Growing up in a small rural town on a fourth generation family farm, musician/composer Gregory always had a transistor radio plugged into his ear reveling in Casey Kasem’s Weekly Top 40 broadcast on WLS in Chicago. His mother’s desire that he play piano in church led to music lessons at age eight, and ultimately to a college music program at Illinois Wesleyan University, resulting in a Bachelor degree in piano pedagogy.
During summer college breaks he worked as a singing waiter and entertainer at a resort hotel in Glacier National Park, Montana. A fortuitous meeting and conversation with singer/songwriter and hotel guest Paul Simon provided musical insight, clarity and direction. When Gregory returned to Illinois he knew where he needed to be. So he headed for Los Angeles to start his music career with just enough money to cover a deposit and one month’s rent on an apartment. The rest he would figure out along the way.
Gregory is a long way off the farm of his Illinois upbringing and that initial trek to Los Angeles. Now residing in Boulder, Colorado his New Age, Native American flute, and ambient/electronic music CDs, released through his own Soul Catcher Music label, have been played on over 75 domestic and international radio stations, charting up to #27 on New Age Voice Magazine's Top 100. Starting with his Soul Catcher CD (released in 2000) each recording is composed, performed, produced and engineered by Gregory, and features his graphic designs and artwork. His music incorporates instruments from all over the world: African, Native American and Polynesian drums, Indian Tamboura and handmade rhythmic and melodic instruments. Exploring the Indian ruins in Sedona, Arizona resulted in his Native American flute CD, Distant Voices, Echoes In Time. Playing the flute inside the ruins and out over the canyon Gregory wanted to capture that sound in the studio, “as it might have been hundreds of years ago, echoing off the canyon walls.” He continues to explore new themes and in 2007 will complete his fifth recording, Circle of Time partially inspired by a trip to Stonehenge, England. Gregory’s CDs have received such critical praise as: “A recommended electronic music album…testament to his musical talent.” – Wind and Wire; “…excellent album for inner world meditation.” -- Mountain Luminary.
When Gregory arrived in Los Angeles in the mid ‘80s his musical path started taking shape. “I had completely left one world and entered another. It was an eye opening experience that nobody could have prepared me for.” He immediately landed a job at United Stations Radio Networks (the former RKO) that syndicated Dick Clark shows and Rick Dees Weekly Top 40. Gregory later worked at rock station KMET (as Frank Cody’s assistant under station manager Howard Bloom) during its transition to New Age/Light Jazz as KTWV The Wave, a format change that generated press attention across the country.
He joined the rock band Other Voices playing the club circuit and rehearsing in an old beer brewery loft space in downtown L.A. Other Voices featured radio personality Terry Gladstone (currently on KLOS FM in Los Angeles), Gregory on keyboards, drummer Joey Peters (later of Cracker and Grant Lee Buffalo) and guitarist Jimmy Stafford who went on to form the popular rock band, Train. They recorded several demos with various producers, including the late Larry Wilkens (former guitarist with Sugarloaf and later, Eric Burdon). When Gregory set up a home-based recording studio he was hired to produce tracks out of Ocean Way and Enterprise Studios for Japanese artist Hiroko Minato, who later had a Number One song in the UK.
After failed attempts to land a record deal, Other Voices disbanded and Gregory decided to move to Boulder, Colorado. The beauty of the Rockies and open spaces refueled his creativity and eventually took him in a new direction spiritually and musically. For four years Gregory played keyboards as one half of the progressive rock duo, Aeriale, with guitarist Stephanie Sante, when a chance conversation with a co-worker at his day job ultimately redirected his musical vision. “We were discussing crystals and New Age metaphor, and it all made a great deal of sense to me.” He then discovered others in his life had knowledge of these same thoughts and principals. Intrigued Gregory relistened to some recordings he had from his KTWV days realizing, “When I worked there I didn’t get the spiritual connection to the music, because I was too young and naive. After this Kundalini experience, I started trying to forget all that I was taught in music school about form and musical order, and instead use a stream of consciousness and improvisational approach to writing music. I was already a synth player, so I had access to those New Age and synth sounds; I just had to rethink the music compositions.” The eventual result was his Soul Catcher CD inspired by his spiritual awakening, studies and travels.
“Music has always made me feel like I was home, as in a connectedness to the universe and everyone in it. I have come to believe that music and art are a way to help you find that little space inside of yourself, if you've forgotten where it is and what it's for. It's a direct gift from the great universal creator.
“Everything I do, the graphic designs, photography, art, and music, are products of my creative spirit and the need to express all that is beauty in the world and sometimes, perhaps that which is off-world, or what I imagine that to be.”
Soul Catcher Music CDs, digital downloads and merchandise as well as Soul Catcher Graphics imagery and photography (on over 1250 products) are available through www.soulcatchermusic.com and for download at iTunes and various online sites.
Written by Teresa Conboy