In a world of quick fixes and shock value, one-hit wonders and weekly online sensations, it is a rare treat to hear a songwriter like Gregory Rawlins, a poet whose words are both whittled from the sturdy oak of folk tradition as they are tempered by the modern-day skyscraper. His images dance whimsically, often playfully, yet reveal a landscape littered with subtle truths, dark confessions, and fierce social critiques, placing him among the ranks of musicians John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Townes Van Zandt.
About the Musician
Born and raised in the lush and sodden Puget Sound area of Western Washington, Rawlins’ musical inspiration derives from a mash-up of classic rock, country music, and the Seattle grunge wave of the early 1990s– genres illustrated in his solo work, as well as in Sons of Guns, a band he co-fronts with longtime friend Mike Surber.
In 2008, Rawlins self-released “The Amazing Circle of Boxes,” his 19-track debut album recorded between 2002-2007 during the interims of band activity, in a series of bedrooms, basements, garages and warehouses. At times simple and meditative, at times erratic, spacey, distorted and fused with a myriad of electronics and natural sounds, Rawlins auspiciously established himself as unique force in the NW independent music scene.
The envelope of experimentation was pushed even further with his 2010 release “Fuggit, I’ll Bet a Hunnerd,” a dust-covered, booze-draped daydream, centered around the concept of one’s struggle to embrace the magical and maddening affects of life in the Grande Ronde Valley– an area Rawlins has inhabited off-and-on for the past decade.
“(Fuggit, I’ll Bet a Hunnerd) takes you on a journey that will have you tapping your toes, bobbing you head and cringing in all the best ways as Rawlins intertwines his cozy sense of camaraderie with a wistful tone that is entirely unique.”
~ Jeff Van Vickle, The Voice
2011 has proven to be Gregory Rawlins’ most dynamic and prolific year to date. In addition to releasing “Oregon Slogan,” the second full-length by Sons of Guns, he has performed over two-dozen shows this summer alone– including a two-week, three-state NW tour, and has once again entered the studio under the engineering tutelage of Elidila’s Wayne Callahan, to record his third work.
When asked about the forthcoming album, Rawlins disclosed, “it’s a conscious effort to get back to the fundaments of songwriting and recording. Whereas the first two records were heaps of ambient electronic effects, artificial beats and layers and layers of vocals, these sessions are completely stripped-down and organic, with minimal accompaniment and harmonies. The goal is to reproduce each song live… a thing impossible to do with much of the previous material.”