Having initially come to my attention as fiddle player with The John Wesley Stone, The Rectory Hill Skillet Lickers and in The Ukuladeez backing band, Gregory Harrison has since carved himself a niche as a, usually solo, acoustic performer. Now, taking this onto the next level, Harrison has released a self-titled four-track EP that gives a taste of his sound, in varied fashion.
The record starts off in unashamedly non-acoustic fashion with a crash of instruments that coalesce into the anguished Demons. This track, and third song Working For Nothing, showcase Harrison working with a full band and both feature impressive layering of sounds based around the initial acoustic songs.
Within this framework are intricate electric guitar parts, pianos and more and at times give something of a feel of Dave Matthews Band with a fusion of genres present, but with a slightly more indie rock vibe n the mix.
Over this Harrison’s rich voice is laid and, while there are points where it feels the recording process has missed some of the potential emotion, it is none the less impressive and at its best moments effecting.
The other two tracks are something a bit different.
Taken By The Brew is a more melancholic and sedate tune but again with the full band and, as the shortest track on the disc feels a little unfinished. Listening to the lyrics though, this may be part of the point and it runs dangerously close to feeling a little over earnest, despite being well delivered.
Down and Out meanwhile is something a bit different and has a more raw edge akin to Harrison’s live shows. With just an acoustic guitar and voice it gives a closer representation of Harrison’s songwriting and it seems to allow his performance more freedom.
This self-titled EP, while a stylistically mixed bag, allows an insight into the songwriting and varied musical approach of Gregory Harrison and certainly acts as a great primer to his work and starting point for hopefully more to come.