This story begins thirty-some years ago in suburban Detroit, Michigan. Growing up was rather uneventful for the most part; good grades, track and cross country for three years in high school, played cornet for six years, blah, blah, blah. The engineer in me STILL wanted this page to separate my life into distinct time periods, so...

Grade School
I don't remember too much about grade school, other than the cement “cheese” blocks that were the playground hangout. And those silly animated people that represented each letter of the alphabet in kindergarten.

Favorite Bands: Def Leppard, Tears for Fears, The Beatles, Oldies


High School
High School was something else. I wasn't really smart enough to hang out with the nerds, but got decent enough grades to go to college. I wasn't athletic enough to be a jock, but ran Track and Cross Country for three years. And I didn't smoke or have enough black clothing to be a burnout, but there were a couple evenings that I don't remember much of! So I hung out with the people that actually did homework, but didn't tape their glasses. Not sure what we were classified as...

Favorite Bands: Def Leppard, Faith No More, Stone Temple Pilots, Jesus Jones


The best five years of my life, (don't laugh!). After graduating high school, I got to attend Michigan State University, and the experience was indescribable. I loved it so much, that I've often thought about pursuing a doctorate degree in my major, (Packaging), just to be able to go back and teach there. College included a brief stint in Columbus, Ohio, on internship.

Favorite Bands: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Common Children, Catherine Wheel, The Choir,
The Sundays


My first job out of college was in Cleveland, Ohio. I really didn't know many people there, so I just kind of did my own thing for a couple of years. Which was a good thing in retrospect, but I really needed to leave when I did. Most of "Beyond the Stains" and some of "Something Blue" was written in Cleveland. And no, the Cuyahoga River doesn't catch on fire anymore. :)

Favorite Bands: Common Children, King's X, Fold Zandura, Switchfoot


My nine years in Chicago was awesome, getting to catch up with old friends and make tons of new ones. Spent most of 2004 in a band called Entheos, which really taught me a lot about my own musicianship. Also met my wife and got married during the time in Chicago. The traffic was for the birds, but I really couldn't complain too much. Both of my first two CD's came out during the time I was there.

Favorite Bands: Common Children, King's X, Mae


In March of 2010, I moved out to Denver to start a new job, and fulfill a dream that my wife and I had of living in Colorado. She joined me in July, and we had our first child in October. And Underneath the Sky came out in November; talk about a busy year!

Favorite Bands: Mae, Parts & Labor, Death Cab for Cutie

Delicate Fade by Common Children
This album changed my life, especially how I see the world and express it through music.

Hysteria by Def Leppard
The first cassette I ever bought. Any disc that included 7 Top 40 hits has to have a couple good songs, right? Still a guilty pleasure of sorts...

Destination Beautiful and The Everglow by Mae
Both of these albums are almost flawless in their power-pop mastery. Loads of catchy melodies and solid songwriting throughout, both of these are among the very few albums these days that I could listen to straight through.

Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie
Slightly off-kilter guitar rock songs from the mid 2000’s, this collection of songs does a great job of summing up how one can yearn for another. “Title and Registration” really sets the tone for some of the clever word play in Ben Gibbard’s lyrics.

The Moon is Down by Further Seems Forever
This was Chris Carrabas' band before Dashboard Confessional. The disc combines emo with power pop in an amazing way. Some powerful stories are told in less than 30 minutes.

The Way it is and Scenes from the South Side by Bruce Hornsby and the Range
Maybe I’m getting old, but both of these albums have great storytelling and well executed radio pop. “The Valley Road” is among the best songs I’ve ever heard.  

This Beautiful Mess by Sixpence None the Richer
This is one of the first Christian CD's I ever bought. Great modern rock, without a single crappy song. I think this band helped set the bar for some of the awesome Christian bands to come.

The Bends by Radiohead
This CD would be amazing if it only had "Fake Plastic Trees" repeated 12 times. Powerful ("Street Spirit", "Bulletproof...Wish I Was"), catchy ("High and Dry", "Sulk"), and rockin' ("The Bends", "Just") all in the same album.

Much Afraid by Jars of Clay
Though their debut was a landmark for Christian music, I like this one better because of its different textures.

August and Everything After by Counting Crows
Fantastic reflective folk-pop. "Anna Begins", ""Sullivan Street", and "Omaha" are my favorites. Of course, the singles are good too!

The Love of Life by Watashi Wa
This CD is a masterpiece of upbeat modern rock. I wasn't really impressed by these guys at Cornerstone a while back, but this album made me a huge fan.

Shape of Grace by Out of the Grey
Another sort of guilty pleasure, only because this is very catchy pure pop music.

Falling Awake by Paul Alan
This former Nouveaux frontman released an awesome disc of reflective pop-rock. A couple of radio hits here, including "She's the Reason" and "Leaving Lonely".

Glow by Innocence Mission
This band tugs at the "dream-pop" lover in me. Light, airy and atmospheric, and catchy as heck! "Bright as Yellow" was a minor hit.

The Lean Years Tradition by Model Engine
Black Eyed Sceva breaks up, and these guys form. Guess I would describe as intelligent modern rock. They haven't released a CD since this one in the mid-90's.

King's X by King's X
My personal favorite from the progressive metal trio, though most hardcore fans would recommend "Gretchen Goes to Nebraska" first. Runs the gamut from driving ("Not Just for the Dead") to upbeat ("Lost in Germany") to reflective ("Dream in My Life").