It all began in San Francisco at the Hotel Utah. I was fresh out of college and looking to play my songs around town wherever I could. After hearing my demo, Patrick Winningham, the venue manager, booked me to play. Little did I know at the time that it would set me on my life's musical path. After meeting Patrick and playing the show, a friendship was quickly born. He was a staple in San Francisco's thriving music scene, playing around town with many of the local SF greats such as Chuck Prophet and Jeff Trott (of Sheryl Crow fame). At that point in time, I was next in line to take on guitar duties on the songs that would end up on the Tender Mercies disc. Also in the lineup was the quiet bass player Kurt Stevenson, who wrote songs with the timeless quality of chestnuts like "Circle Be Unbroken." On keyboard was Charlie Gillingham, who played with many bands at the time (including my own when I played solo). Meeting Charlie changed my life. A year or two later he quit all the bands he was in and hooked up with a new band on the scene. The band was Counting Crows.