CandyRat Artist, Spencer Elliott began composing instrumental music on piano growing up in West Virginia, influenced at the time by contemporary composers like George Winston. He later picked up guitar but was more influenced at that time by punk and progressive alternative music. For more than two decades, Spencer performed as vocalist and occasional guitarist in a number of punk and alternative bands. It wasn’t until 2007 that Spencer turned his focus to progressive instrumental steel string guitar. Spencer spent several years taking inspiration from and studying compositions by the likes of Hedges, Ross, McKee and Dufour, among others. (All while maintaining a love for influences ranging from Beethoven to Billie Holiday to Bad Brains).
Once Spencer began to write progressive finger style pieces, his compositional elements pulled not only from his piano background but also from his affinity for edgier guitar music. Spencer views modern finger style as part of the "Free Space" to borrow a phrase from Ian MacKaye (singer for Minor Threat and Fugazi and owner of fiercely independent record label Dischord Records). It is a place where new and original artistic ideas continue to bloom and are not borne of a profit motive but from a compulsion to be creative.