In the late 80s I was involved in a 60s cover band that played clubs and concerts in the Albuquerque area. The following was an excerpt from the Albuquerque Journal dated April 3, 1987: "The two most impressive musicians of the bunch are bassist Don Hill, who played a melodic lead line at the end of Strawberry Alarm Clock's 'Incense and Peppermint,' and lead guitarist Ray Valdez who faithfully mimicked the tiered lead guitar picking style of The Byrds and the electric style of Jeff Beck when he led the Yardbirds." I played in cover bands throughout the 70s and 80s. The bars were hoppin' and it seemed like the partying would never stop. However, I realized that in fact what we were doing as cover band musicians had not as much to do with bar patrons listening to and enjoying the music we played but more with helping to sell alcohol and making the bar owners rich and the clientele drunk. I was a beer drinker myself in those days but couldn't tolerate anything more than a few beers in one night while on stage. Fortunately alcohol wasn't a problem for me.

In the 90s, I made it a priority after all those cover band years to only play with other musicians who wanted to do original music. I was the principal songwriter in the original bands that I played in and was lucky to have excellent bass players and drummers who would play the songs the way I wrote them. Back then I wrote songs on cassette multi-track tape recorders and I would write the bass lines, guitar lines, melodies, vocal tracks, lyrics and drum tracks. I would then present the finished recorded product to the band at rehearsal and I would show each musician their individual parts. I mostly worked with three piece power trios. It was a breeze to pick up and go. Load in and load out was easier than working with larger bands, like in the 70s when I worked with seven and ten piece soul cover bands that featured two lead singers and a horn section. Focusing on writing and performing original music was my answer to the crazy cover band scene and I enjoyed the original music scene for awhile. We focused more on playing showcase gigs where people were there to hear the music! Right around the year 2000, I quit playing live music permanently and focused on working my day job.

Fast forward to the year 2020! I'm now in my sixties and I'm still writing but instead of playing live, I'm posting music to the internet. I've been doing this since 2013 mainly as a hobby. I don't do it to get paid these days because there's really no money in recorded music. I do it more for fun. I still do multi-tracking, but now it's all digital. I play guitar, bass and drums on many of my songs just like I used to do back in the day but now it's recorded on my digital home studio. No more broken and worn out tape players! I have posted a couple of recordings on my YouTube channel from my original band days which included those great bass players and drummers that I mentioned earlier. Fortunately, I'm still in good health and I'll continue to write and record. Music was and still is the most enjoyable thing in life for me. I know this is true for many other musicians as well. I think the internet is a great tool for musicians/songwriters because it doesn't matter where you live anymore. You can showcase your music to the world from your home. Throughout the years, I lived in Houston, Austin, Boston and Los Angeles thinking that I had to be in one of these places to absorb "the scene" and that somehow that "scene" would have a profound impact on who I was as a writer. Although I loved living in all these cool places, I spent so much time working a day job to make ends meet in these expensive cities that I hardly had time for music. I'm closer to home now and live in the El Paso/Las Cruces area. I was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, USA, but unfortunately, Albuquerque has turned into a high crime area and I don't go there much. Things really have changed since the days of growing up there in the 60s when Albuquerque was one of the safest cities in the country.

My music can be described as: "Ernest Tubb meets the Smithereens." The instruments I use on my recordings are: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Music Master Bass, Martin Acoustic Guitar and Alesis and Yamaha electronic drums.

Some of the bands/musicians who have influenced me: The Seekers, Jimi Hendrix, Petula Clark, Pat Metheny, Hank Garland, The Ramones, Jimmy Page, Donovan, Monster Zoku Onsomb, The Doors, Jim Ed Brown, Ernest Tubb, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Andres Segovia, Ted Greene and The Smithereens.