On March 3rd, 2009, Gregory Douglass will release his seventh album, BATTLER. What few people know is that his sixth album UP & AWAY was nearly his last. Hurled into a depression by the state of the music industry and the pressures endured by full-time independent artists, Douglass took a break from touring and drew himself in for a long, dark Vermont winter. After a winter love affair with the HBO series "Six Feet Under," Douglass was bewitched by the haunting and compelling questions raised by the show. The result is BATTLER — 12 songs of versatile and extraordinary musical depth. He says, "Writing and recording this album has been a cathartic experience — after a rock-bottom winter of red wine and unexpected inspiration, I've come to the conclusion that I undoubtedly need to continue making music."
Douglass calls "Day of the Battler" his favorite track on the album. "It's so dramatic and uninhibited; it calls upon many of my more free-spirited musical influences like Sarah Slean, Kate Bush and Regina Spektor," he says. "Cathedrals," a gritty and controversial song, takes on religion and sexual addiction. "While 'Cathedrals' is relatable to anyone who has suffered from addiction, I spotlight religion and sexual addiction because of all the scandals we've seen recently," says Douglass. "From political figures to priests to celebrities — with all the sexual oppression in the world, it's no wonder these issues have blown up in the media." Douglass describes his feelings watching a beloved childhood friend overcome a tough upbringing to marry the love of her life in the piano-driven opening track, "Broken Through." BATTLER's epic ballad, "Devotion," also portrays a similar surge of personal growth. "No Apology" confronts Douglass' life-long struggles with his father in a multi-layered, a cappella hymn. Douglass explains, "I'm much happier in my personal life these days; I'm letting a lot more positive people and energy into my life." Collaborations include Righteous Babe Record’s Anais Mitchell on the moving and intensely beautiful “Sadly” and the stunning closing track “Ordinary Man,“ featuring soul diva Grace Potter.
Douglass's evocative, alternative sound has been compared to Tori Amos, Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright. His numerous accolades include being a finalist for both the 2005 International Songwriting Competition and the 2004 Independent Music Awards; he was the winner of the 2003 GrammyFest Awards in New York City, as well as the inaugural performer on the American Red Cross "Save A Life Tour" in 2003. Douglass actively appears at listening rooms, clubs, festivals, and campuses throughout the United States and has shared the stage with artists like They Might Be Giants, Melissa Ferrick, Jason Mraz, Regina Spektor, Third Eye Blind and Margaret Cho. Douglass' music video for "Hang Around" charted for six consecutive months on LOGO TV's "Click List" Top 10 Video Countdown in 2008, following similar success on LOGO TV with his video for "I Wanted To Run" in 2007.
Douglass has mastered the art of grassroots promotion with the help of his fan base. He has independently released seven full-length studio albums over the last decade through "Emote Records," a self-owned and operated record label. His last four albums were financed almost entirely by the support of his fans pre-ordering and contributing donations directly through his website. House concerts hosted also by fans make up a large portion of his national touring. "As a full-time independent artist, it's imperative to come up with intimate, new ways to remind people you’re still there," Douglass says.
Douglass was born and raised in rural Vermont, winning local talent shows in his early teens. He taught himself to play the piano and guitar by ear and took up songwriting in junior high. While attending Brewster Academy, a college-preparatory boarding high school in New Hampshire, Douglass composed and recorded the material for his first two albums. On graduation day, Brewster Academy's headmaster presented him with a music award, publicly announcing that Douglass was the first student he would ever encourage NOT to go to college and instead pursue his passion full time — advice Douglass ran with.