Charlie asked me to jot down a bit of my musical history - just in case anyone might be interested - so here goes...

I started playing and singing in bands when I was 12 in California. My dad broke down and got me a drum set and I landed a gig with a band full of high schoolers. I was the "baby" of the band (a trait that has continued to this day - I'm pretty sure Charlie and the rest of the Stingrays are WAY older than me). We went through a few incarnations and it lasted about 4 years. Then I moved to the midwest. I tried to count all the bands I've been in, but I can't. It's somewhere between 15 and 20, I'm pretty sure (a few (several) of those years are just kind of a blur at this point) - one of my favorite bands (when I was still playing drums) was The Kansas Blues Band.

When the Blues Band broke up, I found myself needing a gig - the only real, money-making option was a 9-piece horn band called Central Park based in Topeka, Kansas - but they needed a bass player, not a drummer - so I sold the drum kit and bought a bass rig. I've played the bass ever since in a bunch of bands - some of the them include Hot Cheese, The Camerata Band, Nation, The Shakes, Exposure, Young & White and They Only Look Dead - but I still feel like a drummer at heart (no drummer jokes, please). I also play guitar in an acoustic trio called Rock Paper Scissors that is currently working in and around the KC area. I produce original music, my own and the work of other area talent, in my home studio, The Cabin Studio, when I can find (make) the time. If you're interested, please check out my Reverb Nation page where you can listen to a few tracks.

As far as influences... I'd have to say Traffic (Steve Winwood/Dave Mason), Terry Reid, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Small Faces and Humble Pie (Steve Marriot), ALL have to be right up there at the top of the list. All of the out-croppings from all of the English Blues and Pop bands (and every bit of Motown (Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Martha Reeves)) were among my biggest influences early on as well, but I've continued to be influenced by new stuff as the years go by, too. As my friend Michael Murphy says, "We're all sponges", soaking up everything we hear (right now, I'm listening to a band called Punch Brothers and another group called Hillbilly Moon Explosion ).

So now I'm a Stingray ... it's great to be in a group with such a great following and history - I'm having a blast and hope it'll last at least another 25 years!!

Anyway, thanks for reading and for supporting the band (and live music).

Dennis



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