Grey Gritt

Grey Gritt

 Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, CAN

Grey Gritt is a genderqueer person of French-Canadian culture and Aboriginal heritage. With a little bit of soul mixed with a handful of blues, and a hefty serving of metaphors with a dash of black tattoos, this bluesy folk-rocker will captivate you with a fiery voice and the guitar work to match.


Its almost as if somewhere on the Canadian shield, maybe 25 or so years ago, the soul of the new generation bluesmen and the passion of the grrls with guitars gave birth to a most unlikely love child:  a tattooed, gender queer, punk rock-loving troubadour who played with a raw, percussive guitar style that at times recalled Ani DiFrancos and who could sing with the pure, passionate, boyish and elastic voice of a young Colin James in his prime.

Using these gifts, the award-winning Yellowknife-based artist would then channel the spirit of the austere North through clever, soulful, bluesy roots numbers sung with just a hint of punk rock attitude.

In return, northerners would vote the artist into the number one spot in the Northern division of the CBC Radio Searchlight competition.

Now, Greyson Gritt is preparing a return to the rest of Canada.

Gritt was born of an Ojibway mother and a French Canadian father who raised their child in a non-musical home in the tiny town of Warren, Ontario, not far from North Bay.

The nom de guerre derives from the gray area the artist occupies on the gender binary.   (Grey prefers to be referred to in the third person using they as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.)  

Musically, Gritt was forged at a place where the soul of early Motown wafts through a wood stove-heated houseboat on a frozen Great Slave Lake; where the furious intensity of the riot grrls echoes off a secluded cliff overlooking downtown Yellowknife; and where the frenzied social conscience of punk rock hangs in the air in a private corner of a run-down northern bar. 

Gritt had taken up guitar in high school, studied audio engineering in Montreal, and then beat a path across Northern Ontario, gradually carving out the circuit of festivals, bars and coffee houses that would mold the artist into a seasoned performer included repeat engagements at Sudburys Northern Lights Festival.  But it was in Yellowknife the final destination of a cross-Canada road trip from which Gritt would never return that a relationship ended, and the blues seeped into the music.  It was in Yellowknife that Gritt stumbled upon the vintage Harmony Rocket that has become central to their sound.  And it was in Yellowknife, with its environment of scarcity, that Gritt found inspiration in the ethos of making do and expressing ones authentic voice with whatever tools one has at hand.

Fans have responded to Gritts style with enthusiasm, making the artist a highlight of the regions Folk on the Rocks festival. Gritt also represented them at Northern Scene at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and as an opening act for Harry Manx.  A debut EP, Nickles and Dimes, was released in 2012, and most recently, Gritt was accepted into a career mentorship program at the Northern Arts and Culture Centre with the official goal of turning Gritt into one of the territorys next big cultural exports. 

You heard it here first.

If the sound of the Yukon is the sweet sound of Appalachia tempered by a desolate landscape and embodied in artists such as Kim Beggs and Annie Lou then the sound of the Northwest Territories is the threadbare soul of acoustic folk-blues infused with a vast sense of space and solitude and sharpened by the chill of a freezing wind blowing through a deserted downtown street. 

And northerners have elected Gritt their musical ambassador.

Set List

Grey has a large repertoire of original songs to choose from.

Grey covers songs by:

Tom Waits, Joel Plaskett, Laura Veirs, Jean Leloup, Damien Rice, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gotye and Robyn.

Sets are 45-60 minutes in length, and Grey can play 3 in a night.