The Greg Cockerill Band
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The Greg Cockerill Band

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Un Unabashed Romantic at Heart."

Armed with a down-to-earth nature and unabashedly romantic lyrics, local roots/rock musician Greg Cockerill is a definite talent, and the maturity of his debut album, Summertime and Heartache, belies his 28 years. Cockerill possesses a soulful, rousing vocal delivery, and he relies on simple, meaningful methods to portray his brand of roots rock, not unlike Bruce Springsteen or Neil Young.

BeatRoute: You have a strong jazz background – what prompted you to move towards roots music from jazz?

Greg Cockerill: I’ve always loved music and that brought me into the more intellectual side of music, which made me want to study it. But then I fell in love again with the people who first got me into music like Bob Dylan and Neil Young, and playing their music was very simple, but very emotional and rewarding. I guess playing simpler music didn’t mean it was simpler and I got hooked on that.

BR: Your music has a lot of resemblance to earlier Bruce Springsteen music – “County Fair” comes to mind – do you think you identify with the same blue collar sensibilities that he does?

GC: That’s funny, because that actually is a Bruce Springsteen song. It was never released and appeared later on a bonus disc. I actually had to communicate with his lawyers to get permission to use the song, and I have his signature beside mine on some legal documents in my room.

BR: You cover the song “If I Were a Carpenter,” on your new album, a song that’s been subject to many interpretations over the year, but you made it your own. If you were to do a tribute album, what/who would be on it?

GC: Bruce Springsteen is one of my favourites. I’d also like to do Neil Young, he’s got a bunch of great stuff and a lot of it was very raw.

BR: Your music belies your 28 years. How are you able to put across a more mature sensibility in your music?

GC: I’ve played lots with other musicians over the years, and on my own I’ve been averaging about 4 gigs a week over the past two years. It’s fun to be doing my own stuff, I’m grateful to be able to do it.

BR: I like the fact that you’ve got two songs quirkily called Suzy 1 (Don’t Turn Away) and Suzy 2 (Don’t Lie) on your album. What is the story behind these two songs?

GC: First of all, there isn’t any Suzy. In terms of the chord structure and the melody, they’re both very similar, but the emotions or feels are quite different. Actually there’s a Bill Frisell album, Gone Just Like A Train, and he performs two songs, with “Part One” and “Part Two” titles, and that’s kind of where I got the idea. I wrote them together and I had this emotional idea that stretched across two songs.

BR: I get the impression from your songs that you’re a bit of a romantic. Is that a fair statement?

GC: (Laughing) Yeah, totally. I think a lot of the songs on this record are about romance, it’s kind of a big theme for me.
- Scott Chomistek, Beatroute magazine

"New Music Track of the Day"

New Music Canada Track of the Day for Nov. 4: Greg Cockerill "Bad Night for Rock & Roll"
Posted by Amanda Putz at 12:00 AM

On Friday we published the first-ever all Country podcast on CBC Radio 3.

It was a fabulous mix of old-time,, western, honky-tonk, country-folk and at least ten other sub-genres I won't bother mentioning.
I could it have made it a marathon podcast to last at least a week, which is testament to the strength of country songwriting in Canada.

Of course downloading such a podcast would really get your company's internet-minders' knickers in a knot so we've kept it to 75 tight minutes. Unfortunately that means I couldn't fit in all the tunes I'd love you to hear, so that's where the Track of the Day comes in! Allow me to introduce Calgary's Greg Cockerill.

This song should be on radio. Not just CBC Radio 3 radio, but country, rock, and pop radio. It's the perfect tune to bridge the gap between those formats, commerciality and indie-ness. Greg is a mild-mannered Cowtown buckaneer who played in everybody else's band for years and was chomping at the bit to make a record of his own. It might have been a bad night for rock and roll but it was obviously just the right time to write a perfect country-rock song with piano, windmill guitar-playing, and dusty-sweet vocals. Have a listen to The Greg Cockerill Band with Bad Night for Rock & Roll.
- CBC Radio 3

"From 'jazz dork' to Cockerill rock"

From ‘jazz dork’ to Cockerill rock
Singer-songwriter tracks a natural progression back to the basics

Published August 7, 2008 by M.D. Stewart in Music Previews

James Strangroom

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“Greg’s a pretty simple guy,” asserts Joelle May, the Greg Cockerill Band’s publicist, as we’re setting up the interview. It quickly becomes apparent upon meeting Cockerill that May’s statement is oversimplification in itself. The Calgary singer-songwriter is poised to release his debut disc, Summertime and Heartache, an extremely well crafted selection of roots rock originals and two well placed covers. While the singer-songwriter suit fits him like hand-tailored denim, it turns out that his personal musical roots are different from most of his peers. As an admitted, former “jazz dork,” Cockerill pursued formal music studies at Ontario’s prestigious Humber College. “I loved jazz and I very much thought I wanted to be a jazz guy, but a year or two after finishing music school, I started to get a bit alienated from the music,” he says. This alienation forced a reexamination of his previous motivations. “A few great Bruce Springsteen records and Bob Dylan records later, I realized, ‘Man this is why I originally loved music.’”

