DISCLAIMER: I want anyone who has found this website to understand that this website is meant to be an autobiography of my life as an adult musician. Everything on this website is here because it represents a part of a most joyful journey and exploration of music, band life, jams, and my extended musical family.

Some of the recordings are truly impressive and others are a bit on the rough-side. Most of them are the best representation of our music at that particular moment in time. There were so many amazing moments that were not captured digitally along the way, but will always be with us.

I know that as musicians and artists we tend to be hard on ourselves and sometimes others. Musicians come in all "sizes" and "shapes." Many of the musicians that I have worked with over the past 20 years are modest to a fault. I have tried to be sensitive to that as much as possible without losing the gist of what I am attempting to capture in these pages. Everything that is up here, is here for a reason. It helps to tell my story. None of the recordings or photos are meant to offend my friends, band mates or fellow musicians. Quite to the contrary, they are here to represent and celebrate the incredible joy of music that I have shared with you all over the past 20+ years.

Music is one of my greatest loves and passions. A good friend of mine sent me this quote a while back, just as I was creating this website. The timing could not have been more perfect.

"Music isn't just something that comforts or distracts us, it goes beyond that - it's an ideology" - Paulo Coelho

She also said that she "hoped that I was enjoying being the musician of my life!"

I feel like I am doing just that and it makes me incredibly proud to share this website with my friends and family. I have tried my best to give credit to musicians and artists as much as possible. Over the years, I have had several computers crash and burn and because of this I have lost a lot of material. If you feel like I left out credits for something you did or someone else. Please let me know and I will add credits. Also, if you have stuff that you want to share, I would love to have more photos or write ups, etc. Thanks for sharing these experiences. 

Cheers, L-dog (AKA Doc)


MY MUSIC STORY 1999-2023: 

I started "playing" music around 1999 (age of 30) – I barely had even listened to music up to that point. Truth be told, I had a horrible experience with my fourth grade music teacher and she completely turned me off from music. However, in 1995, I worked at Nature’s classroom for a few months and we had quiet sings at night with the kids. Though, I could not play any instrument or sing in key or even tap on beat at the time, I was inspired by the experience. So, a few years later, I decided to try out the guitar. My first year with the guitar, I tried to play at least 15 minutes a day. I missed only 6 days that year. In the end, I was still terrible, but I could play a few chords in sequence. It was a painful year getting those callouses built up. 

In the year 2000, while living in Blacksburg, VA, I went to an old time music party. I brought my guitar with me hoping I might be able to jam. I was playing guitar on the outside of a jam circle (playing terribly). One of the infamous old time fiddlers, Bill Richardson, I guy I had only met a few times before, came over to me and said “you know what Larry, there are a lot of good guitar players out there and you aren’t one of them, and likely you never will be.” He then proceeded to explain that I might prefer to play the Upright bass cause it only has 4 strings and is easier to play. I was a little taken a back, but he insisted that I give it a try. He handed me the upright bass sitting over in the corner. I tried to tell him that I knew absolutely nothing about the bass. He explained that it only has 4 strings and that they were the same 4 strings as the lower strings on the guitar (EADG). Then he said “look this is old time music, we typically only play in 2 keys all night (I didn’t even know what a key was, but I let him go on). He explained that they were playing in the key of D and that I could just watch the guitar player. When the guitar player plays a D, I should pluck the open D string followed by the open A string, when the guitar player plays an A chord, I should just pluck an open A followed by an open E, if the guitar player plays a G chord, play an open G followed by an open D string. He handed me the bass and insisted that I try to play in the jam, the same one I was struggling to quietly strum my guitar to. I was petrified, but I gave it a shot. He walked away to play at a different jam. He came back 3 hours later and I was still on the bass with giant blisters on my fingers. I think that he was actually surprised that I survived. He came over and said, “you’re still here, good cause our bass player just quit and now you are the new bass player for my band the Jugbusters. We have a gig in 3 weeks.” I played with the Jugbusters for 6 years. The first year, I was so nervous at every gig that I would get a migraine and throw up. The funny thing is, only a few weeks later I helped form a band called the Ecotones and we played a live gig with me on a borrowed upright bass. I’ve never been much of a drinker, but I might have had a one that night to calm my nerves. We auctioned our band off and raised $600 for a friend in need. We played two total gigs. I managed to record the first one. It’s a great memory. I am still best friends with the guitar player (Devin Brown). He played guitar at my wedding ceremony! 

The truth is, I truly have no idea why the fiddle player (Bill) chose me to play upright bass in his band. I guess it was because he was so ornery that he could hardly keep other musicians around and figured he had nothing to lose. 

I really was a terrible musician with no sense of music, rhythm, melody, or song structure. I pretty much did not understand anything about music. Eventually, through incredibly hard work and lots of writing down chords, lyrics, and lots and lots and lots of listening and counting beats over and over and over again, I learned how to play the upright bass, at least for old time music. Well, I could do it, as long as the song wasn’t crooked:<(. 

