Gene began his musical career as a classical violinist, ultimately settling in a more improvisational realm. Artists with whom Gene has toured include Goose Creek Symphony, George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band (27 years and counting), Joan Baez, and Lyle Lovett's Large Band (10 years). He has recorded with George Strait, Lyle Lovett, Joan Baez, Lucinda Williams, Shawn Colvin, Dan Fogelberg, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zandt, Betty Elders, Willis Alan Ramsey, and Iain Mathews, among others.
I carried a violin to grade school in the suburbs of Chicago. Caught a lot of grief along the way. Kids. Every Saturday morning, a ride into the City for a lesson with Morris Gomberg at Roosevelt University. High School, and eventually the violin was ditched for a set of Slingerlands. Drove myself into the City for lessons now. Harold Jones. Basie's drummer.
Discovered Miles and Bird. Garage bands. Not so much grief now. After high school, majored in percussion at American Conservatory of Music. Loved playing in the rhythm section but that's a lot of hardware to haul around, and I really missed playing melody lines.
Met Jimmy Crawford from Virginia who played bluegrass guitar. Retrieved my violin, changed its name to fiddle and moved to Roanoke where my education continued off the grid. Spent a lot of time at Harold Thompson's 16 track studio where we made a lot of great records. Got my first real road gig with Charlie Gearhart and Goose Creek Symphony. Saw Canada. Co-produced and played on a jazz record with Ray Wilkes, went to NYC and sold it to Inner City Records. Stayed in the City for a year and studied improv with David Baker.
Moved back South, produced more records, played a lot of gigs. Became disillusioned. Moved back to the Windy City, worked in the family film business for a year before realizing that music is terminal. Moved to Austin. Shopped my demo and soon got the call from George Strait's "people." Married my Virginia singer-songwriter sweetheart and we became Texans. 26 years later, continuing to tour with George Strait's Ace in the Hole Band and for 10 of those years, bus-hopped between Strait and Lyle Lovett's Large Band. Along the way, my wife and I saw the world from the Joan Baez bus. The artists I've worked with in the studio over the years have documented the aural version of this account.