Former Pilot turned country artist AKA ‘Captain Country’

What traditions do you most fondly recall from your childhood?

My parents were choir directors and so we grew up with a lot of symphony and choral music in our house. My dad started this tradition, for as long as I remember, that we couldn’t come out and see the presents until he played the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. I always thought it was strange but that was our childhood and I plan on keeping that tradition alive cause it’s random and fun!

What was your favorite holiday family activity?

I always just loved relaxing and watching basketball or football and also doing something outside like playing catch or if it was a white Christmas go sledding down my street.

Is there a dish you always associate with Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

My mom made these awesome “Sticky Buns” (we called them) which is Rhodes dinner rolls in a Bundt pan and you cover it with Brown sugar and butter and leave them out overnight. They rise overnight and then you cook them for 30 minutes and they are warm and gooey on Christmas morning. They are so good. Then my mom would always make a ham and homemade rolls which we’d devour over the next 3 days making sandwiches several times a day!

What is your most magical Christmas memory?

I would say the most magical Christmas’ have been visiting my parents in my hometown of Bend, Oregon. The past 3 times my wife and I have gone it’s been snowing on Christmas or the day before and it looks like it’s straight out of Home Alone or a movie.

And then our first Christmas in Nashville was in 2020 and it hadn’t snowed yet for the winter season and we ended up getting snow on Christmas Eve and I thought that was the most special thing after such a difficult year for everyone. It really seemed like a Christmas miracle!

Which songs would be the top five on your holiday playlist?

I’m that annoying guy that plays Christmas music on November 1st. I don’t play it every day until Christmas, but I like to get into the spirit as soon as possible. I always start with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” because when I was in Jazz Choir in high school, our Christmas sets around town would always start with that song and it brings back really fond memories doing that.

Other ones would be “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Song,” “White Christmas,” and anything on Brett Eldredge’s Christmas albums.

Funny story about Brett Eldredge doing his Christmas concerts. I was a manager at a New York City venue when I got an email saying Brett wanted to test out doing a Christmas set and do it at our venue in a very intimate environment (less than 500 people). Needless to say, it was a hit and I got to see the whole thing and knew this was something special. What a great performer.

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