Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, what a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again. ~ Gene Kelly
When Greg Drummond booked his outdoor show here back in the fall, all hopes were for a sunny day. But the weather does what it will, and on this night it was willed to rain. People rallied, snuggled together under tarps and Greg and the band took to the stage like pros. Thankfully, the children were the ones who taught all the adults how not to sweat the small stuff. Watching the little ones dance in the rain to Greg’s infectious sound brought a sense of joy that caught on like wild fire. By the end of the first set, most were up on their feet, and when Greg and the band returned to the stage after the mid-break, the field was alive with a sense of youthfulness as people kicked off their shoes to feel the wet grass beneath their feet.
Greg himself came off the covered stage multiple times to immerse himself (and his guitar) in the evening showers. A humble stage man, he possesses a warmth that earns him love from new audiences everywhere. His music crosses multiple genres and in doing so appeals to all demographics. Whether you are 17 or 70, Greg’s songs have something for everyone. He opened the show with “Walking Man,” the title track off his debut album that has gotten him many accolades and exposure in his young career. The song is incredibly catchy and tells the story of leaving the financial security and comforts of a stable career to follow his passion as a musician. I find myself humming or singing it often around the house, it’s a song that easily finds its way into your head. Of the many local teenagers in the audience, a few mentioned to me how the song made them think about the decisions they were facing as they approached high school graduation. Interestingly enough, my dad who has been retired for years was also at the show, and the next morning he spoke to me about how much that particular song stuck with him.
This show was the third time Greg Drummond has played at Serenity. As he has been evolving as an artist, so too has the venue. His first show here a few years ago occurred with a small crowd in Shirley’s living room. This past fall he returned to the house and carried the concert on into the night with a full out jam with the band that a lucky few had the benefit of baring witness to. This time, Greg and the band played the big stage out on the acreage. Considering it was pouring rain at an outdoor concert on the outskirts of a small rural community, it is safe to say the show was a success. The truth is whether you have 50 people or 500 at a concert, it is the energy of those that show up that makes it, and the Serenity audience is always ready to take in the music and translate it into a true experience. Thankfully, the music of Greg Drummond makes that rather easy.
The folk essence and east-meets-west coast elements to his sound provides a nice variety; enchanting when it slows down and full of fun when he kicks it up inspiring you to get out of your seat and move. The smooth yet gritty quality to his vocals is intoxicating, helping to fulfill his duty of capturing and holding the attention of an audience with ease. The musicians he surrounds himself don’t hurt his cause either.
Playing with Michael Lothian, Mike Meroniuk, Alanna Pearce and Marshall Hunt for a few years, they have developed a great friendship and support for Greg’s vision. Marshall recently left on a hiatus with hopes to return, but in the meantime Greg recently found another stand up bass player whose name also starts with M (shout out to Marcus, wish you could have been here) and the word on the street is he is Marshall’s doppelganger. Weirder things have happened.
Through continued hard work and dedication, Greg has been achieving an increasing amount of success as of late. He was recently awarded a $21,000 grant from FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings), providing him with funds to record, produce, promote and distribute his second full length album. The album will be partly recorded at Monarch Studios in Vancouver, with plans to complete the recordings at a home-based studio on Gambier Island in Greg’s family cabin. Talk about creative inspiration.
One thing is for sure, with songs that have you singing along within seconds, and a smile that can make your heart skip a beat, Greg Drummond easily appeals to today’s youth while simultaneously making a fan out of mom and dad.
Heaven or Hell: Personal favourite track off the album that translated beautifully in the picturesque surroundings. Kudos to Michael on keys.
The Sweet Sound: Fun tune that instantly got the crowd off their feet dancing.
Stand: Perfect song to close out the show, with Greg down off the stage standing on a chair and leading the crowd in a full blown sing-a-long; a memory I will hold dear with each subsequent listen of his album.
Greg Drummond performed at Serenity Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Stay tuned for his sophomore album due late Fall 2014.
For show dates, music downloads, links to his facebook page and more, visit his website at http://www.gregdrummond.com
Greg Drummond and his band are playing Serenity’s 1st Annual Harvest Music Fest, September 5-7, 2014.