Biography

...THE BEST SINGER/SONGWRITER YOU'VE 'NEVER' HEARD!

— CBC Radio

BIOGRAPHY

He doesn't have a manager. Doesn't have an agent. Doesn't even have a recording deal. So how has he managed to sell out some of the finest concert venues in the country?

Gregg Lawless just may be the best singer/songwriter you've 'never' heard, but his ability to win over audiences from eight to eighty has afforded him a sustainable career spanning more than two decades.

Gregg has made unconventional career choices. For one thing, his musical tours have taken him far from the bright lights of the big city to rural Ireland and remote regions of Africa. Rather than playing music festivals, he spent five summers running songwriting workshops as musical director for Camp Trillium, a camp for children and families affected by childhood cancer. He founded World Vision's 'WorldSong' sponsorship initiative. He has co-written over 200 character-based songs and recorded 20 full-length CDs with Peel and York Region students. He has garnered two JUNO nominations for his Gregg LeRock French educational songs which are sung by hundreds of thousands of young Canadians learning French.

Audiences and critics alike love Gregg's music, stories and showmanship. He has headlined some of Canada's biggest theatres and concert houses. Reviewers have celebrated his "remarkably diverse" songwriting and his ability to effortlessly mix musical flavours - from blues to pop, from folk to rock - into tight, catchy arrangements.

Gregg's tales of travelling throughout Canada, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Swaziland range from touching personal moments to unpredictably hilarious episodes. His high-energy concerts showcase his ability to weave engaging stories into captivating songs with a universal appeal. Audiences describe his live performances as "riveting," "charismatic" and "absolutely stunning."

Gregg's debut CD, Greggorian Chance, without the benefit of major label distribution or masses of hype, sold thousands of copies. The disc has also enjoyed extensive airplay across Canada on CBC, commercial and college radio, as well as in the U.S., the U.K., the former U.S.S.R., Norway, Argentina and South Africa. And the considerable 'buzz' surrounding Gregg Lawless only grew louder with the release of his sophomore CD, Wicked Little Buzz, showcasing his broad range of musical, lyrical and emotional depth.

Gregg's Something Beautiful CD featured a mix of witty wordplay and sober reflections on the experiences of life and love, and effectively marked his arrival as a mature songwriter, confident in his craft.

With Footnote, his latest solo release, Gregg delivers original music from recycled instruments. Featuring heartfelt,rootsy songs performed on castaway guitars, the CD is a footnote to a decade of rich musical experience.

Gregg Lawless just may be the best singer/songwriter you've 'never' heard. But in a world of instant fame, he's quite content to define his own success, moving along at his own, comfortable pace.

EXTENDED CHRONOLOGICAL BIOGRAPHY

Gregg Lawless is about as rare as they come. A talented artist who writes original - and sometimes uncomfortably honest - songs, he engages audiences with performances that are often characterized as 'charismatic' and 'absolutely stunning.' These accolades and many more only make it more surprising that Gregg is his own manager, record label and distributor.

If you're familiar with Gregg's music, it will come as no surprise that he's a man of many identities. And it shows in his eclectic approach to both writing and performing. To some he is known for the French songs he authored that continue to be used in French curriculum in schools across Canada. To others, he was the man behind Bloorstation, the popular roots rock band that rode the indie wave of the early 90s. To the thousands of students with whom he has co-written character-based songs, he is "Triple G ... the lean, mean songwriting machine." And to many more, he is singer/songwriter Gregg Lawless whose immensely entertaining, high-energy concerts leap from pop to folk to rock to blues to ragtime at the drop of a guitar pick.

By all accounts, Gregg's career choice seems a natural one. Born and raised in Aurora, Ontario, he spent countless weekends and summers in the tiny hamlet of Grafton (pop. 100), discovering his family's roots in the area and sharing their passion for music. Gregg comes from strong musical stock: one uncle is a virtuoso classical pianist, another a rebellious pop crooner, and his grandmother's knowledge of old Celtic ballads, passed down from her own grandmother, became a lifelong resource to the young singer/songwriter. Exposure to this vast range of music left Gregg with an open mind and open ears. His experimentation began with the drums, leading him to the trumpet and finally the bass guitar, with stints in everything from prog rock bands to the high school jazz ensemble.

