Biography Greg Meckes Greg Meckes was born in Buffalo, NY in 1968 and actually started his musical endeavors on drums. Being influenced by a musical family, he was exposed to a variety of music growing up including Frank Zappa, King Crimson, and Buddy Rich. However, after hearing Dixie Dregs, his taste changed to guitar thanks to Steve Morse. 'I was overwhelmed by him. Not only his playing, but his compositions. I immediately recognized the importance of being a composer over being a player.' While looking up to several players along the way including Scott Henderson and Michael Hedges, Greg never really tried to analyze or play any of their music. 'I always respected them tremendously. Whenever I would try to learn some of their material, I couldn't do it justice even if I could play it. But they all seeped into my playing in other ways.' First taking lessons with guitar transcriber Dave Whitehill at age 16, and then with other teachers including Tony Scozzaro, Greg made the most of his direction and influences. Having a musical family, it was easy to find an unattended guitar around the house. Right from the beginning, Greg was concerned about composing music. 'I was always trying to write music as I still do. I think being able to write good music is more important than being a good player. It's always been easier for me to think of it as playing music instead of playing the guitar.' Greg was featured in 'Guitar for the Practicing Musician' magazine in August of 1993. Editor in chief John Stix wrote . . . 'Call him Mr. Melody.' He also won an 'Outstanding Guitarist of the Year' award at the Buffalo Music Awards that same year - the same year he released his first CD Square One. 'That was quite a year. I recorded some songs that I wrote a few years earlier, played with great musicians, and had tremendous feedback about my first release Square One. It was much more than I hoped for. I wanted to record an album for years but never had the money.' With the warm local reception both from musicians and media in Buffalo, Greg played as many shows with the band as he could. From there, he recorded another instrumental rock fusion album with Mazureks Maze and drummer Todd Mazurek in 1995. 'That was fun. I got to work with Jim Wynne (bassist) again. Todd was nice enough to let me offer input in the production.' Shortly after that he spawned his second release: Mission. Teaming up with keyboardist Pat Georger, the music took a new direction. 'I wanted to collaborate with Pat on this recording. The music had more of jazz-funk element. Although, we still tried to keep it rocking'. Mission achieved a more mature and cleaner sound than Square One. Even though the first two recordings were guitar driven instrumentals, there were songs that revealed a different musical side. With songs like 'Missing You' and 'Falcon's Flight', it was an example of the diversity in his music. 'I've always written songs that were quite a bit different than most of my other material. I would always try to find a home for them and sometimes get lucky with it.' It's no surprise that with Greg's third release: Moments of Clarity - Part I, that he decided to go all acoustic and provide a home for his other musical directions. Moments of Clarity is a solo fingerstyle acoustic CD, and features pieces that have various influences. 'It's actually a demo...' he laughs. 'I have a large number of songs that I've recorded at home over the years - mostly to keep the ideas archived. But when I played some of the songs for some friends and family, they inspired me to release them. I left the songs alone - even though I wanted to 'fix' them. But I thought it might be a better view of the music in a raw form.' Moments of Clarity - Part I is part of a series of projects to come says Greg. 'It's actually Part One of Four. I have so many songs, and they all fit into the concept of the title. I hope to release them over the next 2 years'. With a new direction and finding a home for his new music, Greg truly demonstrates a gifted diversity and melodic simplicity. Greg still composes music and plays whenever he can around the Buffalo area.
You May Also Like
Page 1 of