
added to this chilled out fuzzy black cat.
I felt by naming the
business after him
I would never forget him. He brought me a lot of
pleasure, comfort, and peace....with a few scratches along
the way. The image of the name, of the plant, the cool cat, my
seemed to gell in my mind.
above gelled for Wendy
Savage as well
when she designed the
bamboo music logo.
The large image
everything I felt and imagined.
Her signature "chop"
on the logo....on all of her work...
completed the entire