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greg gescha

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Oooeee! We got ourselves a local boy! When this little number was first handed to me, I'm sure I had some
reaction to the effect of a scoff or an eye-roll, because honestly, Calgary resident Gescha looks like an adult
contemporary, Jack-Johnson-if-he-shopped-at-Club-Monaco pretty boy on the cover, a concept that caused
me to immediately loathe this disc. But then, after much reluctance, I listened to it, and my mind was sufficiently
blown.
It's GOOD, I mean, like really good. As I listened, I was filled with this sense of pride that comes with knowing
someone within your immediate area has got some mad skillz, especially in an area of music that is so often
riddled with total trash.
To start off, Gescha has a fantastic voice. It wobbles on the verge of falsetto and squeaks out with a fullness that
immediately recalls David Bowie and, believe it or not, the singer of Spacehog. This style lends itself marvelously
to the songs, which can sometimes sound like the shaky experiments of a future genius, but more often are
just fantastically written straight-up pop songs. The problem, however, with writing staight-up pop songs is
that the artist usually has to establish in what arena his or her work will be set, whether it be 70s-style warm
electric guitar/piano, a lo-fi fuzzed out indie rock setting, or a super crisp near-folkiness that will bode well with
Dave Matthews Band fans. Gescha, however, does no such thing. He very bizarrely chooses to float in between
all options, a kind of indecisiveness which would normally cause an unlistenable mess and easily upset
everyone who heard it, but instead, it perfectly showcases Gescha's pure songwriting talent. It's hard to love
this record for this reason, because no matter who you are, you wish it sounded a certain way throughout
(personally, I wish he chose the warm 70s route a la Neil Young), but no matter what your preference, it becomes
glaringly clear that Gescha is a fantastic melody-maker, and his lyrics are never as embarrassing as the
production suggests, which is really the thing that saves the record. The corny plugged-in-acoustic-guitar sound
that pervades the disc, paired with awful synthesized drums would almost definitely sink the album, if not for
the honesty and confidence Gescha displays in every moment. He is totally immersed in his own songs, and if
he slipped out of character at any point, the whole thing would likely come crashing down around him, but he
has complete faith in himself, which causes you to have faith in him, and all of a sudden, you realize how
wonderful these songs are.
Hopefully Greg makes up his mind about what era/genre he wants to pursue, but for now we can all take
comfort in knowing we finally have an accessible songwriter in our midst that is worth a damn.

- Matt Learoyd


My biggest complaint about Greg Gescha's self-titled album was the lack of tact in his production, or
choice of producer, and that it overshadowed the fact that he's probably one of the best
songwriters working out of our humble city. Listening to "Passage," two things become apparent:
one, the songs just keep getting better, with some true gems like the near-perfect
Marc Bolan-channeling opener "Sailflight" popping up, and two, I may have been wrong about the
production thing.

I still stand strong in my opinion that Greg should take a hint from '70's singer-songwriters' aesthetic,
but I also realized that if it were up to me, I would filter every pop song ever recorded through that
same style. Not to mention that Greg is more responsible with his own music than I give him credit for.
In fact, he might be on to something. It had never occured to me that prior to hearing Gescha's music
that lo-fi goes both ways - that recording with a shitty four-track recorded in your parents'
basement is just as valid as using outrageously cheesy MIDI drum patterns and acoustic/electric
guitar with flanger drizzled all over it.

This newfound open-mindedness helps "Passage" come alive - the skill, not only a penchant for
melody but a newfound knack for monster guitar slinging, is fantastically apparent here, more
exciting than ever before. Slow jams like "On Holiday" and "Pale.White.Skin" are not just pretty,
but heartbreaking and nostalgic (particularly impressive considering "Pale.White.Skin" shockingly
borrows a melody from Alanis Morrisette's "Ironic"), and the few rockers really bring it an old school
way, like the aforementioned "Sailflight", "Rainbow" and album highlight "Antibiotic", which features
guitar hooks that put every track on the last Built To Spill record to shame.

