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Greg D: Press

"I saw you play a month or so ago, and it was really great.  I'm a big fan of expressionism, and I thought your sound had elements of the uncanny and the grotesque, which are the heart of expressionist painters like George Grosz.  Anyway, I really enjoyed it."

its like Opie got smashed on a chunk of black tar
your music makes my soul dance..
What I thought: Cool!

There's a crazy blend of things going on here and if you can suspend disbelief about the title of the track, you might actually find something really enjoyable going on with this song.
Musically it's sound and well played, lyrically it has occasional blips, but generally it's worth a hear.
The first thing I thought was that this sounds like the guys below. And they were simply awesome, in my view.

Reminds me of: They Might Be Giants

Score: 7/10

In a sentence:
Give us another track, you freaks! =)
Nicad - Living Atheist (Jul 8, 2007)
Greg Di Gesu wrote the wonderful Chris Butler interview last issue, and this is his combo, recorded completely live, "no overdubs, all end of session rough mixes as final mixes!" That's right kids, live takes, vocals included, all done in two days at Cowboy Technical Service in Brooklyn by engineer Tim Hatfield. Mastered by Tom Ruff at Mercenary Productions. Greg's ace is the talented backing quartet behind him, supporting the tunes and playing well. There's a loose, engaging feel here like Dylan's Highway 61, certainly due to the live studio approach, though the 16 track, 15 ips 2" and accompanying tape hiss doesn't hurt!
Larry Crane - Tape Op (Jan 23, 2007)
Mo Pitkin's, NYC
4.13.07

It’s always a pleasant surprise to attend a show and discover the band you’re seeing is just as good live as they are on their studio recordings. This was the case last Friday night, when I saw Sounds of Greg D perform at Mo Pitkins. All I knew about the band beforehand was what I had heard on BTR the week leading up to the gig.

I left a fan.

But first up was an extremely enjoyable performance by The Violets, who played before Sounds of Greg D. These two bands playing together made for a somewhat interesting combination. The Greg D performance was very laid back, with the band members dressed casually in jeans and collared shirts. The Violets, however, hooked up a very entertaining stage act, complete with cross-dressing, checkered pants, and brightly dyed hair. Let’s just very loosely compare them to old school Good Charlotte performing with Dave Matthews Band. But, despite the difference in sound and attire, the two bands surprisingly complemented each other quite nicely.

Sounds of Greg D ended up playing for only 30 minutes, but that was all the time they needed to strut their stuff. The band, comprised of members Greg D (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Dave Dreiwitz (bass), Arne Wendt (piano) and Ryan Thornton (drums), made the most of their abbreviated time on stage, winning over the crowd with their relaxed-yet-solid set.

The show opened with “Blame Myself,” the first track off their CD My Little Monkey Got Caught. The song boasts a cheerful beat, which the band cleverly blends with lyrics addressing the need to constantly blame yourself, complete with “la la la’s”. They followed up with the title track from the album, which turned out to be much more intense than the recorded version, and boasted tighter drum beats, which gave it an almost island-like feel.

The next song, “Forty,” is, well, an ode to turning 40-years-old. It really showcased the group’s sense of humor at not being the typical band of 20-something-aged performers. The next two songs, “Morning-Time” and “What Made You?” flowed quite nicely. “Morning-Time” was accentuated with a little harmonica action by Greg D and gathered up speed as the song went on. The set was capped off by “Standing in the Shadows With You.” The band played with the most emotion during this song, which ended their performance on a high note.

The band’s set was unfortunately cut short due to time restraints, which was disappointing because I was really getting into it. However, they’ll be more chances to catch Sounds of Greg D. They’ll be at 58 Gallery in Jersey City, NJ on May 5 and at the Surfside Grill in Asbury Park, NJ on May 20.
Sounds of Greg D is based primarily around the singing and songwriting of Greg Di Gesu who has been playing in various bands since the mid-80's.

