Ukuleles, dobros, harmonicas, spoons, washboard ties
I am a Vermont-based ukulele and harmonica teacher, performer, and focused dabbler on the dobro, bass, spoons, and washboard necktie. Driven by a hurricane-force love of making music with friends, imperfect strangers, students, and unsung musical heroes, I thrive on taking part in creating fun and effective learning and listening experiences for students, fellow musicians, and audiences — recognizing the volumes that I have learned from my students and the entertainment that flows back to me from those attending a class or a performance.
I have taught several hundred ukulele students in group and private lessons and stage pop-up Ukulele Shenanigans, where dozens of ukulelians show up and rattle the rafters in song. I have been called a “Ukulele Whisperer” for my knack for untangling the knottiest chords, strums, and concepts and helping people venture into the flow of playing.
I play in a few bands that tilt towards bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, pop, Tin Pan Alley, and … you could say I draw from many inspirations. My main band is Leadfoot Louise, an unconventional Americana string band featuring Rebecca Padula (on vocals, guitar, and uke), yours truly, and Dan Wyman on the fiddle. Sometimes I accompany Rebecca on her not-so-solo gigs, as well as the barn-dance band, Random Notes.
My passion for playing can be traced back to the day I saw a fellow college student grab his banjo and flawlessly play along with a blistering bluegrass tune on the radio. It hadn't occurred to me that regular people could play like that! The next day I rented a banjo and figured out a sweet, right-hand roll that I use to this day on my ukulele and dobro. Flash-forward past several decades of not really playing much of anything until a ukulele landed in my arms. I had found my instrument at last.
My work experience as a writer and marketing maven includes freelance writing, marketing, and publishing and extensive experience in storytelling and promotional efforts, and facility with desktop publishing tools (Quark, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and various content management systems). I graduated with a degree in Communication from the University of Texas/Austin.
My other life-long loves include bicycling, x-c skiing, hiking, getting lost and finding serendipity, and savoring a deep awe and respect for our environment.