Five Questions With Greg Cockerill

Toronto, ON-based roots artist, Greg Cockerill is currently in the process of recording a new full-band studio album. The single, “No, Never Alone” is the first offering from those sessions.

Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and self-produced by Cockerill, the track reiterates that while we may be physically apart, we are all in this struggle together.

Check out “No, Never Alone” below and find out more about Greg via our Five Questions With segment.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello there. I’m Greg Cockerill- I’m a Canadian roots musician living in Toronto. I’m also a registered acupuncturist and a martial arts Grappler 🙂.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

I do have a background in jazz and have a bachelor’s degree in composition/arranging. I try to keep that a secret in my actual writing though. I initially started writing “singer-songwriter” music on a dare when I used to host open mics in Calgary a dozen years ago. The album that guided that was Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Devils and Dust”. My main influences for vocal/roots music are largely roots & country-based artists such as Gillian Welsch, Guy Clark Etc. I like a story and that hits right in the heart and soul and instrumentally I love brilliant playing over simple forms. That essentially guides most of my writing.

Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?

A Show?? wouldn’t that be nice. I do very much making music with other people in particular, as well as performing for an audience. I’m very excited about live music to return to post-pandemic. I play solo and also have 2 bands- a roots band with slide guitars and acoustic bass and a 6 piece rock band with Organ, loud tube amps, etc. That latter band sounds the most like my records. I’ve definitely been getting my ‘one-man-band’ chops together during lockdown- I have a porch board bass, A Juno synth hooked up to organ pedals and I have 2 outs coming out of my Gibson L-4 for dual acoustic and electric sounds- It’s quite ridiculous as it should be.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

Well, I’d be biased towards my new Single “No, Never Alone”. I definitely have a couple of favorites from my back catalogue and some others have also just drifted away from me now.. also as it should be.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favorite Canadian bands/ artists?

I’m very impressed by Simone Schmidt and Justin Rutledge they both haunt me so to speak, with how they dig for their content. Instrumentally, Jimmy Bowskill has just teamed up with Steve Marriner and as soon as this pandemic is over I’m gonna start following them around and hoping to sit in- they’re having too much fun!! 🙂. Also there’s a great organ trio in Toronto called Donnybrook… I’m also geeked about that!

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