On The Lookout: Greg Wyard
Okay, I play a lot of gigs and see a lot of bands and artists onstage. Once in a while, I see somebody that really impresses me, and if you talk to anyone that knows me, that is a hard thing to accomplish. There is nothing better than adventuring around the city and randomly showing up somewhere where something special is happening. It doesn’t happen too often but when it does, it’s unforgettable. Saying that, I would really like to introduce you to Greg Wyard.
I have had the pleasure of seeing Greg Wyard a few times at his regular Tuesday night gig at Rose and Crown in Toronto and the guy just gets better every time. I have never seen someone who can pull off such flawless solo performances. Along with his six and twelve string acoustic guitars, Greg uses a looper pedal to lay down the rythym, and proceeds to rock over top of it with fantastic leads and his Peter Gabrielesque vocals, ripping through renditions of anything from Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (which he learned and perfected after someone dared him and the youtube video is now close to thirty thousand plays!). Whether it is a hit from the past, or a current chart topper, Greg tears it up with ease, always to the crowd’s pleasure. He is always ready to take a request, priding himself on his massive list of known material and making himself available to the audience (which is something I notice a lot of bands / artists DO NOT DO).
Born in England, Greg moved to Canada when he was thirteen. He received a music Degree from McGill university and has since put fourth two solo albums, “Something I Made Up” and “The First” with a third on the way. Both albums placed in the Standard Radio National songwriting competition. As well, his collaboration with filmmaker Marc Morgenstern and lyricist Len Sussman for the song “What Makes a Man” earned him a Platinum award at Houston’s World West in 2007. His original compositions are unapologetically poppy and filled with fantastic guitar licks, interesting structures and heartfelt lyrics. His delivery is extremely real and genuine – he’s always smiling and interacting with the audience.
Greg Wyard is a quadruple threat – a singer, a songwriter, and a guitar player and a bass player, and has been doing all four since the age of ten. When he’s not rocking a solo performance in the pubs, he can be seen playing with Classic Albums Live at large venues. Currently, Classic Albums Live has upcoming tributes to “Band on the Run” and “Abbey Road” which Greg is looking forward being involved with. He has also been involved with such notable bands such as The Travellers (Canada’s beloved folk group form the 60’s) as well as past productions of Classic Albums Live including “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” in which Greg played the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas among other big venues.
Whether you’re seeing Greg Wyard at a pub or at Roy Thompson Hall, solo or with a band, he always puts forth a professional and entertaining effort. His love for music oozes out of him, and makes it really enjoyable, especially for guys like me who, a lot of the time, are seeing artists who “couldn’t be bothered” to have fun. It’s nice to see someone who is there for the audience, not just themselves. For more on Greg, please check www.gregwyard.com and be sure to drop in on him one Tuesday at the Rose and Crown (Yonge and Eglington). Tell him Matt Groopie sent ya 😉