Beneath the radar of the corporate music world there are gems to be found. Greg Greenway is a multi-faceted one. A rare combination of instrumental expertise, a soulful and moving singer, powerful poet, and sparkling entertainer, Greenway is one of those difficult-to-categorize performers who has found a home in the modern acoustic genre. His collaboration with Joe Jencks and Pat Wictor as Brother Sun has taken him all over North America for the last five years. “Some Part of the Truth'” their second CD was the number one CD on the Folk DJ list for the year 2013. Both Brother Sun and Greg Greenway are planning new CDs for release in 2016.
Originally from Richmond, VA, Greg moved to Boston for its rich Folk Music tradition and has become one of its most unique and superlative emissaries. His “In the Name of Love,” a lead in to the U2 classic, “Pride,” was the #5 song on the Folk DJ list in 2013. It has become a defining piece on his journey to becoming an international artist capable of addressing sensitive topics like Race in a way that connects audiences to their humanity while entertaining them at the same time.
He has been described as “one of the strongest, and finest voices in folk music.” The Boston Globe wrote, “Confessional one moment, rambunctiously disarming the next, few modern folk singers can own a coffeehouse stage as completely as Greenway.” Another reviewer perhaps described it best, “A profoundly rich poet and musician. Folk Music is too narrow a description.”
Musically, his guitar, piano, and ukulele reflect inspiration from all over the map–gospel, rock, blues, Jazz, and world music. But his center is in the singer/songwriter tradition that traces it roots all the way back to the social awareness of Woody Guthrie. His central appeal is that it all comes through the singular lens of Greenway’s own humanity and affinity for the audience. He has legendary energy, couched in a presentation of high spirited give and take of such good humor that audiences unfailingly walk away uplifted.
From the end of 2010 to the present, Greenway has been one third of one of the most successful Folk trios in North America, Brother Sun. With Joe Jencks and Pat Wictor, Greenway has, as Brother Sun, produced two CDs, Brother Sun, and the aforementioned, Some Part of the Truth. “Brother Sun” remained on the Folk DJ charts for a year and a half, while 8 songs from SPOTT were in the top 100. Their remarkable three part harmony has brought them standing ovations from mainstages from Massachusetts to Vancouver Island.
Among Greenway’s solo highlights are a show at Carnegie Hall in the New York Singer / Songwriter Festival which was rebroadcast on NPR’s World Cafe, an appearance on nationally syndicated Mountain Stage, and a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honoring Phil Ochs. Greenway was seen world wide on CNN’s World Beat in a segment on socially conscious artists. He was filmed at the Clearwater Hudson River Revival Festival performing along with Folk legend Pete Seeger and others. Greenway has been featured on the weekend edition of NPR’s All Things Considered, and his dreams were fulfilled when “Driving in Massachusetts” was played on Car Talk.
Greenway now has eight critically acclaimed solo releases:
A Road Worth Walking Down (nominated for two Boston Music Awards)
Singing For the Landlord (top five CDs for 1995 on the Internet Folk DJ list)
Something Worth Doing (2001)
Greg Greenway: Live (2003)
Standing On The Side of Love (2008)
20,000 Versions of the Sun (2016)
He has been included on numerous compilations as well, including Putumayo World Music’s Shelter, Christine Lavin’s Big Times In A Small Town and Laugh Tracks, Sliced Bread’s Phil Ochs tribute CD, What’s That I Hear, and the compendium of disrespectful car songs from NPR’s Car Talk, CarTalk CarTunes.
Even as Brother Sun tours inernationally, Greenway has found new avenues through which to channel his art. He has become a producer and a teacher of workshops on song writing, performance, and his beloved C9 tuning. He originated a class entitled Music and Social Change, illuminating the history that bore songs and the songs that bore history. He continues to study piano and voice.