Hey there! I’m Dave. Yeah, I’m writing my own bio… So now that we’ve established how uncool I am, I’ll go ahead and tell you my story.
I’m a thirty-something year old Hoosier, Indiana born and raised. I’ve called a few different cities around here “Home”, but my wife and I planted our roots in her hometown of Columbus, Indiana, and I’m pretty sure we’re here for the long haul. Columbus is in the south-central part of the state. It’s not all that bad. There are lots nice people, our families are close, several solid microbreweries nearby, and the local cinema shows “Christmas Vacation” around the holidays, so needless to say, life could be worse. Given my profession, the number one question I receive and the biggest obstacle I contend with is, “Why don’t you live in Nashville?” Man oh man, if only I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to answer that. The short answer is simple. Music was always my #1, until I met my wife, Betsy. She is the love of my life and will remain my first priority, at all costs, until my dying breath. We support each other’s dreams and goals whole-heartedly, so a 3.5-hour drive to Nashville is a small price to pay for us both to keep our dreams alive.
I love music. I’ve dedicated my life to it. From an early age, I knew it was what I wanted to do, day in and day out, for the rest of my life. And so far, for better or for worse, I’ve been able to see that through. My dreams have never had anything to do with fame or fortune. I can’t imagine many kids picking up a guitar, or sitting down at the piano or drums for the first time, and thinking to themselves “Man, I want to learn how to play this thing so I can be rich and buy lots of cool stuff, and then people will love me.” It always begins with something more pure; a primal connection to melody, harmony, rhythm, and sound, all working together to make you feel something. I thank God that my parents saw and nurtured my interest in music from an early age. After many years of learning how to play songs, and re-creating those feelings, I started experimenting with writing music of my own. Starting out, it was bad… really, really bad. But I was learning how to use music to say something, process what life threw at me, and communicate my thoughts, questions, and feelings where words alone fell short. This all started happening around the age of 17 or 18 and marked the beginning of a new era in my musical journey.
By no means do I consider myself a master of the craft. There are so many artists and musicians out there who leave me speechless, and some who make me want to quit all together. I could dedicate every minute of every day to getting better and still fall short of their musical genius, but I love Music too much to give it up. We’ve been through too much together. I’ve learned that comparing myself to others can be both good and bad. On one hand, it motivates me to practice and get better. On the other, it distracts me from all of the reasons I fell in love with Music in the first place. It’s good to strive for perfection, but it shouldn’t be a requirement. In other words, do the best you can in the moment, and try to do even better next time. That’s my motto, not just in music, but life in general.
I started piano lessons at the age of 4. I struggled through it because I played by ear. I vividly remember my teacher giving me the sheet music for “Jingle Bells” and thinking to myself, “Ha! I already know this one!” So I didn’t practice it. I showed up to my lesson the next week and played Jingle Bells for her. It was definitely “Jingle Bells”, and I rocked it out, but it wasn’t the same arrangement, or even in the same key for that matter. I learned it by ear a long time ago and thought I could fool her. Needless to say, I was wrong. I wasn’t a big fan of reading music. After about 10 years of piano lessons, I picked up drums as a secondary instrument, which quickly became my primary focus. I practiced hard and often, and drumming was my identity during my high school years. I wasn’t popular. I wasn’t great at sports, but I was a decent drummer for my age. When I went to college in 2002 at Anderson University, I was no longer the best drummer, which was a blessing. I was also exposed to a lot of music that I never heard of before. I grew up on Motown, Beach Boys, Springsteen, a little Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, and a whole lot of 90’s alternative rock and grunge. It wasn’t until college that I heard of artists like Ben Folds, Bruce Hornby, Billy Preston, Steely Dan, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and so many others. It changed everything. I started writing more, piano made a comeback, and I even mustered up the courage to sing a little in my college band. Drumming took a back seat, but it was still my primary instrument as far as the music department was concerned, so I had to practice enough to meet their performance requirements. I graduated in 2006 with a degree in Music Business and an emphasis in Audio Recording and Percussion Performance.
After graduating in 2006, I managed a music venue for 2 years, booked the artists, promoted the concerts, taught drum lessons, and worked as the bandleader at my local church, all the while trying to build a career as an artist/songwriter. I finally transitioned to a full time artist in 2008. I went at it hard for about 3 years. I played as many shows as I could, did all of the things that I thought you had to do to be successful, and eventually realized it wasn’t for me. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I loved writing and recording songs, and still do, but I couldn’t keep up with the demands that came along with being the “artist.” I admire those who can, but I am not in that club. I’m much better behind the scenes, or behind a drum kit or keyboard. It took me awhile to realize this. I don’t regret those years however, because they kickstarted my career as a player and producer. Recording and playing on my own records connected me with a lot of other artists who wanted to collaborate. Over the last 10 years, this has become my place in the music world. I’ve been incredibly blessed to work alongside many talented artists and musicians, both live and in the studio. My work as a touring drummer and keyboardist has taken me places I never dreamed of going, both nationally and internationally, and producing has allowed me to play a big role in the creative process without taking on the pressures of a touring artist. It’s the best of both worlds as far as I’m concerned, and I can honestly say that I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I still write and record my own songs and always will. I love making records more than anything. Even though my songs may never be heard by the masses, I’m content knowing that they are 100% the way I imagine them, and at the very least, when I’m 50, 60, and hopefully 70 years old, I will have zero regrets.
Currently, I spend about half of the year on the road, touring mostly as a drummer for a few different artists. When I’m home, I produce records out of my home studio that I like to call, “The Bivy.” You can learn more about that by clicking on the link on my homepage. I won’t sit here and list all the states and countries I’ve toured in, or name the artists and musicians I’ve shared a stage with, because quite frankly, that stuff annoys the crap out of me. You can listen to the songs I’ve written and recorded online, and if you need any reassurance, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll provide you with any additional information you need. And if you made it all the way through this bio, God bless your heart! I hate talking about myself, but I’ve been told I need a bio, so there yuh go. Thanks for taking an interest and I hope we cross paths soon!