1990 through today...
In the late 1980's I lived in Bakersfield, California, and I met Roy Nichols when he retired from touring with Merle Haggard. He introduced me to Clint Strong and we became friends. In 1990 I was asked to go to a studio in Hollywood, California to record on the Blue Jungle album. Norm Hamlet, steel guitarist and band leader, called a couple weeks later to offer me the job as bassist. My first show with Merle Haggard & The Strangers was in June of 1990. It was also a package show called the Legends Tour with George Jones and Conway Twitty.
I left Merle in 1995 to tour manage Noel Haggard, Merle's youngest son at the time. Noel was signed to Atlantic Records. His debut album, One Lifetime, was released nearly two years later. In the interim, I worked as the archivist for SONY ATV/Tree, played on master sessions for artist such as Randy Travis, many publishing company demos, and was part of a staff band on USO tours for Judy Seale. After a couple of releases from One Lifetime, Atlantic Record closed their label in Nashville.
I decided to return to touring. I was fortunate to tour with Rob Crosby, Johnny Rodriquez, Mila Mason, and Steve Azar. In 2006 I took a break from playing professionally and started driving entertainer coaches, full time. The last client I drove was Keb' Mo'. I was and am a huge fan. Who isn't? He suggested that I get back into playing. Since then, I've played a couple of sessions for him, including his debut Christmas album, Moonlight, Mistletoe, And You.
Now I am fortunate to work with some of Nashville's brightest, new talent. For example, Carolina Pine, Kenny P, Stacy Antonel (The Ginger Cowgirl), and Chris Vita to name a few.