Grasping At Laws
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Grasping At Laws

Band Rock Acoustic

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"SongSharing Delivers Music"

Greg Allen calls himself a media machine.

The singer-songwriter promotes local musicians by providing them opportunities to play for live audiences, often for people who couldn’t otherwise attend a show.

He founded SongSharing, which was established as a nonprofit organization in 2002.

SongSharing arranges live music for community agencies, assisted living homes and at Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center, among other places.

“It’s not just about playing for seniors, it’s about giving musicians places to play,” said Allen, who plays for the acoustic band Grasping At Laws.

As a longtime local musician, Allen said he quickly realized that performing for older folks, sometimes before playing live shows elsewhere, helped him sharpen his skills in front of audiences who were happy to hear him.

“You’ve got an attentive, enthusiastic audience, and they are listening to you play,” he said earlier this month during a show at Morningside, a local assisted-living facility. “Other nights, people are not there to hear you, and they make that clear by continuing their conversations and turning their backs on you.”

Allen raises money for SongSharing from private donations and cover charges at various concert series he organizes.

Local artists help Allen by playing at some of the weekly concerts for seniors. He, in turn, mentions the musicians in advertisements and on promotional T-shirts.

Acoustic folk musician Alli Collis played during the recent concert at Morningside for a captivated and appreciative audience.

Collis said she enjoyed performing for a group that otherwise might not get to enjoy live music.

“I just thought it was a neat idea,” she said.

Collis is scheduled to play Dec. 11 at 123 E. Water St.

For more information about SongSharing, call (434) 979-SONG.


Link to article:
http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP/MGArticle/CDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031779417992 - Daily Progress - Charlottesville, VA


"QUESTION OF THE WEEK- What local band is about to make it big?"

Steve Donaldson: "Of groups, I like Grasping at Laws. I'm just blown away by the musical talent in Charlottesville. You never know if the guy serving you coffee will be the next Dave Matthews. Charlottesville is an incubator for artistic talent."

Published July 3, 2003, in issue #0226 of the Hook - The Hook - Charlottesville Virginia


"Rockstah CD Review of Grasping At Laws:"

Thomas Jefferson reflected the spirit of the times in 1776. Chuck Berry mirrored the American zeitgeist in 1958. While Chuck Berry was locked away in prison in 1963 Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys were the iconographic images of the musical landscape of the times. Time was on their side.

Among the multi-colored mirrors I see and hear today is Greg Allen with Grasping At Laws. Beginning with "contucius: on shoes" the music (from the CD "01") leads us thru the looking glass with it's haunting melody and barefoot lyrics.

"Story of Our Lies, The" is also the story in her eyes. I can see you... you can see me... and then we're gone.

In "What On Earth??" the boys and girls are set to figure out the world. 1, 2, 3, and 4 and then they are out of time.

"cirkle" is a musical journey through the past from 1765 - waiting for freedom and equality as the pendulum swings over the heads of them all.

"Yugen" evokes (images of) time that stops in the moment when the writer "wonders aloud questions I cannot phrase", then "so thorough your silent reply", and "I don't mind anything you say..."

"ifSOWhat" is the question, as the musical scythe swings around you, it is time for accounting for words and actions - and time is up.

This is some of the best musical representation of our times that I have heard since Tim Buckley said "Goodbye and Hello".

reviewer: Travis Nees
- Rockstah - Richmond VA


Discography

Our first studio EP was released in May 2001 and was entitled "01". The CD received local and regional airplay. Guest appearances from BJ Clifford (guitar & vocals), Justin Thisdell (bass) and Julie Goldman (vocals). Several of these tracks can be heard at the MySpace website, or at www.cvilleradio.org.

Our 2nd EP - "Live at Rapunzel's" - was released in June 2003 and recorded live in Lovingston, VA at - of course - Rapunzel's, a bomber coffee shop/bookshop/music mecca. Guest appearances from Thomas Gunn (of Neuronimo) and Tony Horning. This CD was produced as a give-away to build awareness for SongSharing, and was extremely effective.

Our 3rd CD is in process at Greenwood Studios, Greenwood, VA with engineer Jeff Romano. This CD will sell to benefit SongSharing and will feature guests Julie Goldman, Tom Proutt and Jeff Romano - occassional SongSharing volunteers.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The music of Greg Allen can be heard at
www.graspingatlaws.net/music.

Grasping At Laws - it's a people thing.

Formed in 1997. Greg and Granville played briefly with Granite Ghost before conspiring to create a unique platform for Greg's original style / approach to lyrics and songwriting.

That style, now dubbed "eclectoplasmacoustic folk'n rock" (tm), is rooted mostly in traditional/folk, rock, and pop music - but with an important emphasis on two things:

1 - lyrics that exist (and seem to stand out) for the sake of the story and poetry at hand, and

2 - musicianship that leaves room for the lyrics!

As one listener noted, "When I listen to your songs I listen carefully. The first line or two pulls me in and I find myself paying less attention to what I am doing and more attention to what you are saying - the story you are telling." Braxton agrees, "It's about the lyrics."

While the core of Grasping At Laws has always been the duo, the sound has frequently been complemented - both live and in-studio - over the years by a variety of talented musical friends. Notables include Tom Proutt, Thomas Gunn of "Neuronimo", Julie Goldman, and Jeff Romano (producing and contributing to the upcoming CD). We like to think that says something about the songs and spirit of Grasping At Laws. We have always made room for and encouraged friends to sit in, open our shows and share billing.

The substance of the sound is in understated, roomy rhythm guitar, djembé and vocals, providing an ample foundation for the lyrics at hand while leaving room for instrumentalists to sit in and lend the musical touches they are inspired to.

Greg's influences as a songwriter and performer are wide ranging - from early roles in musicals featuring traditional songs to days on the road with hometown rock bands to vinyl, 8-track, cassette and cd encounters with everything from Gary Puckett to Elvis to Townes Van Zandt. And REM.

Greg began writing songs in 1992 and performing regularly in 1996. Braxton has been drumming since he came down the chute basically, and played with a variety of bands on the Charlottesville scene growing up. Carter Beauford (of the Dave Matthews Band) once responded to an interview question by listing Braxton as one of his early drumming influences. Grasping At Laws met in 1996 when, as previously mentioned, they were invited to work with Granite Ghost. That didn't last, but an important friendship came out of it.

8 plus years later we are going strong, beginning to distribute our music around the world via radio, tv & internet, re-record our originals, invite some of the 'cream of the Charlottesville crop' to sing and play on the upcoming cd, and helping SongSharing chart previously uncharted waters. (see www.SongSharing.org for more on that)

The simple fact that we perform live dozens of hours each month lends a great deal. A paying venue, a senior home, a children's hospital or a juvenile detention center - across a diverse array of venues we're challenged to engage dynamic, attentive audiences in unique ways, week after week. There's something in that... something which has become an important intangible part of Grasping At Laws.

It's about the lyrics, and more importantly, it's about living them...