First of all, I am blessed to have found such simpatico musicians
in Larry, Stu, Alan, Susan and Rudy. The Thornwoods are an amalgamation of collective musical tastes and talents.
I have a diverse musical background from my parents (both professional singers/actors), and had early childhood experiences in Broadway musical theatre, jazz, pop and ethnic music. I had formal classical training on piano, but by age 13, had largely traded that genre for rock and roll, thanks to the burgeoning success of such artists as Elton John, Billy Joel, Carole King, Jackson Browne, etc. Piano was not the defacto preferred band instrument in the 1970's, so I learned to play the guitar. I took some classes at Eddie
Simon's Guitar Study Center in 1974, and was able to audit some classes with Dave Van Ronk and Rich Greco but pretty much taught myself chords and scales. After some high school garage/cover bands (D'Etant, Pure Hermax), my college band "Gut Course”, played the usual on-campus venues (pubs, frat parties, outdoor Festivals) and made a TV appearance for a local telethon in Albany, N.Y. The band had 2 graduating members, and popular music was rapidly changing from classic rock to punk/new wave and disco. I starting writing a lot of introspective songs that were better suited for the recording studio, and started performing many of those songs in acoustic duos ("Teaser"), trios and solo at various Albany coffee houses and taverns.
My next move was NYC, where Greenwich Village had the last
vestiges of it's folk-rock community in the early 1980's.It was there that I ran into young artists like Suzanne Vega and John Gorka, playing open mike nights at Folk City and songwriter's symposiums like the Cornelia Street Café. The recording industry was no longer hungry for mainstream singer songwriters, so many of these artists were seeking independent labels, and accrued following with extensive college tours. I decided on a career in medicine.
My residency found me in Washington, D.C., playing at Georgetown
and Northwest clubs. I shared the stage with Mary Chapin Carpenter at Gallagher's and Kramer Books and Afterwards Cafe, and formed a band with Azalea recoding artists Fett and Nancy Moran (now with "The Four Bitchin' Babes") called "Driftwood”. After doing some studio work and home recording through the early 1990's, I found myself with less time and opportunity due to family and professional commitments. The Thornwoods auditioned me in April 2008 to replace their lead guitarist, and in the process, rescued me from the abyss of musical complacency.