Some of us here on MetalTalk might be newbies to Jer Gregg and his particular style of southern rock n' blues with a little bit of country here and there. Me too. So the best way to get to grips with a new musician is – go listen to them live. This is where the pretenders are found out and the talented and sheer hard grafters are rewarded.
Where does Jer fit into this? At the beginning of the night I'm not sure, by the end of the show I am. He is a hard worker who strives to perfect the clear talent he has. I visit him when he is taking time to warm up – he has a vocal prep app on his phone which he combines with callisthenetics and makes sure when its his turn on as the second act on tonight's bill, he is ready. He listens to the first act – Scabby Queen - to gauge the audience and their mood. When he steps up to the stage he is more than ready.
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Truth be told the audience are not familiar with Jer although we count quite a few people in the crowd who have turned up just to hear a true Nashvillian musician. Not bad when he has only had two weeks to promote that he will be here. The crowd is already big because its Friday night (live night) at the Dread and they are curious.
Jer steps up and kicks off, quite literally with the wonderfully balanced 'Road Song'.
He is a bit of a one man band at this point, with guitar, vocals, harmonica and boot tambourine. The crowd is quiet and they watch, a few mouthfuls of beer pass a few mouths, no-one moves away though. They applaud. They want to know – what's next?
What's next is the fantastic 'Mr Acquitted' and by now there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Jer is the real deal.
Jer has a little chat with the crowd, who have by now stepped a little closer to the stage and are keen to hear a little more. He mentions his new album that is out now: "You can download it from iTunes people, for only $2.99, now back home that's what we call a steal."
There is a shared laugh between Jer and the crowd. He is working hard at getting them onside and he has got them. Jer moves on to 'Its Called Love' and my personal favourite, 'Butterflies'.
Jer has the crowd on his side and many new fans in the making and by the end of the night he has sold all his CD's and has an open invite to return to the Dreadnought anytime he likes.
Jer's UK tour finished on the 28th July with a show in London but he will be back in the spring for another UK tour – keep your eyes open for dates near you as he is one of those rare musicians who is even better live than you could ever have thought.