I was always playing in bands during school and my college years. It was really once I left for West Texas State University in Canyon, TX that my seriousness for music began. I joined in with a band called The Cleavers and we played for a couple years or so. We recorded our first album around 1990-91. This introduced me to Bill Ockander at a studio he owned in Amarillo. This is where it all began for me. I would finish classes and then go to his studio for sessions and hang out and plug in cables and just watch and observe.
I slowly realized that performance was not my gig and being on the other side, the engineering side or recording side is where I wanted to be. It fascinated me on how you could build tracks and layer instruments. I bought a 4 track cassette recorder and began experimenting. After a couple years in college and bouncing between Business Administration or Radio/TV degrees I needed to make up for lost time and get out there doing something. So, I enrolled into The Conservatory or Recording Arts & Sciences and started my journey. Once completed I had to do a mandatory internship to complete the degree. I thought about LA but Nashville was more my style. At 22 I took off for Nashville and never looked back.
My journey in Nashville lasted about 15 years. After my internship I continued to work as a freelance 2nd engineer out of 16th Avenue Sound. This exposed me to the killer A room with a 56 input SSL and all the great gear but it also gave me access to the upstairs B room where I spent a lot of time learning with my feet to the fire, so-to-speak. I got to work on sessions in varying capacities for all kinds of artists that came through 16th Ave. Sound. The nineties was a hell of a decade! From Lee Greenwood, Terry McBride, Alan Jackson to Bon Jovi, Queens Ryche, Accept, Delbort McClinton, Echolyn and so many others. I soaked in every piece of knowledge I could get. I can say I learned more in 2 weeks working with engineer Michael Wagener (Ozzy, Metallica, Accept, Tesla and many more) than any other sessions I worked on. I also started branching out as a 2nd engineer for other studios and engineers like Chip Young and songwriter Bobby Boyd and others. I helped Chip run the BMG demo studios as well 2nd engineer him over at Sound Control in Berry Hill many times. Chip was a super nice guy and a hec of an engineer and guitar player.
A few years later I got hooked up with a guy named Jim Hendricks. I became his personal engineer for over 7 years. We recorded all kinds of folks music, mountain music, bluegrass music and gospel music. This was for the company Maple Street Music. I also built the original e-commerce website which is what started my other career path as a web designer. Anyway, after 7 years and probably 30 albums I moved on to continue music. The music business was changing around 2000 and I not only saw a need to leverage the internet for my audio mastering business but needed to diversify and create a new business inline with my other interests – which happen to be boating. So, DockGear.com was born.
Over the years I’ve always done music but I have other businesses and interests. I moved back to Austin, TX in 2006 and married my now wife. We have a son who loves music too. My wife can remember lyrics to almost any song out there (don’t ask her to sing though!). At this point I have a nice balance of music projects I want to work on, e-commerce businesses I run and a web design side business. This diversity keeps me excited and keeps the work life fresh. Music is my first love and will always be my passion. I’ll continue to master and mix music to the day my ears can’t do it.