How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?
Jet Stream is my response to the thousands of emails and letters that I have received from fans of the music that I wrote for the Weather Channel in the mid to late 90’s. It represents the culmination of my growth as a musician and as a recording engineer and producer. It is my “thank you” to all the fans that have reached out to me about the music.
How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?
My goal is always to engage the listener . . . to inspire an emotional response. Some songs make you want to dance and move, some songs inspire reflection, some are romantic, some may even be a bit melancholy. It’s all about giving energy and emotion to the audience. I always strive for my music to tell a story - whether it is an instrumental, or a vocal tune. The ultimate goal is to put chill bumps on the listeners arms . . . what I call the “chill factor”!
Of your touring and gigs so far in your career, do any stand out as being particularly memorable or defining moments?
I am very fortunate to have had a number of stand out experiences in my career. One definite highlight was meeting Miles Davis backstage at a concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles when I was on tour as one of the keyboardists for Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack. Miles was a big fan of Roberta and had come to see the show. He was an intimidating figure, but I mustered up the courage to walk up and introduce myself. It turns out that he was very cordial (that day anyway!) and we had a little chat about synthesizers since this was during the time in his career when he was experimenting with synths.
At what point in your life did you make the decision to become a professional musician and actually record your own albums?
I wanted to be a musician from a very early age - 8 or 9. I started playing in bands around age 15 and have never stopped.
What’s your favorite charity or cause you work for, and why?
A portion of the proceeds from Jet Stream is being dedicated to autism research. One of my biggest fans is an awesome young man in Naples, Florida named Andy Lents. Getting to know Andy and his family has opened my eyes to the challenges facing families who deal with autism. In fact, one of the songs on Jet Stream is called Andy’s Song . . . dedicated to Andy Lents. Several concerts are in the works that will serve as autism support fund raisers.
What are some of the most important goals you have for yourself in the next five to ten years?
To keep striving for that “chill factor” with my music! I am looking forward to putting this music on the road and to perform it live anywhere and everywhere we can! I am blessed to have some amazing musicians joining me on this project and I look forward to showcasing their talents and in giving audiences a memorable show! The live band is called Trammell Starks and the Show People and we intend to live up to that name!