Mac was raised in a tiny farm town in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia called Fort Ashby, which sits within fifteen miles of both the Maryland and Pennsylvania borders. He began playing the trombone in sixth grade and participated in all of the middle school performing ensembles. He was given an electric bass as a Christmas present in 1997. Within a year at age thirteen, Mac was playing for both the middle school jazz band and The Potomac State College (of West Virginia University) Big Band.
As his passion for the bass grew on into high school, Mac joined a local working rock band in addition to his bass position at PSC, and several jazz combos usually consisting of local music educators. This continued throughout high school. Following high school, Mac headed off to West Virginia University to major in music education. He soon began to take gigs and sub work throughout West Virginia, Western Maryland, and Southern Pennsylvania. In addition to all of the bass work, Mac was still also an assistant band director and trombone major, performing in several ensembles including the WVU Wind Symphony, Top Jazz Ensembles, and the massive 400 piece Pride of West Virginia Marching Band.
The last three years of college were the most hands on and important for Mac as he spent most of his time rehearsing, and performing with several faculty ensembles. Then came student teaching. Mac did his student teaching at Bridgeport High School in Clarksburg, WV. He was given full direction of the jazz ensemble. Under his direction the group went on to receive the highest honor given to a West Virginia student ensemble; an opening spot for the United States Army and Marine Corps Jazz Bands. This experience led Mac to a high school in Rural Retreat, Virginia where he took a job as director of bands. After three years of teaching in the public school system Mac decided that though he enjoyed the interaction with his students…he was meant to play.
Interestingly Mac met Raven Cliff founding member and drummer, Cameron Vaught at a benefit at the school. After exploring several options, including cruise ship work, and graduate school, Mac decided to hit up his new contact and see what was happening in Nashville. Cameron informed him that Raven Cliff was holding auditions for a bass player. Mac took the audition and got the job. He sold everything in his house in three days, joined the boys and the rest is history.