Bob was born in New York in 1954. He has been involved in music since he was 6, when he started playing guitar. At age 14, Bob discovered National guitars. Within their unique sound, Bob found his musical calling.

He studied music and ethnomusicology at Washington University with an emphasis on the earliest roots of Delta Blues. He has since become a respected authority on historical Hawaiian music. He has produced five re-issue albums from this collection on the Rounder and Folklyric labels documenting the best of Hawaiian music from 1915 to 1935.

In 1988, Bob rediscovered the legendary 1929 Hawaiian recording artists, "The Tau Moe Family." Together they recorded a landmark album. It was a historic re-creation of the family's genuine Hawaiian music from 60 years prior. The album was released in 1989 to rave international reviews, including the Library of Congress Select List Award. With N.E.A. funding, Bob began production of a feature-length documentary film about the Moe family and their amazing 54-year-long world tour.

Over the years, Bob's passion for National guitars led him to build a large collection of these fascinating art-deco era instruments. After receiving a letter from the then-88-year-old inventor John Dopyera, Bob visited and became good friends with John and his family. This led to further research, and in 1993 Bob's massive work "THE HISTORY AND ARTISTRY OF NATIONAL RESONATOR INSTRUMENTS" was published internationally. He has written for several major music magazines on historical as well as instructional subjects.

Since recording his first solo album in 1981, Bob's repertoire has grown to over 23 titles. He has recorded 10 solo projects, and more than a dozen collaborations with his international friends.

His uncanny ability to use his guitar as a portable "translator of culture," coupled with his empathetic nature and boundless energy enables him to establish genuine musical friendships based on a respect and love of music. He has directed music for film, radio, television, and stage. He has produced albums for Ledward Kaapana and the Asylum Street Spankers as well as continues to generate educational and concert videos for Homespun Tapes and Vestopol Videos, respectively.

In 1999, Bob and Woody Mann co-founded "International Guitar Seminars," which hosts over 180 students annually at sites in California, New York, and Canada. The team has pioneered a week-long, deluxe workshop in which students study day and night with a faculty that includes Bob, Woody, Martin Simpson, John Cephas, Orville Johnson, and John Renbourn.

Live performance tours remain the focal point of Bob's activity throughout the year. He tours constantly throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe, and is adding new countries to his itineraries yearly - including, recently, Australia and South Africa.