Jason McGregor
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Jason McGregor

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"Pilgrim Album Review"

CD: Pilgrim (2005)

‘Pilgrim’ is the debut CD for Australian acoustic guitarist Jason McGregor. As such, it is predominantly an instrumental album with one exception – his voice features on his bluesy take of the gospel classic ‘Wade in the Water’. He’s got quite a voice and I’d like to see it featured more on future releases.

I first met Jason and his wife Jody (the track ‘Abi’ is dedicated to her) at the very first gospel concert put on by the AIM (Australian Indigenous Ministry) church in Cherbourg, Queensland (Australia) in 2005. At that concert he performed a great cover of Australian artist Rick Price’s ‘River of Love’ song. (Please include this on your next CD Jason.)

Five of the CD’s nine tracks were composed by Jason himself – the remaining four are well-chosen covers. The title track ‘Pilgrim’ (a personal favourite of mine) is an autobiographical track reflective of where God has taken Jason both spiritually and geographically. All believers are pilgrims on a journey that has various twists and turns – and so does this piece musically-speaking. ‘Josie’ is a great cover of the Steely Dan tune. ‘Cannonball Rag’ is Jason’s solo arrangement of guitarist Merle Travis’ tune. (He performs it as a tribute to him.) The final track ‘Emire’ is Jason’s musical interpretation of the Hebrew word for ‘peace’.

This CD showcases Jason’s flawless playing. He’s assisted here and there by fellow guitarist and producer Michael Fix, bass player David Jones, and percussionist Suzanne Hibbs. The production is clear throughout. Jason is only 23 years of age and he’s definitely going places musically. This CD is for you if you enjoy the more acoustic sounds of Australia’s guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel (whom Jason cites as an influence on his website) or America’s guitarist extraordinaire Phil Keaggy. - phantom tollbooth - www.tollbooth.org


Discography

Album - Pilgrim 2005
Album - Without Words 2006

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

With thousands of performance hours already clocked up around the world Jason is one of Australia’s finest young musicians and is the current National Fingerstyle guitar champion.

Born on the Atherton tablelands in North Queensland, Australia, Jason first picked up the guitar towards the end of his high school years at the invite of his youth group leader and was soon playing in church. Jason soon discovered the playing of Tommy Emmanuel and made the decision to be a professional guitar player. In the coming months, Jason joined his first band playing country and rock before moving on to blues, jazz, big band and folk groups.

After reaching a tuition plateau, Jason made the move to Brisbane to pursue further studies at QUT in Brisbane. In the four years since, Jason has studied under jazz guitar virtuoso James Sherlock as well as Golden guitar winner Michael Fix.

About this time, Jason began performing solo pieces at gigs during the set breaks and then moved onto performing at concerts along with other young musicians in Brisbane. After having success in his solo performances, Jason set about becoming a top fingerstyle guitarist and won the fingerstyle guitar award at the Frankston international guitar festival. This lead to a sponsorship from master guitar luthier Michael Palm and performance opportunities at several Australian guitar festivals culminating in an Eastern Coast tour of Queensland performing at churches and schools as well as holding fingerstyle guitar workshops in regional music stores.

At present, Jason is embarking on his second album and preparing to tour internationally