Musical Roots

Contact me

Where I'm Coming From

I have been a musician nearly all my life, though never a professional. Today I mostly play mandolin.


Since an early age I have always played a musical instrument. I think it was when I was 7 years old, in 1960, while attending second grade at a public school (or maybe it was the previous year) in Williamstown, MA, that I began lessons on the recorder, a wooden soprano Johannes Adler Baroque which I still play occasionally.


I soon discovered a piano in a neighbor's home and after we moved to Middlebury, VT, in 1961 my folks obtained a  free-if-you-move-it upright piano which squeezed into the elbow joint between our kitchen and back door.


Within another year or so I started on the trombone but that did not last.

More Keyboards

In 1966 we moved to Wichita and upgraded to a baby grand and Lowrie portable organ. After striking out on my own in 1972 I bought a Sohmer upright piano which I named Estelle after Jimmy Yancey's wife. She is still a treasured part of my family, though she no longer lives in my home.

Harmonica, Guitar and Mandolin

In the 1980s I tried harmonica, guitar and mandolin and I have stuck with the mandolin.

Digital Music

I got a Korg electric piano around 1987, when I got my first personal computer, an XT running DOS and Windows 3. I added a tone generator and Dr. T's music software and made some rudimentary MIDI sequences. Later I ran Band-in-a-Box and Cakewalk on a 486 Windows 95 system and sequenced a bunch of practice tunes, songs that I would accompany by singing and playing my mandolin. These sequences, in MIDI and Band-in-a-Box format, you can find at my dbut music page.

Tin Whistle

Around 2009 I added tin whistle to the mix and I have continued to struggle with it sporadically.

Mostly Mandolin

Today I rarely play guitar, though I keep one on hand for guests and occasionally try to work out a tune or chord position. I no longer have a trombone. I have blues harps in many keys but almost never play them. Once in a while I play my electric piano -- the Transpose feature is really handy when I'm trying to identify the most singable key for a song. Today I play mandolin almost every day, and every once in a while I play a few notes on the tin whistle (in D) or recorder (soprano or alto).

My Mandolin and Guitar Teacher

Edgar Stanistreet (1899-2000) taught me everything I know about the mandolin and guitar, and most of what I think I know about arranging music.



This page was last modified February 06 2015 22:29:00


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