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Land Gigs
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Land Gigs
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Cowboy Spencer's Bio

Short version:
A native Texan, I’ve been playing folk and country music for a long time. Singing is the single greatest pleasure in my life, and I feel most at home behind a microphone. I hope to see you at a show.

Long version:
I am a seventh-generation Texan, born in Houston in 1973. I grew up in College Station and Dickinson, graduating from Dickinson High School in 1992. I was in band all four years there, and embraced my band-nerdness fully as drum major my senior year. I also made All-State that year, one of my proudest moments (I worked my ass off for it).

Then, off to Texas A&M for college. At the time, I was sure I wanted to be a veterinarian. This lasted for about two years until I realized I didn’t like anybody I knew who taught at the Vet School. I thought about med school, going as far as to take the MCAT. I later decided it didn’t fit me either.

I didn’t change course though. I did a co-op period in cancer research, and wound up in graduate school in toxicology. I stuck it out, and eventually got my PhD. I did two miserable years at the University of Michigan, and then came back to Texas. I now work at an academic university in central Texas, doing research on environmental toxicology.

While I was in college, I got addicted to an internet game. It was a text-based game, based in Sweden (there were no graphics-based net games then). I met a ton of people from around the world and spent countless hours on there. One person I met was a young lady from Missouri named Jennifer. Incredibly, she was dating a guy who lived in Sweden. They saw each other a few times a year. I wound up dating a girl who lived and still lives in Houston. A year or so later, we both found ourselves single. I was at A&M and she was at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State). One weekend, I drove up to her little apartment in Kirksville. It took me 13 hours to get there. The next spring, she moved in with me in College Station. We got married a year later (1997).

I started playing guitar sometime during high school. My parents bought me a little Sigma acoustic guitar. I didn’t play it much until a few years later, when I lived with a friend who had been a bass player in a band. The real change came when I was in graduate school. I met a great friend, Rick. I started playing with a bluegrass group. This was when I moved away from rock and more popular music into folk, country, and bluegrass. If you held a gun to my head, I'd say that the kind of music I play is "Americana."

Since then, I’ve been working on writing songs. I was fortunate enough to get connected with Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, who run a songwriters' workshop every year in Port Aransas. I have attended many times. Recently, I decided to see if I could write a song a week for a year (52 songs), beginning on my birthday in 2009. I completed the Year of Song on July 7, 2010, when I wrote a song I really like called "Call to Battle."