From the recording The Stuff Of Legends
My journey to Progressive Rock "Guitar-dom" begins with a heritage in Country Music. Let me take it one step further and say the birth of Country music. My grandmother's maiden name (on my mom's side) was Harrell. She had a cousin by the name Kelly Harrell from Draper's Valley, VA who was a singer for RCA Victor from 1925 to 1929. As one of the first artists to record for RCA Victor he is considered to be somewhat of a legend.
My mother was born and raised in the Staunton, VA area and she and my aunt, her twin sister, were a singing duo back in the late '50s. They used to perform on television with the Statler Brothers when they were first starting out.
My own musical interests began when Johnny Cash and June Carter released their hit song "Jackson" which became my favorite song as a 4 year old. When Johnny Cash, The Carter Family and The Statler Bros. came to town, my family took me to the concert. Afterwards as my mom and aunt were hanging out talking with the Statler Brothers, Johnny walked over to say something to them, saw me staring up at him and gave me a pat on the head before going on his way. That left quite an impression that I will never forget and had me thinking "that's who I want to be like when I grow up". My love for his music continued to grow after that.
Although it was Johnny Cash who was my first inspiration to pursue music, it was Glen Campbell and Jerry Reed who inspired me to take up the guitar after attending the "Glen Campbell Goodtime Show" at the Roanoke Civic Center.