In spite of my brief love affairs with 70's pop acts like Captain & Tennille and Neil Sedaka, I was drawn deeply into the songwriting of Lennon and McCartney. I got so lost in the records of The Beatles which my brothers played when I was growing up (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road). I wanted to create music with that kind of story, depth and emotion. Singing would be part of it, but I wanted to write and record (produce) the songs as well. I think I may be a control freak.1. For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?
I have a pretty wide range of musical taste. I still like Steely Dan and Donald Fagen's solo stuff. I think his Morph the Cat album is brilliant. I'm also digging Katy Perry, Adele, Foster the People, Coldplay, Scissor Sisters, Jamiroquai, Monkey Majik and lots of others.2. When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?
I think back to some gigs I played Hammond B3 organ for a weekly gospel gig at a church in SF in the 90's. There was some pretty intense musical moments there. But I'd honestly say my work on Change Coming represents my best so far. In spite of the fact I'm not religious, some of the gospel sounds made their way into the album.3. What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?
Music is powerful. What we listen to influences our perspective, either in a healthy way or not. I feel that the music I create comes with a huge responsibility, and I take it pretty seriously. Musicians can and do influence current events. Look at Bob Dylan and his involvement with the civil rights movement. Look at Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and his educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. Look at the Dixie Chicks--they raised awareness with their stance against war. The music is important, but it's also about what's behind it, what the musicians care about, and that has an effect in raising awareness. I believe musicians have a responsibility to speak their minds.4. Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?
Wow. Things have changed so much in the last few years. There are many great DIY tools for musicians now, and the playing field is more even. It also means more people have software apps that make recording easier, and there's a temptation to try to do everything yourself. On the social side, musicians need to put in the effort keeping up with social networking sites or find help to manage it. To me, the best part is that it's easier to keep in touch with fans. I love interacting on Facebook and Twitter.5. How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?
6. Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?
Converse All-Stars. Easy going / funky / retro.