Wow, what a ride life is, kinda like a roller coaster really, up, down,around, stop, backwards.
It seems like I've experienced about all of it, and I can't wait t see what's next.
I was born January 5, 1966 in Ogden, Utah, to Steve Espinoza and Elaine Cummings Espinoza. Dad, he left for the Navy, so Mom and I moved to Salt Lake City to stay with my Grandpa, Roe Cummings. It was there I think I must have been exposed to country music for the first time. My Grandpa was a cowboy and quite a fan of country music. I sure do miss him.
Well from there Mom and I moved to San Diego, California to be with Dad at the Naval Base and it was there that my little sister, Stephanie was born. After Dad's discharge we moved back to Utah for a while till he was transferred to Fresno, California with the IRS. Its there that my baby brother Che was born and where memories of my childhood really start to become clear. The most vivid of them all is how Mom always had country music on the radio along with Credence & Skynard, but I do remember there always being music in our home and how I'd always be playing my guitar on stage, really it was Mom's broom and the kitchen table, but I was jammin to Three Dog Night's, "Joy to the World" and the fans were wild.
We spent about 8 or 9 years in California all together and I loved every minute of it, it was just like Mark Willis's song, 19 Somethin"
Chino, California, the last town we lived in before we left was where I turned into a teenager, discovered girls, and fell in love for the first time, and got my heart broke too for the first time. They were the best times of my life. Pam I hope all is well with you.
The summer of 1981 was a tough one. Things were tough with my Mom & dad and they were at a point in their lives where they had to make a change, so we moved back to Utah. Heber City to be exact. A little town in the mountains about 50 miles east of Salt Lake City, a place I was very familiar with since its the place I spent a lot of my summers growing up.
My Mom's family was among the original Mormon Pioneers to settle the area and it's a place I'd always been told about. It's where Grandpa herded sheep and it's where I was exposed to probably the biggest influence in my life when it comes to country music, my grandma Lois Cummings.
Now Grandma in her younger days, was a spitfire and as she puts it "meaner that a wild owl shit!", but I still love her. Its her passion for country music and the artists who sing it that she gets the biggest kick out of.
For as long as I can remember, Grandma's been speakin of singers almost like they were her kin folk and can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about their lives. Who's cheatin who, who just had a baby, who's getting a divorce etc... She makes me laugh!
Thank you Gram's for instilling in me my love for, as you put it, "shit kicker music". I Love You.
In the fall of 1981 I started the 10th grade at Wasatch High School, there I met and dated my first wife, Wendi Mills. She introduces me to horses and the cowboy way of life. She got me out of my surfer clothes and into Wrangler's and boots and spendin time outdoors. We were married in 1985 and before I knew what happened, 2 turned to 6. In 1994 the last of our 4 children was born. JD, Cody, Brandee & DJ, You guys are my why, the reason I get up in the morning and write music, and maybe someday...
Wendi & I divorced in 2000.
Roller Coaster...remember? Those days were the lowest of my life, but out of it came some of the most powerful songs I've written. "Leave the Light On", "Kind & Gentle Hand", "3 Cowboys" and "Before We Ever Met", which is a song I composed about this girl I used t dream about when I was little. I believe in destiny and that we have a path we're to follow and I always knew I'd find that little girl from my dreams. So out of the lowest point in my life came the highest, when I met Linnie Casper McPhie. She too knew that her life was on the wrong track and that she had to make a change.... we were married June 2, 2001. Since then we've been inseparable. She's my best friend and biggest fan, and a great co-writer. She's given me back what I'd lost year's ago, and that's the belief in myself. The belief that my music is worth the time I put into it, and that the feeling I express and the stories I tell are important. Linnie makes me feel like I can conquer the world. I love you "bunchy"
Wow what a ride huh?
Well here we are at the beginning of "2003". Our first album "Leave the Light On" will be out in February and I hope you all like it.
I'll keep you all updated on the latest.
P.S. All you budding songwriters,
You need to get with Thunder Moon Records
And Spencer Studios and see what they
Can do for you too! They are awesome!!!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Leave The Light On
2. Lie You To The Moon
3. I Need You Now
4. The Undertaker
5. 3 Cowboys
6. The Ground You Walk On
7. Before We ever Met
8. What She Says Goes
9. Almost Home
10. Family Cabin
11. Kind and Gentele Hand
12. Days Work