Even though Gescha has made a statement about the way he wants his music to sound, and I'm at
peace with that, there are some definite moments where his maturity just as a general maker of
music come through, in things as simple as kicking the distortion in at the right time, and knowing
when to mix the vocals high, that make "Passage" a much more satisfying listen than his previous
effort. There was an irksome flavour of kischiness present on his self-titled that has now been
replaced by a sense of comfort with the songs, a feeling that Gescha has become a lot more in tune
with what he likes to hear, and most importantly, what a fantastic songwriter he really is.
- Matt Learoyd


Local singer/songwriter Greg Gescha should get kudos for his efforts to write, record and produce this
self-titled disc. The instrumentals are catchy but unfortunately, the vocals all sound the same and left
me wondering if I was listening to the same lyrics over and over again. Gescha sounds like he’s looking
for love in all of the wrong places and with lyrics such as “I been kissed by a lesbian/Ain’t it fun, uh huh/
How I’m thinking about her and a friend/Joining in, oh yeah” from “Golden Butterfly,” you wonder why
love is eluding him. The words “Like the lesions on your skin/Eating away/Your chance to start it all/
Just let it begin” from the song “Next Dead Fish” left me waiting anxiously for the next track to begin
and hopeful that better lyrics were to come. And both “News Of The Day” and “She” made me want to
press the eject button on my CD player. Gescha sounds like an artist that would be great to see live but
his sound just didn’t transfer well onto a recording.
- Zoe Smythe


Greg Gescha, a singer/songwriter/producer from Calgary has a keen sense of sound that is raw and
up-tempo. Inspired by his time growing up in the Caribbean, he orchestrates different instruments in his
music that present a comforting tone and rhythm. Throughout the years Greg has been influenced by the
various cities traveled and music his family would listen to. The genres included Reggae to Hard Rock to
Classical and it’s truly demonstrated in the music he generates. With his strong lyrics and gentle voice he
pulls off an excellent effort to melodically construe an excellent solo album that when heard makes one a
believer. His sound resembles Jack Johnson’s in which his pace and acoustic guitar are the basis for most of
his music. I don’t like just giving the Jack Johnson comparison because it feels like an easy out to describe
the music. Greg’s lyrics are complex and catchy. He puts you into his music and it seems that he was able to
combine the right sound with the appropriate lyrical words that only experience can teach. I don’t know if
that differs from Jack Johnson’s sound but I’ll just say it’s different, original, and good. An artist who is known
for his energetic live performances and strong lyrics; Gescha is pacing at his chance to reach super stardom.

Lets breakdown a couple songs…ey!
Now I could only get a few minutes of each song but I sure filled an ear with enough to make a solid opinion.

Alright, with a song called “Golden Butterfly” Greg throws in a powerful funky intro that leads you into lyrics
like:

“I been kissed by a lesbian
Ain't it fun, uh huh
How I'm thinking 'bout her and a friend
Joining in, oh yeah.”

Sounds fun to me but anyways the song has a bouncy tone that is quite pleasing and the lyrics which are
presented as a story are comical and enjoyable. Ends up getting ditched by the lesbian and wants to be her
friend…looking for a follow up story for this tune.

“Shore leave” is an emotional portrayal of love lost. Slow tempo with strong lyrics that with his symbolism
paint a strong picture of what went on.

“Once more before you're movin' on
Once more your ship has come and gone.”

I like the song, catchy, fun and it’s clever. Simple enough to impress me with what he puts together and I am
truly a fan of his lyrics. With other songs like “Weighed Down” and “Only When” you get a good idea of what
kind of acoustic artist you are dealing with. He is someone with some original taste and rhythm that knows
his roots and puts on a show. Greg Geschas lyrics and musical experience will hopefully allow his solo effort
to be a success. I only expect great things in the future and look forward to what he’s got to offer us next.
Check out www.greggescha.com for music and tour dates. Jack Johnson ain’t got nothing on this Canuck.

- Dan Rondinelli


Discography

Greg Gescha - Shakkei (2008).
Greg Gescha - Passage (2005).
Greg Gescha - Greg Gescha (2004).
Relish - No Dice (1997).
3D Electric Jesus - Anonymous (1995).
Raw Trixx - Rawness (1992).

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Bio

Growing up in the Caribbean, Greg has been influenced by quite an array of musical styles. These become evident in the music on his three albums, written, performed and recorded by himself at his home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Having fronted a band for many years he has gained experience both in the studio and on stage. Making him stand out amongst the bands around town are not only his vocal capabilities (singing anything from the Darkness to Prince to Stevie Wonder) but his stage prescence. A unique performer his theatrics endear him to many an observer.
Greg's songs are in the pop vein but have tinges of other sources such as classical,reggae,rock and punk. Some influences: the Beatles, America, Bob Marley, the Carpenters, Led Zeppelin, Elton John and the Eagles.
His objective is to continue recording, networking and playing so that his experiences can take him out of the unknown to the forefront of music.