“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. ”
— Helen Keller
Among his special influences, he counts a couple of unsung heroes. His Grandmother Ruth Forbes Sherry and Aunt Helen Luster were poets during the 1950s, Beat era. He did not know either of them very well. They lived on the left coast and he lived in New York, but their books of poetry were always on his shelf growing up. He pulled them down often to read. A live reading by Allen Ginsberg that Helen took him to in the late 60’s greatly influenced his understanding of the power of the living word.
Music has always been a cornerstone in his life. He earned a BA in Music Theory and Voice from SUNY Binghamton but life came along and he applied the woodworking skills learned from his father and went into Rapid Prototyping to make a living. He never stopped singing and playing his guitar. Though there was a period of about 20 years, while raising his children that he only learned about 6 new songs.
When his children grew, and left he realized it was time to renew the passion and started writing again. He sought out others and attended every writers group and open mike he could, for the pleasure and camaraderie, and to perfect his craft. This took off when he met Cliff Eberhardt, teaching at a New Jersey Folk Project Weekend and only became stronger with his participation in the New York Songwriters Collective.
Cliff has a way of inspiring good writers, “The first thing you must do is Write good songs." He knew he had to start there and several years of intense study and focus ensued. He did not try to get the music out until the spirit showed him, the time was right. After many sessions with Cliff and with other songwriting groups he had a significant, repertoire of songs ready for recording.
Quality over quantity. A song is like a child. Agatha Christie said, "Sometimes you have to murder your children." He realized that even the best lines sometimes have to be cut out to maintain cohesion and interest. Another quote from Cliff is applied here. "One bad line can ruin a song."
Art knew, that striving for perfection would be a killer, excellence was attainable and to be aimed for.
When he felt ready, he approached Cliff to Produce the album. Cliff agreed and together they choose 7 songs and focused their energies on them. The result is “Missing You,” his first album. Lovingly recorded and produced for you.