Teeter Gray

Montclair, NJ United States

Genres:Easy Listening, Country - Contemporary/Pop, Country - Classic, Country - Bluegrass, Country - Alternative, Jazz - JazzPop/Light Jazz, Pop - Adult Contemporary, Rock - Roots Rock, World - Celtic

I was going to pretend to write this in the third person, but it felt like a lie.

Which is worse, I wonder… writing your own bio, or pretending that someone else wrote it? I suppose that having someone else genuinely write it is best, but even if I liked anyone else''s writing as well as my own, I''d have to feed them all of the facts (since I''m an unknown). May as well just do it myself. But I''ll try to do so without the air of self-importance that you can include when writing in false-third-person.

My first record, "Blue Love" (under the band name "Teeter Gray") displays an evident but limited view of my devotion to eclecticism. The musical influences that make up my spinal column are quite varied, which gives me the freedom to, when writing a song, decide what style expresses it best. I "empower" my songs in this way… let them become what they want to become. (In a certain sense I think they''re more gifts than creations anyway… things that I''m given to borrow and share.)

When I say that my record "displays an evident but limited view of my devotion to eclecticism", what I mean is that it is obvious that it is not of a single genre… if albums are supposed to be that anymore. The few reviews that I received made mention of this in clear terms, though they did not necessarily present it as a negative quality. There is the James Taylor tune… The Texas Playboys tune… the Georgia Satellite tune… the Cole Porter tune, the Bluegrass tune, etc, etc, etc. But even though all of these represent rather different influences they at least seem, in my opinion, to all fit in a bucket I call "Country Flavored Singer-Songwriter Stuff". I say that the view of my eclecticism is "limited" because it doesn''t display all of the other broad-stroke influences… the jazz… the avant garde… the schmaltz… the classic rock… 80''s rock… shoe-gazer music. I can''t wait for the bale of money to drop from the sky so I can work on my next record. It should really confuse the hell out of folks.

Well… no… I prolly won''t mix all of those into one album. They''ll fit together in a way that makes sense… at least to me. (My ability to form judgment about what makes sense to anyone else is quite underdeveloped). I just keep writing songs and occasionally several of them seem to make a cohesive statement together. The extent of my marketing talent is to put these on the same album together.

The point is, come out and see me live sometime… that’s where you’ll really see me mix it up.

Of all the ensembles that I''ve ever worked with live, I don''t think I''ve ever felt freer than with my current one. With Jim Donica on bass (www.jimdonica.com), Steve Meltzer on drums (www.monkeyworksmusic.com), and Mazz Swift on fiddle (www.brazztree.com) I am able to go just about wherever I want to go.

As pertains to the record, I can site dumb-luck just as easily as any other reason… how else could an unknown end up with such a fine ensemble? I had Jim Donica there with me as well, along John Widgren on pedal steel (www.westerncaravan.com), Eric "Dueling Banjos" Weissberg on banjo, Charlie Burnham on fiddle and Ben Perowsky (www.perowsky.com) on drums. An incredible group of players that brought the record right where it needed to be.

I''m pretty proud of how well it did on the meager marketing budget I was able to provide. A triple-A radio campaign garnered some nice reviews and some substantial spin-time in specific markets in the US and Canada. As a songwriter, I''m particularly pleased that several of the tracks were chosen as "the single" by several different stations. This validated my decision to put the best tunes forward regardless of how well they "fit" with the others. It validated my devotion to eclecticism, and validated my notion that you can''t really control or predict whether someone is or isn''t going to like your stuff. If you’ve decided to steer clear of formula writing (and I have) then all you can do is give a song some room and see what happens.
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