Gregg is no stranger to reinvention. After taking up the guitar during his student days at the University of Ottawa, Gregg formed a punk/pop band, Lawless Students, and later, an acoustic duo, Murphy's Lawless. After graduating with a degree in French literature, Gregg headed for Toronto and quickly found a niche for both his linguistic and songwriting skills. Gregg Le Rock, the nom de plume for his francophone persona, was born and was soon performing for French-language schools across Ontario. Gregg's work with children would soon take him out of the schools and into summer camp through his association with Camp Trillium, a summer retreat for children and families affected by childhood cancer. As a counsellor and music director, Gregg penned what became the camp's official song, "The Goodnight Song."

Gregg led Bloorstation through two critically acclaimed indie recordings that attracted interest from several North American record labels. Ultimately, Bloorstation succumbed to the pressures of negotiating a major label contract but Gregg bounced back as a solo artist, sharing the stage with Holly Cole, Amanda Marshall, Tom Cochrane, Jeff Healey and more.

Greggorian Chance, Gregg's debut solo CD, without the benefit of major label distribution, has sold thousands of copies. It received extensive airplay on CBC, commercial and college radio in Canada, as well as in the U.S., the U.K., Russia, Norway, Argentina, and South Africa. His sophomore CD, Wicked Little Buzz, broke the mould again, garnered rave reviews and sold equally well.

Gregg's Something Beautiful, Gregg's third CD, marked a change of musical direction, while retaining the mixture of candour and catchiness that instantly grabs your ear. Featuring his trademark mix of witty wordplay and sober reflections on the experiences of life and love, Something Beautiful is the work of a mature songwriter at the top of his trade.

With Footnote, his latest solo release, Gregg delivers original music from recycled instruments. Featuring heartfelt, rootsy songs performed on castaway guitars, the CD is a footnote to a decade of rich musical experience.

For more information and samples of Gregg’s music, visit: http://www.gregglawless.com

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Wrote French language music for educational publishing companies Addison-Wesley/Longman, Copp Clark Pitman and Prentice-Hall/Ginn
  • JUNO nominations for Encore and OUI! CDs
  • Musical director for Camp Trillium, a support centre for families affected by childhood cancer
  • Artistic director and MC for Riverdale Share Community Concert at Danforth Music Hall
  • Led workshops for Ontario Arts Council, Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association
  • Featured in Toronto Star, National Post, Songwriter's Magazine
  • Taught songwriting courses for Brock University, Sir Sandford Fleming College
  • Wrote articles for Canada Council, Songwriters Magazine, Muses' Muse
  • Led Literacy Through Music songwriting project and live performances/CD recordings with Peel DSB, York Region DSB, Simcoe County DSB schools
  • Founded World Vision WorldSong sponsorship program
  • Song/demo evaluator for Songwriters Association of Canada

REVIEWS

"Complex, thoughtful songs that defy categorization ... jaunty pop edges, arranged, melodic guitar parts and Beatlesesque vocal treatments that jut defiantly outside official folk parameters."
- The Toronto Star

"Lawless skips between musical flavours ranging from blues to pop to folk music, breaking up his hooky tunes with tales of his travels to Ireland and South Africa."
- National Post

"The best singer/songwriter you've 'never' heard!"
- CBC Radio

"Mixing pop, country, folk and rock into tight, catchy arrangements is something he does with confident ease ... an ace songwriter."
- NOW Magazine

"... an exuberant, often touching, wonderfully varied musical offering ..."
- Folkroutes, CKLN

"A rich and eclectic musical stew... clever wordplay, off-beat humour and biting satire!"
- The Record, Kitchener, ON

