I’m a singer-songwriter. I grew up in the Midwest, and currently live in Bloomington, IL. Here’s my story-
I love music, but there was one song I really didn’t care for as a kid – “I Like to Take My Time” by Mr. Rogers (yes, the one from the “Neighborhood”). Nothing against Mr. Rogers. Actually, I thought he was great. He even taught me how to snap. However, my brother used that song to tease me (bound to happen when you grow up with 6 siblings). He’d sing it if I was taking a little longer to get something done. I didn’t enjoy it. My mom would remind me that the song says “I like to take my time…to do it right”, but that didn’t matter much at the time.
Now that I’m not quite as vulnerable to my brother’s teasing, I’m actually thinking about making it my theme song. As funny as it might sound, Mr. Rogers’ message is found in a lot of my songwriting- taking time to notice what’s going on around you, taking time to think about what’s important in life, taking time to enjoy what you have, taking time to “do it right.”
It’s been my motto since becoming a full time musician over thirteen years ago.
I started out playing coffee shops, bars, churches, etc. in the Midwest, slowly building my repertoire. I did some recording on my own, but wanting to “do it right”, I saved up enough to work with a producer in Nashville (Mitch Dane). Over the next couple years, I recorded four full length projects with Mitch- “Second Story”, “A Person and a Heart”, “With, To, From”, and “Living Room”.
Since then, I've also recorded eight EPs (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H) with producer Andy Osenga. Currently, I'm continuing the series, working through the alphabet.
Trying to get to the essence of my work as a songwriter, I also started doing house concerts a while back. You connect with your audience a lot more when you’re singing in front of their fireplace and sleeping on their couch! The idea took off, and I’ve since played in hundreds of homes all over the country including one extended coast to coast tour of 100 concerts in 100 days.
There have been other highlights- a chance to perform on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion”, having a couple songs on Sirius XM's "The Coffeehouse", singing live on ABC's "Extreme Weight Loss". But even those opportunities, the ones that seem to come out of the blue, are usually the result of something you’ve been slowly and carefully building over time. I think it’s a pretty good philosophy. It’s kind of like learning how to snap. You work at it and work at it, and then suddenly…
I’m so grateful for the loyal and supportive people I’ve met along the way thus far. People who listen to and appreciate the songs, but also people who’ve given a lot back to me. As a musician, I’m pretty sure this is “doing it right.”
In conclusion, Mr. Rogers was brilliant, and I’m bigger than my brother now.