Cockerill moved back to Calgary and hit the open mic circuit with a vengeance, playing live three times a week and learning new songs for virtually every jam he attended. Inevitably, he was asked to play something original. “I was kind of dared one day, ‘OK, Greg, you can sing all these covers. Can you sing one of your own songs?’” he recalls. “I had a few I was working on, so I polished them up and went in and sang them. I was just terrified the first time, but after that, I was just hooked on doing my own stuff.”

The leap from solo folky to roots-rock bandleader came soon thereafter. “I got a call from Sam Masterton [slide guitar], who I’d met at the same open mic. He had a big gig coming up, a couple of thousand bucks to play for two hours, and said, ‘let’s throw a band together.’ So the band basically came together for that show.”

With a crackerjack band, an increasing repertoire and an ever-expanding circle of contacts, Cockerill met and was dazzled by David Baxter, Justin Rutledge’s guitarist and producer. “He just blew my mind with how musical he was and his tone and everything,” says Cockerill. Baxter would produce Summertime and Heartache at The Beach in Calgary and at his own Knob and Tube studio, in Toronto. He also offered simple suggestions to improve Cockerill’s tone and sound. Rutledge and Baxter himself turn in guest performances, but it’s Cockerill and his band who really shine. His easy, natural vocal delivery evokes a slightly refined John Prine, and the band play with a maturity and proficiency that belie their youth. In many ways, this record was a lifetime in the making.

“In terms of the themes and everything I’m singing about, [it’s been brewing for a long time],” he says. “The songs are very personal to me even though a lot of them are fictional narratives. They’re still stuff I’ve dealt with and gone through. It’s kind of a record about my journey into adulthood.”

It’s ironic, given his accomplishments and the path he’s traveled, that, three years ago, Cockerill would not even have considered himself a singer- songwriter. “None of this was ever deliberate, until now,” he admits. “Everything was just a natural progression. I was just hosting my open mics and the next thing I know, I’m writing songs and playing with a band. I never thought I would be a vocalist.”

- M.D. Stewart; Ffwd Magazine


"Summertime & Heartache" c.2008
CBC Radio 3 'track of the day'



Described as the perfect blend of indie-Canadiana and commercial music by CBC Radio, The Greg Cockerill Band is now playing full time across Canada in support of their debut record “Summertime & Heartache” Fueled by an all-star, young but seasoned rhythm section hailing from across Canada, the music is characterized by its honest blue collar roots-rock approach. Frontman Greg Cockerill crafts simple songs reflecting the complexity of human emotion and relationships. “I write about my hopes and my fears, we play hard to try to get into these feelings with our audience” Cockerill states. Inspired by songwriters such as Dylan, Springsteen and Young, there is no mistaking the cultural lineage of the music as it rings with authenticity and urgency. After a recent move from Calgary to Toronto and whole new batch of songs in the making the next year of 2010 should be a promising one the Greg Cockerill Band.

Greg Cockerill was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1980 and grew up in Calgary Alberta. After initially starting out on classical piano, a few Beatles and Jimi Hendrix records convinced him to switch to guitar which quickly became an obsession. After studying music formally at St.-Francis-Xavier University and Humber College in Toronto and graduating with honours with a double major in composition/arranging and jazz guitar, Cockerill moved back to Alberta and reconnected with roots music playing country, jazz and blues in the local bar scene. It was during this time that Cockerill began singing and composing his own brand of roots-folk/rock music. “once i started doing that I knew that was it” he states. “It fit. It came straight from my soul in a way that it wasn’t coming across playing guitar or just composing”. Newly reborn as a singer-songwriter and bandleader, Cockerill recorded his first album, “Summertime & Heartache” (2008) with acclaimed Toronto folk Producer David Gavan Baxter featuring an all-star lineup of young Alberta scene musicians and an appearance by acclaimed Toronto songwriter Justin Rutledge. Being an independent release and having no management team, Cockerill went on to do what he does best: play. Hitting the Canadian Highways from Vancouver to Toronto and back several times, it took about a year for radio to catch on. “At first it was pretty tough,” Cockerill laughs, “calling up old friends and relatives to tell them we were passing through their town if we could even get a gig. We didn’t really have much media support so it was almost all word of mouth from the live show which is why we tour so much. Then the CBC got some calls and asked me to send them my record and they put 2 songs on regular rotation across Canada and made “Bad Night for Rock & Roll” track of the day on Radio 3.” After this the band started getting more attention becoming a featured act at the Dauphin Country Festival 2 years consecutively and being asked by the City of Calgary to play its 2009 Canada Day Celebration in front of 20,000 people. With a new album in the works and a cross-canada tour that includes stops in the Maritimes for the first time, 2010 should be a busy and a successful year for Greg Cockerill and his Band.