I Guess It Wasnt Love
A Greg Shafritz song is like a scene from a movie, an excerpt from a film that you may have lived. "Through music," he explains, "you can belong to something much larger than your own experiences." On this disc, Shafritz exhibits a refreshing disregard for genre boundaries. His hummable hooks infuse melodic rock with elements of glam, power pop, garage, folk rock and blues. "To me," Shafritz insists, "the melody has to tell the story even more vividly than the lyrics do. It needs to embody the emotion of the song." Born in Philadelphia and raised in New York, Greg Shafritz's rampant curiosity had him raiding his parents' music collection at age three, as soon as he'd learned to work the stereo. Any time he encountered a disc he didn't like, he'd place it on the living room floor and run over it with his tricycle. His father learned classical piano and violin as a child and sang on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera while in medical school. Greg's mother studied guitar and voice, and regularly appeared on the American Bandstand TV show as a dancer. Not only did they encourage Greg's musical interests, they also showed him how to record himself for fun. "I've got hours of tapes from that period," Greg chuckles, "belting out classic rock hits in my little kid voice. I was definitely 'going for it.'" A few years later his mother taught him to play his first song on the guitar: House Of The Rising Sun. Shafritz's keen interest in foreign cultures and languages drove him to move overseas at twenty-one, exploring Europe, Asia and Australia for extended periods of time. Greg discovered his ability to write original songs during a dramatic personal awakening in Japan. "I was at a point in my life where words alone could not adequately convey my feelings,' he explains. 'I needed something larger that could help other people benefit from my experiences. That 'something' was music.' As a singer, Greg shows little fear of risk. On occasion, his voice will shift from a low rumble to an electrifying high within the same musical phrase. Like his strongest stylistic influences as a male vocalist - Freddie Mercury, Eric Burdon, Paul Rodgers, Prince and Ray Charles - Shafritz makes full use of his three and a half octave range to supply emotion and excitement. The individuality of Greg's guitar style derives from his left-handedness. Because he uses right-handed instruments exclusively, Shafritz is in essence playing the guitar backwards. "I never had a lefty guitar to learn on," he explains, "so I had to teach myself to play a regular model as if I were a righty. It definitely gives me a unique relationship with the instrument. My dominant hand - my left hand - is the one working the frets. It forces me to color outside the lines a lot. I'll come up with my own method for playing a chord or melody and people listening will say, "Wait; how are you getting it to sound like that?" Indeed, coloring outside the lines is an approach that permeates much of what Shafritz does. The eleven songs on I Guess It Wasn't Love were honed by Greg on four different continents, as he traveled between Tokyo, London, Milan, Melbourne, New York, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Sydney and Seoul. "The common thread," Greg says, "is when one of my songs resonates so strongly with something happening in a person's life that it's exactly what he or she needs to hear at that moment. This connection is totally independent of language or culture." Both in his live band and in the studio, Greg allies himself with world class musicians. You'll hear ace drummers Cindy Blackman Santana (Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone), Simon Kirke (Free, Bad Company) and Hilly Michaels (John Mellencamp, Ian Hunter.) Keyboard whiz Tommy Mandel (Bryan Adams, Dire Straits) and talented multi-instrumentalist Dave Carlock (Pink, Blink 182) feature prominently on the album. On bass are Kenny Aaronson (Bob Dylan, Billy Idol) and Larry Russell (Billy Joel.) Shafritz's own guitar work is supplemented by innovative modern rock guitarist Jeff Thall (John Cale, Bryan Ferry) and the fast rising Bengali American guitarist Indro Roychowdhury. Each player boldly emblazons a unique sonic imprint upon Greg's musical framework. Through his music, Greg challenges you to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, to make the world around you reverberate. That's why Greg Shafritz is usually seen grinning. All content © 2005. This material may not be reproduced without permission.