Longtime friend and Arizona musical icon, Kenny Skaggs whom I met through Matt Cartsonis back in the Two Week Notice Band days. Kenny and I have been working together since before his many years with Glen Campbell. First off, anyone who plays the pedal steel is a genius in my book and Kenny does that very well but he also is a mean mandolin and guitar player, songwriter and singer. A man of many talents, Kenny is also a computer whiz, graphic and web designer who has helped me over the years with all kinds of non-musical things like designing one of my first album covers to setting up and maintaining my first website. Thanks Kenny for all you've done for me all these years, especially the music you've played for the countless folks we've played for over the years.
Russ Skaggs, Kenny's brother and often partner in crime, is also an Arizona musical icon having been in all the cool bands including The Normal Brothers and Two Week Notice Band prior to working with Glen Campbell. Like Kenny, I've worked with Russ pre-Glen and post- Glen. At first I was Russ's guitar player for corporate events and then Russ became my bass player, singer and humorist. His wry sense of humor has kept us laughing at countless gigs. His bass playing is impeccable and his stage persona always entertaining. Whenever I've been stuck as to what to sing next I can always count on Russ to take over and "kill." Russ is a great friend and I can think of no one else who could've made this long road a more enjoyable ride.
Mickey Mcgee is the only guy I play with who has his own very extensive Wikipedia page and for good reasons. When you look up his credits it'll blow your mind. What I really love about Mickey's drumming is his impeccable timing, feel and knowing exactly what to play on any given song that only comes with talent and years of playing with the best in the business. We have worked together for over 26 years and it is always a wonderful feeling to have him on stage knowing you can count on him laying down the right groove. A true journeyman, Mickey has dedicated his life to his music not only as a drummer but also as a great songwriter.
It's no wonder Billy Parker and I hit it off right away. We're both from New Jersey and grew up playing Bluegrass. Billy is the best mandolin player I have ever worked with, a true master of the instrument and a wonderful human being. He is multi-talented and plays a mean guitar and sings great, too! We've done countless gigs together and the combination of him and Mike Cirillo on stage always blows my mind with their creativity and sheer improvisational genius. I feel very blessed every time I get to share the stage with this guy.
I am so lucky to get to play with Mike. He's a true genius (..no really...he is...check out his website...I can't understand a damn thing about it...) and the music that he makes with that violin always moves me deeply. A master of many styles and genres, Mike and Ron Rutowski have been my "go-to" fiddlers forever although I've worked with Mike a bit more. Mike is also a great songwriter and guitar player. He's one of those guys that this world is fortunate to have on this planet and to count as your friend.
Russ, Kenny, Me, Mickey, Billy and Mike.