California-based guitarist and songwriter Stephen Anthony Gregory rocks. His new solo CD, Me, Myself & I, is an exceptional offering. The four track EP opens on his initial original instrumental offering “Red Light, White Light”. This is perhaps the most powerful piece and an apparent early favorite of both fans and critics as well.
The second selection is "Old Avila”. This one is a tuneful tip of the hat to his personal roots. It’s a musical memory and music flows like the tide as Gregory attempts to share some of himself in song.
The next number is “Gregoria”. This is a bit lighter and features arpeggiated chords and memorable melody work. It’s yet another example of what Gregory can do as both a composer and a musician.
His inspirations are sometimes obvious but most importantly not blatantly derivative. Gregory is honest about his background and puts on no airs. He admits to having had many influences when he was younger including “Jimmy Page . . . Randy Rhodes. There were many amazing bands . . .like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Michael Schenker, The Scorpions and later on bands like Rush, Queensryche and Dream Theater. They all opened my eyes and ears to many different musical sounds and styles.”
The closing cut, “The ‘Hip Do’s’, comes perhaps a bit too soon. It’s a hard-driving piece with grinding guitar play. It works well as a closing cut even if some suggest the disc is too short. In truth, Gregory has done more than he set out to do and is merely following that old show biz axiom: always leave them wanting more.
Indeed, Gregory stated the EP was originally intended to be just a musical resume although it soon became more. “Though it started as a resume it was important to me that each song still had meaning even though there were no lyrics. About that same time I was travelling with my family, tracing my great grandfather’s roots back to a town called Avila in San Louis Obispo, CA. My journey became a spiritual one steeped in history and music.”
He added: “(T)he two began to flow together creating a back story for the album. I really threw myself into all aspects of the music – by that I mean, not only did I write and play the lead pieces of each song, but I also developed and played the rhythm backtracks for myself as well. Then, during the shoot for the album cover, we got creative and placed additional shots of me in the background as framed art. So with all that, the title Me, Myself & I just came to mind.”
Check out Stephen Anthony Gregory’s Me, Myself & I. You just might find his tacks to be an instrumental part of your favorite music.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.