I was born in a small village in SE Nova Scotia, Canada, as the youngest of 4 boys. Music was a big part of our family. My Mom and family friends would play accordion and guitars for dances and draw quite a crowd - 50 people or so - I smile now.
I grew up with songs like "Down by the old mill stream" and "Five foot two"; we also sang hymns like "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere" and "Where the roses never fade".
In elementary school, I started singing harmony and keeping rhythm on a ukulele. That humble beginning led to bigger things in High School. I ended up performing on a TV program out of Halifax. Funny, we'd have to go to a neighbor's house to watch the TV shows, because we didn't have TV. From there I was playing lead guitar in a R&R band in Liverpool. There I sang more and learned drums and bass.
Eventually I moved to the West coast in order to find work. I got back in a rock band on the side, making fair money.
Meanwhile the whole music scene hit bottom for me - I wrestled with all the drinking and carrying on among the patrons. Besides, I started to examine Christianity with an open heart. I left the band and moved my gear to a church where I found a new way of living life.
Within two years I passed through what could be called the Valley of the shadow of death. That's because my parents divorced after 30 years of marriage, and my oldest brother drowned in a river, near Prince Rupert, BC Canada. The whole family suffered greatly.
Then an amazing thing happened. I would be driving down the highway, when suddenly a brand new tune and lyrics would come. I'd get a whole song in what seemed like minutes. This I knew had to be a gift from God - there is no other way to explain it. The gift is still going and growing, and I am most grateful.