A guitar player since the age of ten, Al first began performing publicly in the bars and cafes of Austin, Texas. After a while he moved on out to Los Angeles, California where he supplied music for radio commercials while picking up some extra money by appearing in TV commercials. Life at the beach was good!
While studying with conceptual artist John Baldessari at California Institute of the Arts, Al began experimenting with portable video equipment. He became a music video pioneer. His original songs about art, love and life were the soundtracks for his videos. Al’s early music videos are now featured in collections at The Getty and MOMA and are prized by private collectors. They are some of the very first music videos ever made. You can read more about Al’s video art in the excellent book California Video: Artists and Histories by Glen Phillips.
In 1979, Al’s buddy Fred introduced Al to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott one Sunday afternoon while they all were flying model airplanes in the San Fernando valley. Jack, just returned from Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Tour, needed a place to stay and so he camped at Al’s bunkhouse in Venice Beach for a couple weeks. Jack’s first hand accounts were Al’s introduction to Woody Guthrie and his rich musical legacy. Thanks Jack!
Not long afterwards Al decided to get out of the advertising business and do some ramblin’, and some pickin’, and grinnin’ of his own. He hit the hot dusty road like Woody, Jack and others had before him. Ramblin’ Jack and Woody lived their songs. Al has lived his songs too. You can hear it.
After decades of making music Al continues to keep the good old songs alive mixing in one of his own songs now and then. Presently he writes and records his music in his Santa Fe, New Mexico home––a small pueblo style casita filled with guitars and ensconced in a grove of tall pines and fruit trees.
Al’s creative fingerstyle guitar playing and his rich bass-baritone voice compliment each other well. His humor provides an upbeat counterpoint to the mournful mountain ballads and acoustic blues that he loves to play. Enjoy!