Greg Townson Bio
Greg Townson has been making music most of his life, winning fans and making friends wherever he performs. Based in Rochester, New York, his music has brought him to stages all across the United States and Europe. Over the years Greg has built up a loyal audience through his spirited performances and tireless touring.
Greg began singing and playing guitar at the age of 15 and shortly after formed The Essentials, whose broad, roots music leanings led them to collaborate with everyone from rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley, jazz legends Bill Doggett & Pee Wee Ellis, soul singers John Ellison and William Bell, to folk legend Michael Hurley and many others. Greg's musical knowledge and expertise was sought out to provide production and songwriting work on a wide range of recording projects throughout those formative years.
In 1998 he formed The Hi-Risers, a trio that shown an even brighter spotlight on his singing, guitar playing, production and songwriting talents. Since then, he has continued to record and tour prolifically with the band, to date issuing a staggering 8 records over a ten year period, all featuring Greg's original songs. These recordings have received extensive radio airplay and have been used in a variety of settings, from NPR cues to commercials.
In 2008 Greg decided to start playing solo, a move he describes as "the best one i've ever made. I only wonder what took me so long to do it!" Fans have also enjoyed hearing Greg in this stripped down solo setting where his guitar work and understated, soulful voice works it's way through his large repertoire of original songs and thoughtfully chosen covers.
Over the years, Greg's music has absorbed a multitude of influences, from doo-wop to country, from soul to standards, from blues to pop, always keeping Greg's unique take on first generation rock & roll in the forefront. Eschewing a setlist, Greg's performances keep traditional music alive in the best sense, always breathing new life into whatever genre he chooses to write and perform in, playing off an audience and never turning a performance into a museum piece.
In addition to The Hi-Risers and his solo playing, 2010 brought yet another dimension to Greg's work when he was asked to join the instrumental band Los Straitjackets. In 2012 he performed and contributed songs to Jet Set, one of the strongest records in Los Straitjackets extensive catalog.
In 2013 Greg was asked to play guitar on a recording project with singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell. The album, Let's Fly A Kite was recorded in London with Neil Brockbank and Robert Treherne producing. Greg joined up with Nick Lowe's band to back Eleni. The record is out on YepRoc Records.
Also in 2013, Greg released his first solo record, On Your Side. Partly recorded in London with producer Neil Brockbank, On Your Side is a collection of 12 original songs, displaying the variety Greg has always thrived on. Greg's second solo record, My Friend The Night was released in 2015. Also in 2015, a Nick Lowe/Los Straitjackets collaboration, The Quality Holiday Revue was released on Yep Roc Records. Nick & LSJ'S appeared on Conan O'Brien to promote the record.
During his long career, Greg has performed nonstop and has no plans of slowing down. "Traveling and playing for new people in new places is one of my favorite things," he notes. "I've always written songs with an audience in mind and now that i'm performing solo it's a whole new way of communicating with them. I'm thrilled by how well the shows are going and i learn something new every night. I think the audience can sense I'm having fun and they get caught up in the fun too."
GREG TOWNSON DISCOGRAPHY