Greg Trooper and Band - Up On The Bandstand - New Shot Records
Greg Trooper: a majestic Singer - Songwriter deserving 12 times the attention he has received
I met Greg Trooper one night in Sesto Calende, Italy, where he was booked to play with his then band, the very same band that's on this CD and that very same year, 1997. Gentleman Promoter Mr. Carlo Carlini was of course there too, rigorously speaking Italian only, complemented by hands and body languages. Greg was amazed but the two perfectly understood each other. One can't help but marvel at the situation. Leaving the restaurant and heading to the venue, Greg and I walked together side by side for some 10 minutes. 10 minutes of intense talk (in English) more than enough for me to get to appreciate how true, genuine and friendly the man was. He was modest, quiet and unassuming. He laughed when I told him he's one of the very best out there. And laughed even more when I told him the amount of money I fleshed out at the Colony Records Shop, on the Broadway (in NYC) to secure myself a used copy of his first album "We Won't Dance" from 1986.
On his (still on-line) website the Biography intro reads: "Trooper, a New Jersey native, excels at character studies, painting wonderful portraits of people living through good times and bad times. His matter-of-fact delivery - as both a singer and a songwriter - bring a sense of realism to the tales he tells. His music lives at the intersection of Memphis soul, Greenwich Village folk and Texas troubadour. As a live performer he's been described as articulate, quick-witted, extremely musical, outrageous, compassionate and kind". I concur fully, for what it's worth. Sometimes biographers show a tendency to exaggerate the good... not in this case!
True to the bone, the 'Music world' praised him immensely. Steve Earle once declared" Greg Trooper he writes great songs, including one of my very favourite songs in the world, 'Little Sister' . On top of all that, there's his voice - an instrument I have coveted for 15 years." Renowned journalist Dave Marsh wrote: "Greg Trooper is a songwriter and performer who deserves about 12 times the attention he's received. He knows how to play rock against country and folk and position the pressures of adulthood against the longing for adolescent freedom."
Through the years, being the music lover, enthusiast and avid collector that I am, I have tracked down lot of live recordings of Greg the world over. I always felt the November 15, 1997 show in Chiari, IT has got something to it that would deserve an official release. To begin with, there are no live discs with the full band in the catalogue of our man. Secondly the sound quality is awesome and the quartet is tight, well rehearsed and delivers a super-solid performance. Third, Greg's singing truly shines. When Jack Trooper, Greg's Son,heard the master he liked it from the get-go and shared my feelings. As a result, he kindly authorized the release and, the Gentleman he is, did not ask for advance royalties. Hence these are being paid based on actual sales figures. I want to thank Jack for his kindness and for his nice words referring both to the recording and the artwork.
As fate had it, Greg Trooper, the Singer-songwriter I love so much, wait... WE love so much, is no longer with us on planet Earth. He died on a Sunday, two days after his 61st birthday and fewer than two years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I maintain, I feel it, he may have blessed this release as well, had he had the opportunity. That being said, his musical heritage remains, it'll stay with us all life long and, hopefully, beyond.
Renato Bottani, October 2003
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