Matt and Gareth started bouncing ideas off of each other in Gareth’s garage, much to the dismay of his poor dogs. You see, their ideas were big and often quite loud. So, his dogs wisely suggested that they practice making their noises out on the street where people might have a better appreciation for them. Matt and Gareth thought the dogs were very smart, for dogs. And so, thanks to the sensitive ears of the canine species, they ventured out on noblest of journeys into the realm of street performing. For 5 years the boys became the feature street performing act at The Branson Landing in downtown Branson, MO. Their popularity soon started to spread and they decided, “We need a name.” After various meetings and councils and judgments they said, “what do we play on here at the Landing? Well we have some buckets and two 4x4 sheets of wood for tap dancing and 2 skateboards… BUCKETS N BOARDS!!!!” And now they are stuck with it…
The earliest drumming I can remember is setting up my moms Tupperware and using screwdrivers. From what I remember it was awesome, and thus my percussion journey began… I auditioned for the drum line in 6th grade and continued with concert and marching band through my junior year of high school. My girlfriend Dynae was my main reason for staying in band for so long (not to fear, now she’s my wife… so it was totally worth it!!! Because we now have two amazing daughters). Dynae graduated a year ahead of me and my reason for band had left the building, literally.
So I focused all my attention on athletics and used it to gain a track and field and theatre scholarship to William Jewell College. In my four years at Jewell I managed to become a 4 time All-American in the decathlon, pentathlon, and high jump and hold 4 WJC school records (for more information feel free to contact me and I’d love to tell you all about it… just ask everyone I know). Also while at WJC I found myself a drummer for several heavy metal bands.
After graduating I got married and realized that it was time to grow up… HAHAHA!!! But seriously, I went in search for jobs high and low and found the only way to make a good living was robbing trains… yes that’s what I said, robbing trains… @ Silver Dollar City. Actually, I feel pretty lucky because not a lot of people can say they’ve robbed trains for a living and got away with it. Plus it looks great on a resumé. After SDC I had a short stint as a substitute teacher… boy that was fun.
Finally I auditioned at one of the biggest shows in Branson, The Dixie Stampede. I performed at Dixie for almost 6 years and did everything imaginable in the show: MC, Comedian (Skeeter), Trick Rider, Dancer, Camel Rider, Wagon Driver, Ostrich Rider, basically rider of numerous normal and exotic animals, and so on and so forth… It was fate that brought me here because I found out that the guy who plays Skeeter is a pretty good tap dancer. The rest is history…
I have always loved listening to music, having a soundtrack to your life as you’re living it. So, it’s been pretty cool to sometimes be playing my own soundtrack.
I was born in Oregon into a loving and supportive family. My parents insisted on violin and piano lessons when I was in grade school, and I tried them for a couple years and liked it. I then discovered saxophone and later guitar and I played my wee little heart out. I always loved improvising, making up your own melodies as they come to you. I embraced music as a way to express myself. I jumped at every chance to perform, and began singing and trying my hand at acting and dance.
When I got to Ithaca College to study Musical Theatre, I discovered Tap Dancing. From the first time I put my shoes on and started stompin’ the floor, I never wanted to stop. Your instrument is your feet and wherever you go, you always have ‘em with you. And I soon discovered when you improvise tap dancing, you get to create the rhythm, the melody and the movement all at the same time. It is a very liberating experience.
After college, I moved to New York City and sang and tap danced every chance I got, constantly soaking up the sounds and wonder of the city. A little touch of fate brought me to Branson to work at Dixie Stampede as the resident Hillbilly comedian, Skeeter. I thoroughly enjoyed that job and have learned much about being silly and also about silliness. I was also wonderfully fortunate to meet my beautiful wife, Robyn, right when I moved here. She is an amazing artist who has a great comic sensibility and helps me sift through what works and what most definitely doesn’t. We have two zany little girls who keep us endlessly entertained…which brings me to the whimsical creation of Buckets N Boards…I met Matt at Dixie and we taught each other rhythmicky things and then thought wouldn’t this be fun if we put a little show together and make noises, but more importantly, funny noises…and so it was decided…