I played upright bass from 2000-2006 with the Jugbusters. One year, between the Jugbusters and the amazing honky tonk band that I was fortunate to join (Paul Clark and the Lonesome drifters) we played close to 100 gigs! I still played chords on the guitar as well, and learned how to be the sound guy and learned how to record, I also learned a really, really important skill – how to write setlists. I also played in 2 folk rock bands, one electric (The Jackass Menagerie, JAM) and one acoustic (Uncle Larry). I held a jam at my house for 6 years, almost every Monday night. The JAM formed from the jams. I made my living room into a full blown practice room and studio. The entire room had egg crate on the walls and ceiling. I started writing songs, and writing setlists, but mostly I just played a lot of 1-5 on the upright. I did learn how to dance with my bass to distract the audience from my inadequacies as a musician. Though, for some reason unbeknownst to me, people really liked my bass playing:>) I liked to push the beat, mostly because I didn’t realize that I was doing it. It made the dancers excited and Bill the fiddle player was really into it. The Jugbusters were such a fun band. We played so many incredibly strange places. It’s just so hard to describe, square dances where people danced in circles, lodges, dance halls, country stores, bars, banquets, festivals, weddings, you name it. People loved to dance to the music. I have incredibly fond memories of watching folks dance. I built great bonds with my fellow musicians. We truly were family. Speaking of family, I have to throw a shout out to Bill Fitzpatrick. I met Bill through his daughter Shannon who was a great friend of mine. Bill formed his own band at his quarry home in Milford, NH. They played Old time and Irish music. Whenever I was in NH, I would visit and jam with them. I learned a lot from him and his group of friends who were very much family to him and they made me feel like family too. 

During the time I was playing music in VA, I developed a few major musical flaws including things like having to count out everything. Even today, for difficult songs, I still need to count things out to stay on the beat. I also had a hard time with crooked tunes and any parts that didn’t land on the one, or if the songs were syncopated in any way. I learned how to fake my way through it with lots of counting. I really played a ton of music in Virginia, all the while feeling like an alien (or fraud) among these amazing musicians. 

Anyway, I stopped playing music for a while when I left Virginia and headed to NH in 2006. I sold most of my equipment except for my acoustic guitar. I sold my bass to the fella that ended up replacing me in the Jugbusters. It was cool to see a few of their gigs with my old bass before departing for NH. I also sold my sound equipment to the band at a reduced rate:>) 

In NH in 2008, I started jamming with a fellow teacher (Mr. G) at school. We were like oil and water as far as our musical tastes and styles went (see Type A). However, I noticed some kids playing guitar in the hallways at GHS where I was teaching (still do). They seemed to like the same kind of music as me. I was totally out matched, but I started a lunch time jam with these amazing musically talented students (Cody Howe, Mac Holmes, Jeremy Hansen). I decided, on a whim, to go out and buy another upright. I got a cheap Cremona for a couple hundred on craigslist and we (Me, Cody and Mac) actually ended up forming a band, me on bass, another young teacher and songwriter (Tyler Mudrick) on acoustic guitar and vocals, and 2 the students, Cody on Banjo and mandolin, and Mac on resonator guitar, harmonica, song writing, and vocals. I tried singing back up a little, but I was pretty awful, but they were kind kids, so they were cool with a little bit of it. We played several days a week and we wrote our own songs and we actually got pretty darn good. We recorded an album of all originals. Robbie Otto helped out immensely with recording. He also helped us with sound and played drums with us when it worked out. I ended up buying a much nicer bass and a new sound system. I bought a drum set and started setting up a studio in my basement. The kids I was playing with were good enough that they probably could have gone on tour (with a better bass player, of course;>) 

I also started playing mandolin for fun, but, again, pretty terrible. But hey, I have to say 2 finger chords are pretty fun:>) Presently, people make positive comments about my mandolin playing, though, I started out pretty much playing chords and chucking it or playing it like a snare drum. (Having learned the mandolin does seem to be somewhat helpful with learning the fiddle, though they are more different than I anticipated). After having played fiddle now, I can play lots of melodies on the mandolin. I guess they are closely enough related:>)

Anyway, playing music in a band with the "kids" (Tmud and the Spuds) lasted 3 years until the Mac graduated and Cody the banjo player formed a band playing electric guitar (Cody and Co.) At the time I was also jamming with Robbie Otto and Shawn Balwell (New Grass Smugglers). I played some gigs with Cody and Co. He is an incredible musician and really fun to play with. I also began playing upright bass in a band with my friends Phil Clarner, John Farese and Shelly Estrabrooks called Colonel Cletus and the swamp yankees. I also continued to play some electric music with Mac and Cody and Robbie in the pick-up band called Highway 77. We played one gig at the New Boston fairgrounds. It was my first gig on Electric bass. 