If you like Syd Barrett, Ray Davies and the formentioned Lou Reed then chances are you'll dig the current Sounds of Greg D.
SOUNDS OF GREG D - My Little Monkey Got Caught

A perfectly lively, joyous and nicely melodic pop-rock album that was
performed live in the studio. Greg D's deep, friendly, commanding voice
projects a warmth and smooth assurance that's quite engaging. The folksy,
harmonic, pleasingly kicked-back, yet still hoppin' arrangements are
likewise really up to speed while the snappy tempos and neatly boppin'
beats bounce along in a winningly catchy and effervescent manner.
Moreover, there's a real blithe spirit and good-natured quality evident in
such delightful songs as "Something's Always Wrong," "Having A Good Time,"
and "Love on the Go" that's genuinely refreshing and appealing. It's this
infectiously perky and upbeat sensibility which in turn makes this album a
real treat to listen to.
Joe W - JERSEY BEAT (Nov 1, 2006)
Many thanks!!! I really LOVE the CD!!! ... it's what I call a perfect (!!!) release for people looking for a certain feeling/*honesty* in music!!

I just realised that we know each other for almost 20 years!! With each step
(band/release) I think you came closer to your *real you in music* (if that
makes sense in english) and Monkey is the *best* so far!!!
What a great album, your best easily I'd say and I am a big fan of your last work. The production, execution, and musicianship is ultra tasty and alive. The songs themselves are top notch.
We like this record! It's quirky and fun.
Greg D has appeared here before with Glowing praise. This is from a CD called Thoughts of North (Maybe he misses Canada?) and each song is different and all are classic power pop Gems. This should be available from his Web site, but if it isn’t, you must tell him to sell you a copy. The world would never be right again until you hear this.
Speedsters and Dopers - 9 o'clock in the Afternoon
Guitars Galore No. 72

I have already praised the 3-song EP with the excellent "Made To Suffer", for a couple of months. Now Greg DiGesu has put forth an entire album. Greg was able to win for his band several terrific musicians who otherwise earn their bread with John Cale, Brenda Kahn, Joan Osborne, or Vanessa Paradis. "Made To Suffer", Greg's immediate reaction to 9/11/2001, also opens the album. I must confess that I at first didn't really understand the song. That doesn't detract from the absolutely soulful execution, which no one can be unaffected by. "Therapy As Rock And Roll" is cryptical, heavy, and dominated by experimental guitar sounds. "Iggy Pop" is a typical Greg DiGesu song. The playful "Sister Do" is reminiscent of post-Floyd Syd Barret and "Comes To You" drives the psychedelic drone a level higher. "Super Daddy" is aimed at Kurt Cobain, without stepping near him musically, spacey guitar - lost in the ozone. About "Mother Adorned", Greg has said "A laid back piece that has somehow been graced by the Moody Blues listening to Big Star's Sister Lovers." Hmmm.…yes, that could be it. Overall, Greg's commentary on the songs are very helpful. "Million Dollar Face" must be listened to more than once before you can unlock it. At that point, Radiohead meets Elvis Costello comes to mind. When I think about it, "White As Hell" sounds not unlike Ray Davies and Vaudeville Band. And "Like A Fool" is actually an ordinary cheerful country rocker, whereas the next song "Broadway" conjures for a moment the ghost of Johnny Thunders. And then follows at some distance the archaic blues-rock "Son Of My Father", which also graced the small EP. Actually, it is also the album of the month here - And throughout the year, I will continue to appreciate it.

