Greg Laswell to release Take a Bow
Producer/songwriter Greg Laswell returns with his third full-length release for Vanguard records, Take a Bow, which both closes and opens another chapter in the California native's journey about love, loss and rebirth. Following his critically acclaimed fall 2009 Covers EP (one of Filter magazine’s “10 best of the year”), Take a Bow features 12 original compositions including a new version of the song “Off I Go,” which was featured in the 2009 season finale of Grey’s Anatomy (one of over six placements he’s had on this show alone).
Artist: Greg Laswell
Title: Take a Bow
Release date: 05/4/10
Label: Vanguard Records
Buy at: Amazon
Laswell retreated to a rustic cabin near Flagstaff, AZ – his comforts were one convenience store and his dog for company – to write and record the songs that would become Take A Bow. Like fellow Californian Mark Oliver Everett (Eels), Laswell made his “band” the studio and the studio his laboratory, where he used all manner of instruments, found and treasured, and gear, simple and sophisticated, to make his most lushly textured, sonically gorgeous album to date.
The album was mixed by sonic alchemist Greg Collins, a Grammy-winning producer and engineer who’s worked with everyone from U2 to Fiona Apple and the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the results are dazzling. “Working with Greg allowed me to throw the kitchen sink at it by recording lots of tracks for each song and allowing him to deal with it in the mix,” says Laswell.
With his 2006 debut release, Through Toledo, the first album in his trilogy of heartbreak and redemption, Laswell gave listeners an intimate account of a devastating loss in his life. The Los Angeles Times wrote: “He feeds depression and dejection into his tune-making mill and out come melodic marvels that lift the spirit despite their heavy subject matter.”
His sophomore release, the critically acclaimed Three Flights from Alto Nido (2008), is a transitional album that found Laswell, if not out of the woods emotionally, at least able to look at life with hope. His songs brought comparisons to such songwriters as Jeff Buckley, Ron Sexsmith and Thom Yorke. His video for “How the Day Sounds,” an incredibly catchy song filmed in the beverage section of a grocery store, features a deadpan performance by the Laswell that garnered over 400,000 plays.
With the Covers EP, Laswell showed his ability to not just write moving songs but to interpret an eclectically selected collection of tunes, including tracks by Echo & the Bunnymen, Kristin Hersh, Mazzy Star, Morphine & Kate Bush. Laswell is as comfortable with just a piano as when he’s with a full band. On his recordings, his arrangements have an orchestral sweep and epic feel which provide a beautiful backdrop to his resonant vocals and tasteful melody lines.
He’s toured with such varied artists as Joan as Police Woman, Rachael Yamagata, Sia and many others and has become a favorite of film and TV licensing people, with his songs appearing on the aforementioned Grey’s Anatomy, CSI Miami, Friday Night Lights (and a slew of others), as well as feature films. It’s Laswell’s ability to convey raw emotion while retaining a certain dignity – even while visiting his darkest places – that makes his lyrics so compelling and moving. He has the rare ability to look outside himself and see his life as a viewer, and to set it to a soundtrack that is uniquely his own.
Laswell will be touring throughout 2010 in support of Take A Bow, including solo residency dates in select markets (see below). He will also be performing at this year’s SXSW festival. Details forthcoming.
Greg Laswell tour dates
*solo shows unless indicated
Feb 3 2010 Evanston, IL @ Space 8:00P
Feb 4 2010 Philadelphia, PA @ The Tin Angel 8:00P
Feb 6 2010 Washington, DC @ DC9 7:00P
Feb 9 2010 Boston, MA @ The Red Room at Cafe 939 8:00P
Feb 11 2010 Philadelphia, PA @ The Tin Angel 8:00P
Feb 12 2010 New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub – FULL BAND SHOW 11P (featuring backing band Harper Blynn)
Feb 13 2010 Washington, DC @ DC9 7:00P
Feb 17 2010 Evanston, IL @ Space 8:00P
Feb 23 2010 Boston, MA @ The Red Room at Cafe 939 8:00P
Feb 28 2010 Salisbury, MA @ Tupelo Music Hall w/ Ingrid Michaelson 8:00P
Mar 2 2010 Somerville, MA @ Tufts University (Student Show) w/ Ingrid Michaelson
Mar 3 2010 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall w/ Ingrid Michaelson
"Take a Bow" by Greg Laswell - release date: 05/4/10..