"Gregg Lawless should be nominated as poster boy for the independent musician."
- Kerry Doole/Tandem Magazine

"Exceptional songwriting skills... a more than generous helping of melodious, hook-laden compositions... one hell of an album."
- Rock 'n' Reel, UK

"There's something about this CD that made me want to listen to it again. That doesn't happen often enough."
- Brent Nielsen, Music Programmer, CBC Radio

"With decent airplay, it could be a huge success. It certainly deserves to be."
- R.P.M. Chart Weekly

"If you're young or old, or middle-aged... if you like traditional music, or rock-a-billy, ballads, slide guitar and/or sousaphone, you'll find something you here. It's a fine collection of spunky tunes and lyrics - charmingly, from the underdog's point of view."
- Voyage North, CBC Thunder Bay

"The novelty and sheer entertainment value of the songs you performed were commented on again and again by the audience."
- David Scott, Markham Theatre

"Wonderful, folksy stuff... great range... love the voice, love the lyrics ... a great talent."
- CBC Stereo, Maritime Region

"Wow!... an incredibly eclectic mix... you could play three songs in one show and you wouldn't believe it's the same guy!"
- CBC Yellowknife

"A real songwriting talent with lots of wit. Great stuff."
- Radio Canada International

"A real original... a fantastic performer."
- CIUT-FM

"Very different, very rewarding."
- Almanac, CBC Vancouver

"A wonderful performer. A brilliant, brilliant CD."
- Rogers TV

DISCOGRAPHY

  • Gregg Lawless, Footnote (Grafton Music - GPL 2014) 2014
  • Gregg Lawless, Something Beautiful (Grafton Music - GPL 2004) 2004
  • Gregg Lawless, Wicked little buzz (Grafton Music - GPL 2000) 2001
  • Gregg Lawless, Live at C'est What? (Get Real Records - CWCD001) 1998
  • Gregg Lawless, Greggorian Chance (Grafton Music - GPL 0607) 1997
  • Bloorstation, Evolver (Pangaea - CA 1001) 1993
  • Bloorstation Evolution #1 (Grafton Music) 1992
  • Bloorstation, Live at Clinton's (CFNY) 1991
  • Bloorstation, Sampler (Grafton Music) 1991

FRENCH RECORDINGS

  • Gregg LeRock, Le caractère compte (Grafton Music) 2012
  • Gregg LeRock, C'est parti! (Les Éditions CEC Inc.) 2011
  • Gregg LeRock, OUI! (Grafton Music - GPL 2009) 2009
  • Gregg LeRock, Carrousel (Thomson Nelson) 2008
  • Gregg LeRock, À La Ronde (Thomson Nelson) 2007
  • Gregg LeRock, Vive LeRock! (Grafton Music - GPL 1999) 1999
  • Gregg LeRock, Images (Addison Wesley) 1997
  • Gregg LeRock, Acti-Vie (Prentice Hall) 1996
  • Gregg LeRock, Encore (Grafton Music - GPL 1995) 1995
  • Gregg LeRock, Visages 2 (Addison Wesley) 1994
  • Gregg LeRock, Visages 1 (Addison Wesley) 1993
  • Gregg LeRock, Destinations 2 (Copp Clark Pitman) 1991
  • Gregg LeRock, Destinations 1 (Copp Clark Pitman) 1990
  • Gregg LeRock, Lunettes de Soleil (Grafton Music) 1990

EDUCATIONAL RECORDINGS

  • Our Choices, Our Voices, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2013
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2013
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2012
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2012
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2011
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2011
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2010
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2010
  • Gregg LeRock, Le caractère compte (Grafton Music) 2012
  • Gregg LeRock, C'est parti! (Les Éditions CEC Inc.) 2011
  • Gregg LeRock, OUI! (Grafton Music - GPL 2009) 2009
  • Gregg LeRock, Carrousel (Thomson Nelson) 2008
  • Gregg LeRock, À La Ronde (Thomson Nelson) 2007
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2009
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2009
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2008
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2008
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2007
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2007
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2006
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2006
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2005
  • Literacy and Values Through Music, Peel District School Board (Grafton Music) 2005
  • Commit To Character, Simcoe County District School Board (Grafton Music) 2005
  • Literacy Through Music, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2004
  • Hana's Suitcase, York Region District School Board (Grafton Music) 2003

