Drawing from rock, blues, folk, and a little bit of country, Greg Foresman delivers one unique sound to his audiences. He joined Martina McBride’s touring band in 1997 while still keeping his own identity as a guitarist, often playing at the popular Indianapolis bar, The Slippery Noodle.
Chautauqua is the 5th studio recording from Greg Foresman. The music in this collection continues Greg’s penchant for drawing on different musical styles to deliver one unique sound.
We got a chance to interview Greg Foresman and here’s an excerpt of the interview.
1. Where do you reside and is that where we are speaking from today?
I live in Pegram Tennessee – just West of Nashville and that’s where I’m at today. Home sweet home.
2. Is this where you’ve always resided or are you from elsewhere?
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Nashville in 1988.
3. When did you discover your passion for music and how did that start?
My passion for music goes back to a ridiculously early age. In particular , my desire to play the guitar goes back – literally as long as I can remember. I had toy guitars until 8 years old or so when I got my first “real” guitar. Then my first electric guitar at age 10 and it all grew from there.
4. Are you from a musical family? Was the art handed down to you?
No , I’m not from a musical family. I’m the freak!
5. Have you had any other careers other than being a musician?
I’ve had to do other “jobs” in between gigs but I wouldn’t call them other careers. I DO have to say that my time spent as a carpenter has come in handy from time to time.
6. How long have you been performing and do you prefer live performances over studio work?
Well, let’s see now, I probably played my first “paying” gig at about 13 years old WAY back in 1974. I started traveling on the road in 1978 so 35 years of traveling around the country playing music. If I HAD to pick one over the other I’d certainly pick live performance over studio work. Luckily, living in Nashville, I get to do plenty of both.
7. How did you connect with Martina McBride?
The road to Martina Mcbride was long and winding but the short story is; I was doing occasional gigs with an artist named Susan Ashton and on one of these gigs, some of the other guys that she hired were in Martina’s band. We hit it off pretty good and a couple Months later, I was invited to audition. That was back in 1997.
8. What’s the greatest difference between performing with your group as opposed to with Martina McBride?
Well, with Martina, I’m hired to do a job and the job is to faithfully re-create her music on stage with as much attention to detail, and fervor as I can possibly muster. My band is my creative outlet in life. It exists so that I can do whatever I want -whenever I can. I could go into more detail but- you get the gist.
9. Tell me about the title of your new album, Chautauqua. What inspired you to use this unique word?
Honestly, I was reading a book called “Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance” and it kept referring to a Chautauqua – the “tent revival for the sake of education , philosophy, arts etcetera”and it hit me ! What a great name for a CD!
10. The album crosses many genres and I hear influences of Blues, Jazz and Country music. How would you best define your sound?
I think you just described my sound- I’d say a mixture of Rock , Blues, Jazz and Folk. Truth is, I’ve always loved all kinds of music. I’d probably include Classical and Polka in there if I could find a way. I guess that’s the beauty of being an independent artist. You can just do whatever you want.
11. Have any musicians of note had a strong influence on your songwriting, style and sound?
Yes , definitely. Songwriting influences? Definitely Lennon – McCartney and Harrison, Jagger- Richards, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan (of course). I’m a huge fan of Tom Waits’ lyrics. It’s hard to know when to stop naming influences but those are some big ones for me.
12. I particularly like the opening track, The Other Side and the follow up track, Life Goes On. Can you tell me a little about these songs and how they came together?
Thank you very much for your kind words about those songs. The Other Side had been rolling around in my head for a few years actually before I went ahead and finished it. Life Goes On was one of those beautiful songs that just appeared one day . Written in a matter of minutes and recorded in a matter of weeks. The rhythm section on “The Other Side” was recorded in Louisville with my live band. I brought those tracks to my home studio to put guitars and vocals on it. Life Goes On- I had my friend Tim Grogan come over and just put real drums on the demo that I had started and then had Jenee play that great fiddle on it and Viola! A Country song!
13. What’s your favorite song on the CD and why?
I REALLY don’t have a favorite song on this CD. I took even more time than I usually do on this CD to make it as strong as I could make it from beginning to end. I, too, like those first 2 songs. “Last Call for Arkansas” is certainly a crowd favorite when I do songwriter showcases ( just me and an acoustic guitar). I LOVE the song “Daggon Ya.” I like it all.
14. You’ve been in the music industry for some time now. What do you feel are the positives and negatives of the digital age?
Well, I could go on and on about this. From a recording standpoint, it’s certainly made it easier to own a studio and to navigate the recording process as far as things like editing and manipulating the tracks. Does it sound better? certainly not! Maybe not as good. (Old people like me don’t think it sounds as good as analog). The real problem is that now, people can get their music for free. It’s the only commodity in the world , that I know of, that- because of the digital age- is now free for the taking. And MOST artists , myself included, don’t care so much . We just want to get our music out there. Record sales are WAY WAY down across the board in the Major label AND Indie label worlds and it’s harder for us independents to sell records too. I still do pretty good at shows but record store sales are way down. Still- I’ll keep chugging along. AND I’ll get off of my soap box now.
15. As an Independent musician, what are your greatest struggles?
I don’t see what I’m doing as a struggle at all. I LOVE it. I have a great group of musicians that play gigs with me- I have a nice region through Indiana , Kentucky and Tennessee that I tour and I have several fellow independent artist friends that I get to share the stage with from time to time. Other than my digital age rant (see above) no complaints here.
16. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing to add really. Great questions. Thanks so much, Greg.