Mike Korbik
Berlin, Germany
June 2003
from: Kweevak's Tracks
SPEEDSTERS AND DOPERS 9 O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON:
9 o'clock in the Afternoon is the latest release from Speedsters and Dopers a group founded and weathered in New York City. Greg DiGesu is the lead singer and main songwriter for this talented six-piece band. In addition, Greg is an accomplished producer and engineer who has worked with many respected musicians including Lenny Kravitz and John Mayer. DiGesu's production is first rate on this diverse rock collection that is touched by the blues and light punk. Their sound is full bodied with diverse textures, inventive guitar leads, funky beats, synthesizer accents and animated sometime haunting vocals. The fourteen songs plus the hidden track on this collection have vaguely familiar influences such as Lou Reed and early Bowie yet it is fresh and original. Greg and his fellow composers write strong visual lyrics and intriguing instrumentation completes the package. 'Desiree' is a prime example with poetic words blending with a lively captivating groove and a subtle beat melding with expressive vocals. It is followed by 'Therapy As Rock n Roll' with its restrained blues vibe combined with innovative guitar work, a rock solid beat and carried by potent piano notes. I am still trying to figure out the meaning of the lyrics but the hook line is catchy and the song has soul. 'Super Daddy' has depth with its dynamic guitars, intriguing keyboard work and storytelling vocals. Speedsters and Dopers are modern troubadours with a unique intriguing sound!
· Recommended Tracks: (3,4,8) [USA/NY 2003 ]
· Speedsters and Dopers "Hold For Air" 3 song 3" CD Get Hooked Records 2002 I love this Speedsters and Dopers CD single...well there's 3 songs, so I guess it's in between a single and an EP. Lead vocalist and songwriter, Greg Di Gesu has been at it for a long time...17 years, I think, since he made his first studio recording. Anyone remember The Wooden Soldiers or Fishermen's Stew? Here, this little CD rolls out the most confident and mature songs I've heard from Di Gesu. "What Can't Eat and Breathe" is a brief tune that begins with a chiming guitar part and syncopated Lou Reed-esque vocals. There are pretty little synthesizer accents throughout which kind of offset the disturbing lyrics (kind of like how Lennon's "My Mummy's Dead" was done to the tune of Three Blind Mice). The next track, "Made To Suffer", reminds me of The Band, which is kind of amazing, because nothing reminds me of The Band. There's simple clean guitar, piano, bass, organ & drums, and a vocal expression like Rick Danko's...totally on the mark, yet haunting and fragile. I think there's some mandolin in the background too. This song is clearly the standout, and if this were a just world, it'd be getting major airplay...but more about that later. The last song, "Son of My Father" is a dirty blues that builds to a small crescendo, with a vocal line reminiscent of Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes) and the instrumentation of early Yardbirds. Y'know, I don't even know what they play on mainstream radio anymore, and I don't think I've cared since about 1979. But I know these songs will never get played there, and that's a compliment. If this CD single is any indication of what's to come from Speedsters and Dopers, I'm really looking forward to a full-length release. Not to sound overly simplistic, but it seems that the only thing that matters to these guys is the music...and that's heartening. John Peluso Radio JP, North Carolina
John Peluso - My buddy, my pal.
fishermen's stew --->
“Fishermen's Stew is a bouillabaisse of ex-Wooden Soldier Greg DiGesu and a handful of talented guest musicians served up with plain songs in plain English. The result is just plain wonderful: fourteen cuts of DiGesu's plaintive voice and open acoustic style augmented with organs, cellos, double basses, and a variety of electric guitars. It's nourishing to the soul and satisfying to the ear.” - UTNE Reader, June 96

“Dose me, love it,” - Jersey Beat #49 Huh?

“Whoever has asked himself, who is the “Hurdy Gurdy Man” of whom Donovan sang, must wait no longer for an answer: Greg DiGesu, singer and songwriter of the American band Fishermen’s Stew, is currently on a solo tour and treats us to his music, somewhere between Rock ‘n Roll, Folk, and the Beatles’ White Album.” - TIP, July 1994 (Germany)

“...they sound like a cross between Buffalo Springfield and unplug Traffic fronted by Donovan.” - from E.C. Rocker, November 11, 1992

“... enlightening, entertaining, emotional rollercoaster ride...” - Get Out! (the Courier News), April 25th 1996

“If the Beatles were a garage band they would have sounded like this.” - The Aquarian Weekly, Dec. 29, 1993

“... DiGesu, who is as influenced by Bobby Dylan as by Charlie Manson, yet is still reminiscent of Donovan, for example with his hair style,...” - Zitty, July 29, 1994 (Germany)

“Their music can be summed up in one word: heavilymellowbouncyspaceypsychedrivinglooselytightlyfuzzedoutcrashingfloating-
funkyplunkytrippyhippieharmoniousmelodiousacousticallyelectricaldreamy-
energeticsonicderangement with the occasional wah-wah pedalness. There!! Hope I didn’t pigeonhole it!” - John Peluso

“Maybe it was the weather, but I've found refuge lately in stuff that doesn't normally stand a chance. I started with Fishermen's Stew, nice, traditional folky nonsense” - K.G.B., April 1996

“... It's all about honesty and DiGesu's vocals and strong acoustic playing break through the alterna-weenie genre like the Hulk through a new Polo shirt. If you're aching for a good dose of old-fashioned rootsy rock'n'roll Letter to Norway is like a ticket to heaven.” - The Aquarian Weekly, April. 17-24, 1996