CD PRODUCTION

  • David Newland, Give It A Whirl (Independent) 2012
  • Peel District School Board, Literacy and Values Through Music (Grafton Music) 2004-2013
  • York Region District School Board, Literacy Through Music (Grafton Music) 2003-2013
  • Simcoe County District School Board, Commit To Character (Grafton Music) 2005
  • Don Lawless, Ilkley (DFL Music) 2005
  • The Complements, Something Like Happiness (Zarnett Inc.) 2005
  • Mike Lawless, Patio Rock Star (Indie Pool) 2004
  • Gregg Lawless, Something Beautiful (Grafton Music - GPL 2004) 2004
  • York Region District School Board, Hana's Suitcase (Grafton Music) 2003
  • Gregg Lawless, Wicked little buzz (Grafton Music - GPL 2000) 2001
  • Gregg LeRock, Vive LeRock! (Grafton Music - GPL 1999)
  • Gregg Lawless, Live at C'est What? (Get Real Records - CWCD001) 1998
  • Gregg Lawless, Greggorian Chance (Grafton Music - GPL 0607) 1997
  • Gregg LeRock, Images (Addison Wesley) 1997
  • Gregg LeRock, Acti-Vie (Prentice Hall) 1996
  • Gregg LeRock, Encore (Grafton Music - GPL 1995) 1995
  • Pigeon, Who's Laughing Now? (Hardcore Records) 1995
  • Gregg LeRock, Visages 2 (Addison Wesley) 1994
  • Gregg LeRock, Visages 1 (Addison Wesley) 1993
  • Bloorstation, Evolver (Pangaea - CA 1001) 1993
  • Bloorstation Evolution #1 (Grafton Music) 1992
  • Bloorstation,Sampler (Grafton Music) 1991
  • Gregg LeRock, Destinations 2 (Copp Clark Pitman) 1991
  • Gregg LeRock, Destinations 1 (Copp Clark Pitman) 1990
  • Roger Lee, Fingers (Indie) 1990

PERFORMANCES

  • "Songs in the Key of Canada” tour of 12 major Ontario theatres
  • OSAC/Saskatchewan tour (11 performances)
  • ATAA Alberta Showcase/Edmonton
  • O.A.C. Contact Showcase/Toronto
  • CAPACOA nat’l showcase/Ottawa
  • Massey Hall
  • Nathan Phillips Square
  • First Night Toronto
  • Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts
  • Markham Theatre
  • Brock Centre for the Arts
  • Kitchener Centre in the Square
  • Mississauga Living Arts Centre
  • Sanderson Centre, Brantford
  • Gryphon Theatre, Barrie
  • Chatham Cultural Centre
  • Showplace Peterborough
  • Brampton Heritage Theatre
  • Academy Theatre, Lindsay
  • Capitol Centre, North Bay
  • Huntsville Centre For The Performing Arts
  • Danforth Music Hall
  • Harbourfront Centre
  • Imperial Theatre, Sarnia
  • Metro Hall, Toronto
  • Celebrate Toronto Streetfest
  • NXNE Festival
  • Canadian Music Week
  • City Roots Festival/Distillery District
  • Performed Camp Trillium benefits w/Murray McLauchlan, Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman

TV PERFORMANCES

  • CBC
  • Global
  • CTV
  • CITY
  • MuchMoreMusic
  • Rogers

RADIO FEATURES

  • CBC - Sunday Edition, Definitely Not The Opera, Radio Canada International, Here And Now, Metro Morning
  • CJRT
  • CFNY
  • CIUT
  • Q107
  • CKLN
  • CHRY
  • CHUO
  • B101
  • CKUA