I've been in the music biz for a long time. I was born and raised in a little town called Madison SD (the main street of which can be seen on the cover of the new CD). I started out playing in a string of rock bands, then spent some time doing studio work in the Twin Cities area playing drums. After that, did some time messing around with gospel and celtic music. My country roots however, kept coming back to haunt me. When I was a kid in South Dakota, it was not uncommon for my dad to load the whole family in the big ol Buick, usually on a school night, and off to Sioux Falls we'd go to hear one of the traveling Grand Ol Opry shows that came to town periodically. That's where I saw country greats such as Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and many, many more. It made a big impression and influenced everything I've done musically. Started writing songs 10 or 12 years ago.
For the past 3 years or so, I've been doing live acoustic shows with my side man Dennis Root. Denny and I have played hundreds of shows across the upper midwest (see the Coates and Root page). One of the highlights was opening for the Nitty Griity Dirt Band at the legendary Surf Ballroom to a packed house.