Classic Rock • Country • Dance
Bordertown was formed when a group of long-time friends got together for a New Year’s Eve jam. Even after many years, the musical chemistry was still there and Bordertown was born. The band members each have more than 30 years experience playing music from coast-to-coast and internationally. Set lists include songs by Keith Urban, Def Leppard, Blake Shelton, The Eagles, Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Beatles, Huey Lewis & The News, and many more (more songs here). Bordertown is available to play at most venues, private parties, weddings, and other special events.
I have a lifelong love of all things pertaining to music. It is my passion. It is who I am.
I grew up watching my dad play drums in cover bands. From an early age, I enjoyed hearing him play both rock and country. I got my first guitar in 1987. Steve Lockridge started showing me a few things and soon became my mentor and lifelong friend. I played in a couple of Christian rock bands with Steve from 1987-1992.
After marrying my high school sweetheart and starting a family, I began playing country music. I eventually moved to Nashville, had a manager and did a lot of demo work. My time in the Music City was a blast but it kept me away from my family for extended periods of time. I moved back to the River Valley area and have enjoyed singing, playing guitar, drums and bass in various bands ever since.
It’s funny how things always come back around full circle. I am honored to be playing music with Steve again, as well as the other members of Bordertown. My time in Nashville taught me that family always comes first. That’s what makes this band so unique and special. We are more than a group of dedicated professional musicians. We are a family.
I started playing guitar in December 1983. By listening to everything I could get my hands on with LA and Nashville session guitarists on it, my playing progressed rapidly.
By early 1985, I was asked to play with some of the best musicians in the River Valley. One member of that band, Anthony Sallee, played professionally with Whiteheart, Michael W. Smith, Phil Keaggy, John Elefante, and several other artists as a session bassist. Playing with guys who were better than me helped to improve my playing even more.
In 1991, some good friends and I formed the band Nehemiah. That band included Bordertown vocalist/guitarist Chad Jasna. Nehemiah released its first album, “Dangerous”, in 1993. Nehemiah became a regional success and attracted the ear of several industry people. Mark Clay, bassist for Nehemiah from 1992 to 1994, was recruited into a professional gig and has been the bassist for legendary Christian group Newsong for several years. In 2005, Nehemiah retired.
I am so honored to play with the guys in Bordertown. I have known most of the guys in the band at least 30 years and they are like family. They are great musicians and singers and I am having a blast learning to play some country which I’ve never done before!
The key to my musical upbringing was diversity. While growing up there was always a piano and organ at home. I’d go from one to the other (they were in two separate rooms). The organ was like this cheesy Kimball Swinger but it had probably 2 dozen various rhythm settings. I made up songs to each setting! My earliest memory of music comes from the jukebox at my dad’s restaurant. I loved Glen Campbell and Jim Croce… then I discovered Elton John. My older cousin, Bob Murphree, gave me the Yellowbrick Road album one Christmas – It was all over with after that, I was on the piano constantly. Soon after that a family all the way from England moved in next door. The oldest boy introduced me to Rick Wakeman’s Journey to the Center of the Earth album.
My cousin Bob noticed how enthralled he was with synthesizers and soon gave me a copy of ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery. This was pretty heavy stuff for a 12 year old… But I couldn’t get enough… next thing I know I had albums by Yes, Kansas, Rainbow, Genesis – anything with keyboards, even ABBA!
My love for performing live music comes from a diverse background of local musical influences.
I played in my first gigging band when I was in the 9th grade. It was 1978, I was at Sigler Music playing a Rolling Stones song on a Fender Rhodes and Eric Dickinson asked me to join his band Funk Administration (a popular Fort Smith band during the late 1970’s). I didn’t even own a keyboard at the time so Eric and Monte Wilson used to borrow the Fender Rhodes from Sigler! That experience fueled my love for performing live. I was 14 and hooked.
After that I was serious about playing keyboards and while in my first year of High School, joined the Westark Jazz band under the instruction of Henry Rinne. Henry instilled musical discipline in me with loving sayings like “QUIT PLAYING THAT GOBBLEDYGOOP OVER THERE AND LEARN SOME STINKIN’ SCALES!” Henry didn’t beat around the bush much! He also told me never to come to his class stoned…. I didn’t any more after that! I soon learned Pentatonic scales and 13th chords and thought I ruled the world! That was until Henry played me some Chick Corea… that kind of brought me back down to Earth a little… I needed some more practice… LOTS! Fusion Jazz music became as common as hard rock in my car stereo – a trait that shows in my playing to this day. The Jazz band was great. At that time I met and played with drummer James Abell and guitarists Tom Ware, Perry Israel and Ted Hall. I think Jim and I put some gray hairs on Henry.
