Last year was a year of stretching out for me. While I continued my solo work, 2013 was a time of new, exciting collaborations. In January of ’13, I premiered Gregory B. Albright and Band at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio. This was a 90-minute performance with a full band playing my all-original music. We had a great time!
In February, I was contacted by Demetrius Klein, a nationally recognized choreographer, to write a score for a modern dance to commemorate the devastating 1913 flood of Hamilton. In May, a five-piece band, plus a narrator, and five dancers presented “After the Flood” at the inaugural opening of the Riversedge Amphitheater. In June, we reprised the piece for Music Café. Finally, in November, we presented an evening of dance at the Fitton Center where “After the Flood” was the first act of that show. This time the Flood Band accompanied the Demetrius Klein Dance Company, complete with two-simultaneous slide presentations of historic Flood photographs.
This collaboration resulted in Demetrius and me forming “Albright & Klein: Essential Chord-eography”, a group focused on “live original music with live, original dance.” We joined OAPN in 2013. We will offer everything from intimate, 2-person duets to full band/multiple dancer formats. Our first joint venture will be “Winter Suite,” a song from my album “DOORWAYS.”
I am currently studying the history and world of modern dance in an effort to produce better and better music. It is an exciting time.
Blessings to all,
Musicians all over the country are complaining about how the poor economy has drained much of the life out of live music. Artists are hurting like everyone else. The same is true for me. In response, I am starting a new thing for me. This fall I joined OAPN, (Ohio Arts Presenter’s Network.) OAPN is an association of presenters, (theaters, community arts centers, etc.), talent agencies, and artists, who work together to promote the performing arts. In short, I am trying to move from bars and restaurants to the concert stage. Additionally, OAPN books regionally around the Midwest. The adventure continues….
I am starting to write songs for my ninth studio album. I have no over-riding concept yet, but I really enjoyed “DOORWAYS” and its back-to-basics vibe. I may do more of that. (???)
The “Steam Furnace” chapter of my Life has closed. I miss playing classic rock with my partner Jim, but after fifteen years, it was time for us to move on. (Man! That was fun!)
I was once advised “You can always fill your time. That’s easy. The question is can you do something meaningful with your time?” I will continue to write songs of hope and encouragement; of passion and madness. I will continue to write about Real America. I believe that has meaning.
In my note from last year, I mention “transitions.” That same theme continues to play out today. The new album is called “DOORWAYS.” Through doorways, we move from one space to another; from one place to another; from one life to another. The doorway is the portal to transition. All these doorways are located in Budapest, Hungary. I commissioned my grandson, Jack Thomas Gardner, age 9, to write a doorway poem for the booklet. Grampy could not be prouder!
This project is a return, for me, to a full, in-house production. I did all the recording, mixing, mastering, photography, graphics, and duplication in my studio. There are no electronic instruments or percussion. (That’s not a snooty, purist attitude, just an explanation.) In a way, it is a return to my roots.
What’s next? I am not sure, but I am thinking already as I prepare to open yet another door and move into the Unknown beyond. Thank you for traveling with me.
NOTES FROM GREG - 2009
Last year, 2008, was another "year in transition" for me. I am starting to see a pattern. EVERY time is a transition time; from "was" to "will be"; from "then" to "now" from "here" to "gone." With the slow-down in the economy and the relentless onslaught of karaoke, live gigs are harder and harder to find. Oh well, this too shall pass.
I released "Between Summer & Winter" in March of '08. I did the mixing and recording, but it was mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master in Nashville. I was so pleased with the results. The CD also had wonderful musical input from a number of great players. I was honored that they participated. I have begun work on a new album and expect it to move in a very acoustic direction.
I am continuing to write and explore the stories that draw us together as people. This is one of the things that bring me Joy.
Additional Irons in the Fire....
ALBRIGHT MUSIC : I have added a disk printer to my studio so I can print full color labels. I am currently running Pro Tools 7.4. The first production output has been a project called "To My Hurting Child - Healing Promises from the Heart of God" by Rev. Ed & Robyn Beck. I hope to do more work in the future, especially with other local artists.
STEAM FURNACE: This is a live, classic rock 'n roll group I do with my partner and long-time friend, Jim Brown. We put live guitars and vocals over synthesizer backing tracks that I create in the studio. We've been at this for over 12 years! "Steam Furnace" is a dance band/party band, so let the good times roll! I love my thoughtful, acoustic solo career, but it's still great to take out my Stratocaster and light that mother up!
Life is still hard, but God is still God!
2005 - Year in Review
2005 has been a watershed year for me, professionally and personally. I have been able to do more playing in more different situations than any time in my life up to now. Along the way, I've made some new friends, sold a few CD's, and seen more of this great land of ours. It also has been the year when I lost my mother. She was an ever present cheerleader for me. Whether I was solo, playing rock 'n roll, or singing at church, she was always there to believe in me. I am only one of the people who miss her greatly.
Irons in the Fire
Here are the highlights of my involvement in things musical.
GREGORY B. ALBRIGHT: My solo career was especially fun this year. I made a goal to write 10 new songs to prepare for a follow-up CD to ?STORYTELLER?. Instead I have 15 new songs. One real blessing has been my continued association with Pam and Fred Payne at the Cozy Caf? in Hamilton. I'll be on their regular rotation again in 2006. I'll appear there every 8 weeks on Saturdays from 11AM-1PM. Check my schedule for details. We spent the last part of August and early September in Utah, doing gigs around Salt Lake City. Many thanks to my Western Adventure contact person Linda Auger.
