Skip began playing the guitar ( on a $14.00 Sears & Roebuck flat-top acoustic that he borrowed from his cousin, Chuck ) around 1960, performing both lead and rhythm parts. Later, he acquired a Candy-Apple Red Gibson SG and after that, a Fender Jaguar. In 1966, he switched to Bass Guitar when he met the band that was to later become The Fluid Ounces when they needed a replacement bass player - he picked up a Candy Apple Red Fender Jazz Bass from Dunham's Music Store in Asheville, N.C. - which he still has. He now predominantly uses an ESP LTD C-305 5-String Bass in his on-stage performances, but has fourteen different bass guitars at his disposal and which he plays. He also sings back-up vocal harmony now with THE ELDERLY BROTHERS and does periodic Two-Man Shows with THOMAS AARON GARLOW, a musician friend of his for over 50 years.
Over the years, he has played bass with a number of other bands, including The Xenials, The Fluid Ounces, Tom & Skip, Litefoot, D.J. and The Family Jewels, TAZZ, Tequila Sunrise and The Bluestone Band, and worked briefly on the stage crew for Johnny Paycheck, Gatemouth Brown, Delbert McClinton and Mike Cross. Most recently, he was with JOHNNY WEBB and The J.W. Band - and took a 4+ year hiatus from music up until the present time when he joined THE ELDERLY BROTHERS.
He has also played brief "fill-in" stints with IMPACT and CROSSFIRE and shared multiple billings with The Bill Lyerly Band (he and Bill lived in the same town and were pals back in the 70's and 80's) - Bill has at least 6 albums to his credit.
In 1997 he sat in with "Big Al Carson and The Blues Masters" on Bourbon Street at The Funky Pirate while on a trip to New Orleans. It was this experience which led him to learn to play the 5-String Bass - which he now always uses on-stage because of the added Low-B string for extra bottom in the songs he plays.
In addition to performing on the J.W. Bands first two albums, Skip played bass on "He's Got You" & "Drip-Drop"; "Please Leave Us Alone" & "I Never Loved Anybody" with THE FLUID OUNCES, and laid down the bass lines for a Christmas album by "The WONDERTONES".
His music was first influenced by the Broadway Music that his mother played at home on their old 78 RPM record player when he was very young. Later, he recalls listening to Sunday morning Gospel music on the A.M. radio, paying particular attention to the bass lines, and in his pre-teen and early teen-age years went to sleep almost every night listening to "Randy's Record Mart" on WLAC A.M. radio out of Gallatin, Tennessee. ( Check out a Tribute Page reflecting the history of that station. )
Perhaps the pivotal point of his deciding to play a stringed instrument came when he was 5 years old. He was sick with the flu, and a friend of his Dad's named GAR MOSTELLER came and sat beside his bed, played the guitar and sang Skip to sleep. Gar is still around these parts somewhere - as far as we know, playing his fiddle (which he plays better than his guitar) - and if not, his legacy still lives on in his influence not only on Skip, but on many other mountain musicians .....
When Skip first picked up the guitar, the music of Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy, and The Ventures caught his attention. He has many favorite artists, including The Moody Blues, Carlos Santana, Leo Kottke, ZZ Top, B.B. King, Norah Jones, The EAGLES and Jonny Lang (see Jonny Lang Biography)
As to the kind of music that Skip prefers, he replies "Anything but Rap and Metallica!"
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