One day at Westark while woodshedding jazz charts on the grand piano in the music room, in walks a lady with her 8 year old son carrying a saxophone nearly as big as he was. It was David Renko. We jammed together and it was like Wow! This kid can really play… I’d better try harder to keep up! I kept in touch with the Renkos and within a year or two he joined the very first incarnation of David and the Immatures. That was a GREAT experience for me – I will always be indebted to that family. Dick and Suzanne were great. There was a certain authenticity there and it drew great players like Charlie Hyatt, Gary Hutchison, and Jai Lambert. I was playing with cats that were way out of my league – and I was 16 years old experiencing playing out in the bars!!
I attended college at the Kansas City Art Institute and continued to play in bar bands and performed live solo keyboard shows on campus.
When I returned to Fort Smith in the late 80’s, l was tired of playing Top 40 and oldies and mentioned to my friend Vinson Williams that I wanted to play in a band that focused on original music. Vinson introduced me to guitarist Steve Lockridge and drummer Kirk Gaither. They had a Christian Rock band that performed original music and I thought “Heck… I used to go to church… sounds great to me!” These guys became my best friends for life and have been with me through the most difficult of times.
Steve, Kirk, and I played in several Fort Smith area bands and in 1990, founded the Christian Rock band Nehemiah. Nehemiah recorded an album of original music and performed live around the Mid-South for nearly 15 years. The guys became busy with families and jobs and soon put aside the band to join local church Praise & Worship bands.
A Pro Tools user since 2002, I began spending most of my time in my home studio. I returned to my love for progressive rock music and in 2004, I had the opportunity to appear on an international compilation album series called CPR. The CPR albums enlist both indie prog rock artists and new songs from various well known artists like Kerry Livgren from Kansas, Rick Wakeman from Yes, Neal Morse from Spock’s Beard (with Mike Portnoy from Dream Theater) and guitarist Phil Keaggy. With the help of Kirk Gaither on drums, Bentonville singer Chuck Law (90 Lb Wrench), and French prog rock guitarist David Wallimann (Glass Hammer), I formed the Internet-based band Young Earth and produced the 10-minute long prog rock song entitled One True God which appeared on CPR Volume 2.
In 2006 I began playing live and local again with guitarist Linnie Hice and drummer Bruce Fowler. It was just a breath of fresh air… we just showed up and played whatever… it was magic!
Linnie got me interested in playing out live again and I have since sat in with old friends like Gary Hutchison and new friends John Magness and Grant Pierson. Fort Smith has a wonderful diversity of musical talent and our band Bordertown is thrilled to be part of this musical community.
Bordertown was formed at an impromptu jam session during a 2008 Christmas party in my living room. Bordertown represents a wide genre of music and a love for performing live.
I started playing bass the summer after the 9th grade, when I was 14 years old. I had a friend who played guitar so I picked up the bass. We mainly played as a garage band just for fun. Later on in high school, we formed a band called Dragon. We wore matching Jimi Hendrix-style t-shirts. We looked ridiculous. Dragon played in our high school talent show and blew everyone away. I also played with other friends for other events. Needless to say, I was hooked on the bass.
Over time, I played with several local bands: The Shift, G.T. Hood, Watchmen The ET Praise Band, Troublemakers, and countless backyard jam sessions. Some with one of my favorite guitarists, Gary Hutchison.
I am extremely honored to play with the other guys in Bordertown and I am ready to kick it.
I started playing drums in 1974. I have played in a few different bands in the River Valley. After getting married and moving to Conway, I mostly played in church and in a few Christian bands.
Since moving back to the Fort Smith area, I’m still playing in church, as well as a few bands around town. I’ve played with Dove award winner Andy Chrisman (4Him) and Grammy winner Russ Taff. I’m very excited to be the newest member of Bordertown. I’m looking forward to getting to know these talented musicians & making some terrific music together.