Every great story starts somewhere....
Greg Jackson Combs has become an influential writer/performer in the ever prolific Chicago music scene since his first performances and tours began based out of the windy city in 2006. Combs is best known for his work with Chicago Folk Rock group: "Goodbyehome". The band has released two records with independent record label CAUDog Records, with much critical acclaim.
His music has brought him across the country to perform in historic venues from legendary Nashville club "The Basement" to the infamous "Hotel Cafe" in Los Angeles, as well as opening for such notable acts like Edward Sharp and the Magenetic Zeroes, Grace Potter, Dr. Dog and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, All before he even hit the ripe age of thirty.
Combs represents an honesty and authenticity as a songwriter and performer that just does not exist in modern pop-music today. Drawing main influence from the 60's and 70's songwriting greats such as Dylan, Lightfoot, Chapin, Townes, Gilmore and Young. Performers of his caliber just don't exist today, making what he does, truly unique and remarkable. A overall message of hope and the power of positive thinking are a predominant subject of his music.
Combs is currently on the roster of CAUDOG RECORDS based out of Chicago, IL.
Discography,Writing and Production Credits:
Tales from the Windy City (2007)out of print
The Hardest Parts (2008)out of print
Goodbyehome: The Troubles (2010)(performance)
Produced by Ellis Clark at Angel City, Chicago
Sam Luna: Under Construction (2013)(producer/performer)
Goodbyehome: Electric Cowboy Lullabies (2013)(performance) produced by Ellis Clark at Angel City, Chicago
Greg Jackson Combs: Messenger (2014)(producer)
Carla Prather: "Stepchild" (2015)(songwriter)
What the Press says:
"eclectic yet vibrant tone of folk alternative rock" -Southside On The Town
"embryonic and esthoteric on stage"
-New band a Day.com
"A road trip through rural America"
"A voice propelled a heartfelt falsetto tone onto (his) lyrics"
Chicago Blues & Bluegrass Fest 2009 & 2010
The Lakeshore Theater, Chicago, IL
Schubas, Chicago, IL
Double Door, Chicago, IL
The Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL
The Basement, Nashville, TN
The 5 Spot, Nashville, TN
3rd & Lindsey, Nashville, TN
Station 6, Minneaplolis, MN
The Frequencey, Madison, WI
High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI
Riot Room, Kansas City, KS
Widows Peak Music Fest 2010 & 2011
Rudyard Kipling, Louisville, KT
Slowdown, Omaha, NE
The Hotel Indigo, Nashville, TN
The Mayne Stage, Chicago, IL
The Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
Bar Lubitsch. Los Angeles, CA
House of Blues, Chicago, IL
ABOUT THE ALBUM MESSENGER, SPRING 2015, CAUDOG RECORDS
The music streams off the speakers like steam rolling through a supernova. With hints of epic rock tracks infused with electronics, the music is full of hooks and upbeat vibes. It maintains an aura of mystery, like a screenplay of a story about darkness narrowly averted. The vinyl album Messenger, a concentrated effort of production, resonates with a fans of electronic music, EDM and dance tracks. It was written, produced and engineered by a Chicago songwriter known for his acoustic songwriting. Hold on, what?!
Greg Jackson Combs, the mind behind Messenger, cultivated his sound in Chicago with his ambient Americana band Goodbyehome with songs of love and loss. His band released albums on CAUDog Records, a prominent indie label known for acoustic songwriters as well as orchestrated pop. This year, CAUDog is planning a solo album release for Carla Prather, back-up singer of Poi Dog Pondering. CAUDog has produced albums featuring the vocals of the American Idol star well known in Chicago, Crystal Bowersox. The label, active for seven years, further stretches its wings with Messenger, an album redefining Combs as not only a writer of acoustic tunes, but as a producer adept at engineering and executing many styles of music.
“A lot of the time as an artist, if you’re known as a specific sound, it’s almost like being stuck in that ideology,” says Combs, “if you step outside of that there’s fans that will question why you’re going in that direction. I like that kind of music [acoustic], but I didn’t want to be stuck making that…the rest of my life. It’s also about how can I expose my music to more people? The way to do that is to make something totally different than what I’ve done. It’s good to surprise people, to give them something they’re not expecting, it’s more effective.”
The album title Messenger can be taken literally as fans sit down and enjoy the vinyl and soak in the listening experience. Combs indicates the songs came to him as full arrangements, with vocals and all, and he just brought them to life. Usually with songwriting, he works on a riff, and pieces the song together with lyrics and tells a story. For this album, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist heard the songs in his head, and as a response he spent countless hours recording, choosing between takes, layering guitar, keyboards and vocals to create the lush sounds of Messenger.
Combs has honed in on a power trio to reproduce and interpret the album for live shows, maintaining the energy and enigmatic quality in a stripped down form. “The album has a full, loud sound, in-your-face heavy kind of rock,: so a power trio is the best choice for delivering that live”, says Combs. The group includes Jonathan Ross, drummer from the band Goodbyehome, and Justin Tucker, also in a band called Unicorn with Combs.
Performing live to promote the album, Greg Jackson Combs performs June 3, 2015 at Mayne Stage, 1330 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago, along with Magic Giant (on tour) and Davenport Ed, an energetic local band with rock flavors. Combs and his trio have a 16 date tour plan starting July 29, including the Midwest and South as they embark on a mission to deliver their message with Messenger. Be sure to visit to see his new music videos as well listen to the new album Messenger for free!