STEAM FURNACE: This is a live, classic rock 'n roll group I do with my partner and long-time friend, Jim Brown. We put live guitars and vocals over synthesizer backing tracks that I create in the studio. We've been at this for over 10 years! ?Steam Furnace? is a dance band/party band, so let the good times roll! I love my thoughtful, acoustic solo career, but it's still great to take out my Stratocaster and light that mother up!
THE SINGING TRAINMEN: This is a group that has existed for years, handled by Brian Eastman of The Talent Center in Northside. I was asked to be the bass player and one of the vocalists. The Trainmen perform the history of American railroading in story and song, in costume. It is a group that books nationally. I got to play in Michigan with them this past year. It is a hoot!!! I get to play with great musicians like Dave Sams and Greg Morris.
ALBRIGHT MUSIC: This is my recording studio. Earlier this year, in association with Music Caf?, at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton OH, I recorded, mixed, and mastered a live CD by Mark Cormican and his band. Mark's a great folk singer from Northern Kentucky. It was a privilege to work with another singer-songwriter of his skill. Hopefully, one of the outputs of the studio this year will be my new CD.
AMERICAN HISTORY SHOWS: This is another opportunity provided by The Talent Center. These shows are booked into schools to teach our history in story and song. It's half music and half theater, so besides playing guitar, I get to act a little. The history shows also travel nationally. We are headed back to Michigan in March '06.
- I hope to see you in the coming year. Life is hard, but God is good!
January 20, 2005
I am so excited with the possibilities that are on horizon for me this year. In this business of unfulfilled plans and dreams which de-materialize before one's eyes, I've learned to be cautious of the ?nibbles? I get when talking to potential clients. A request for my CD-sampler is not a booking. A hit on my web site doesn't give me a date for a show. Still, I have received calls and inquiries from all over the country! That's pretty cool! Maybe later this year we'll do some traveling? maybe.
All this has driven home again the message of partnerships. The Cozy Caf? and Renee's Unique Gifts and Home Decor were new partners with me in 2004. Good businesses with great people.
The Cozy Caf?, (235 High St. in Hamilton), is a wonderful, intimate dining experience. Pam and Fred Payne have created a real delight. The walls are adorned with the work of local artists provided through ?Art on Symmes?, a gallery/studio in Fairfield. The food is first-rate featuring special, secret recipes and home-made desserts. (They're fish sandwich is award winning. Order it on grilled rye!!!!!!)
On Saturdays at 11AM-1PM, The Cozy hosts a lunch with musical entertainment. I was honored to be picked as one of the few musical acts which will perform for the next few months. I'll play every 8 weeks. (See schedule for details.) They also have music on the third Friday of each month, usually 6-8PM, as the High Street merchants stay open later to encourage shoppers back uptown.
Fred's motto is ?Come for breakfast. Stay for lunch.? I couldn't agree more.
Renee's Unique Gifts and Home D?cor, (18 South 3rd. St. in Hamilton), is a treasure shop. Renee and Tim Ryan have filled their store with a multitude of ? of ?unique gifts and home d?cor! What a concept! If you are looking for items to brighten up a room, fill it with exotic fragrances, or create that one-of-a-kind conversation starter for your home, Renee's is the place to go. The connection for me happened when Pam (from the Cozy Caf?) and Renee became friends. Renee decided to carry the CD's of musicians who play at the Cozy. That would include me, so my STORYTELLER CD is for sale on her shelf. It's been great to get to know both Renee and Tim. I wish them all the success.
I set a personal goal to write at least ten new songs last year. I completed that goal. These songs will form the backbone of my next CD. Work has begun laying down tracks, but no release date had been discussed. I'll keep you posted.
?I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.?
April 9, 2004 ? The Lone Ranger and Success
Anyone that says they've achieved success totally by their own efforts is either: a.) lying, b.) stupid, or c.) all the above. Whether you are a musician, a doctor, a student trying to finish school, or you are a ditch-digger, nobody does it alone! Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. The partners I've had in my life are legion. Two come to mind right now.
When we released ?STORYTELLER? in October of 2003, the first place to carry it on their shelves was ?Coffee Beans-n-Bags?, (4885 Smith Rd., in West Chester, 860-1764). Its' owner, Mike Kelley, even set up a deal where the purchase of my CD also gets you a 12-oz. cup of coffee. He didn't have to do that. He choose to do it because he is interested in helping out, in giving back, in being a contributor to his community, not just a taker. Mike has a great store with great coffees. The air is filled with the deep aroma of fresh-brewed exotic flavors, the sounds of light jazz (or me) on the stereo, and often, the joy of lively conversation. Please check them out sometime.
Another partner is ?Galaxy CDS?, (1238 Main St. Hamilton, 892-8888). The owner, Ryan Shoemaker, is well known all over the area for providing local musicians a place to sell their hard-earned products. His local music section is one of the largest I've seen in Southwest Ohio. ?STORYTELLER? is not only available in his store; it is also listed on his Internet web site. (www.galaxycds.com) Ryan has an obvious commitment to local music and local musicians. Please check them out when you have music purchase plans
'Bye for now,
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