As those bands were wrapping up, I helped form an old time band. The Hickory Horned Devils, they still play in NH today (See story in Hickory Horned Devils page). Their fiddle player is amazing, but more Bruce Molsky, than Tommy Jarrell:>) I did that for 3 years practicing once per week and gigging monthly. However, I realized that I was not ever going to be a good musician if I just continued to play 1-5 on the upright. I decided to leave the band and I formed a pick up rock and roll band in my basement with Mr. G (oil and water). However, at the same time that I was starting to play in the basement band with G, the Tyler Road band asked me to be their back up bass player because their guy wasn’t able to show up a lot. I think that they liked that I was willing to sit in without knowing any of the songs and that I didn’t care that they didn’t have a setlist (actually it was really stressful, but it was a fun band and totally worth it). I recorded one of their CD’s in my basement at a house concert. I still play with them (it’s been over 7 years now). We also formed another band called Peabody’s Coal Train (you can read more about both bands on their individual pages). Somewhere in there I also formed a band with Ross Arnold (The Sustainabillies). It was an opportunity to sing out and play lots of instruments. It was a great learning experience. I wasn’t really ready for it, but I am glad that I got the experience. 

I sold my upright bass to the electric bass player in Tyler Road and he took my place in the PCT band. I did sound for them for a while.

I have been learning a lot of theory over the years, so even when I don’t have the skills to do things, I can figure stuff out using my music theory knowledge. Over the years, I taught myself to read music enough to get by (probably read at about a 3rd grade level).  

In the basement rock and roll band, I started out playing acoustic guitar, then moved to electric guitar, then started to learn some leads on the guitar. I was terrible:>) Eventually, I decided that I needed to learn to use both hands better, so I started playing the drums. That helped me overcome some issues and it was fun. 

I started to try to sing and write more songs as well.  Nobody really liked my voice, but I really like to sing, so I took voice lessons. Vocals are a funny thing. Some people are light about it and appreciate the joy of making sounds together, their motto “if you can talk, you can sing” Others are very particular about vocals. It’s all so personal. My favorite singer of all time is Bob Dylan. Some people can’t stand his vocals. It’s all so very personal. 

Anyway, I like to say that my voice teacher took two years to get me from terrible to tolerable:>) He was incredibly patient (it must have been painful). Eventually, I decided to try to get even better with using both hands and wanted to learn more theory on an easier (theory-wise) instrument, so I started teaching myself the piano, again pretty terrible, but it really helped and what a wonderful instrument. I learned how to play chords so that I could jam on any song that I could play guitar on. I also used it to help with my vocals. Plus, I learned how to play “Werewolves of London”. I mean hey, does it get any better than that:>) I also learned a little harmonica too. 

As all this was happening the one consistency in my playing was playing electric guitar, keys, drums and rock and roll in the basement with Mr. G, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Perron and my brother Chuck and lots of sit in musicians. Eventually, we produced the Type A CD. After the CD, I got burned out and decided that I needed to spend more time on the electric bass. Luckily, right as this was happening, Robbie Otto was wanting to play electric guitar instead of drums. We formed the official Basement Band (see recordings under Basement Band). 

I also decided to learn a few chords on the banjo just so that I could understand the theory a little. This all helped, I went back to the electric guitar for a while and started learning more about scales and leads. That helped, all the while, my ear has been getting just a little bit better and I am doing much less counting. I can play much better by feel. I don’t have a great ear for melodies. I can hear when things are wrong, but I still have a hard time learning tunes by ear, songs with 1-4-5 chords are fairly easy, but melodies are the hard part for me. A while back, Mac Holmes, the musician that played resonator guitar in the “high school” band that I played with (Tmud and the spuds) moved to Concord right before we moved to Concord. Anyway, we reconnected and Mac started coming to my rock and roll basement band jams. I recorded a few tunes for him in exchange for guitar lessons. He taught me a few melodies on the guitar (crawdad song and worried man blues). After learning melodies on the guitar, and the fact that sadly the Tyler Road fiddle player moved away after 16 years, I started jamming with Brian Vastine, a really fun clawhammer banjo player with a great voice. One day Brian said "wouldn't it be great if we were banjo and fiddle", so I got to thinking, hey, this would be a good time to learn the fiddle. I borrowed a fiddle to have at school and bought a decent fiddle to have at home. I had always been enamored with the fiddle, but it seemed so out of reach for me, given my lack of ear training and lack of sense of melody. My 20+year musical journey has finally prepared me to play the fiddle:>) My friend Bill Richardson, the guy who introduced me to the upright bass and the world of old time music passed away a few years ago, incredibly sad for me. The folks in his estate were incredibly thoughtful and allowed me to purchase Bill's "good" fiddle. I now spend everyday playing his fiddle, I know he is watching and I still hear him stomping his foot to keep me on the beat. It makes me smile everytime:>) I miss you man!

I started playing the fiddle in December 2019. Brian and I had been playing guitar and banjo for a few months. We had been working on playing and singing old time and Americana tunes. Mac, Brian and I soon joined forces and added my friend Joey Clark on electric bass , guitar and vocals, and my brother Chuck on drums to form The Electric Deep Fried Satellites (check out our demo CD) and more recently the Acoustic Deep Fried Satellites. I play keys, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, electric bass and sing with these guys. The Acoustic deep fried satellites turned into the Danny Savage band, a band which includes Cody Howe from the Tmud and the spuds band, small world:>) In March of 2022, I joined Joey Clark and Mac Holmes (of Tmud and the spuds) to form Joey Clark and the Big Hearts.  It’s been an incredible musical journey. I look forward to many more years of music with my fellow musicians, and extended family!