“At that time,
Seattle was a pretty neat city,” he said in early March. “It
offered a lot of growth in itself. Now it’s just like New York
City, with six lanes going each way and jammed.”
Early on, Ronnie
worked on cars and hot rods, and took up the trumpet in school
“It was a cool instrument, if I hadn’t had a teacher who would
have let me play what I heard in my head instead of Sousa
marches,” he says.
Ronnie’s mother, a
classically trained violinist and pianist, went with him to see
that teacher, and Mom ended up siding with her jazz-inclined
His Dad loved
country music, and had a large collection of 78s from classic
artists including Hank Snow that he often spun at neighborhood
dances the family held in the basement.
father’s hand Ronnie soon taught himself guitar, playing by ear
using a unique method – he played along with commercials on TV.
“I always had a
guitar in my hands,” he says. “It drove my mother nuts.”
Dad also loved
complex, ethnic dance music including Polkas and Schottisches,
and Ronnie’s passion for groove and tempo music has remained a
key component of his work ever since.
Eventually his Dad
told Ronnie, “you’ve gone past me.”
After high school,
Ronnie joined the popular Seattle band Good Vibrations, and
spent several years on the road, playing the Holiday Inn circuit
all over Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
It was tough, at
times dangerous work, as Ronnie and the band were involved in a
rollover accident near Coos Bay, Oregon, which through the grace
of God they all walked away from.
Ronnie soon went
to work as a commercial music and jingle composer for Raleigh
Bicycles in Seattle, giving him access to many of the finest
studios and session players in the Northwest.
His musical tastes
were always diverse, from the Beatles and Three Dog Night to
country rockers like Pure Prairie League and jazz wizards like
Christian faith has always played a gigantic role in his life
and music, and in 1989 he moved to Nashville in part to pursue
Contemporary Christian Music, which is based in Nashville and
Another reason was
that his musical peers told Ronnie he had pretty much maxed out