Ken Leighton 8 a.m., Nov. 21
Grampadrew Giving Away Free Song (& Story) Each Day For 13 Days
“I’m a singer-songwriter with alt-country leanings, but a punk rock spirit,” says acoustic troubadour Grampadrew, aka Drew Douglas. “Think John Prine and Neil Young, jamming on a sawdust-floor hoedown with Wilco.” Grampadrew was nominated Best Alt Country and Best Songwriter at the 2008 San Diego HAT (Honoring Acoustic Talent) Awards.
"Grampadrew began as a screen name when I worked as a chat moderator for Napster servers. Actually, for their open-nap server equivalents, who were run, DIY style, from people's bedrooms all across the world. It was that experience, and the revolutionary free exchange of music through mp3s that reignited my passion for playing music. The concept of direct distribution, without major record labels, lured me back into performing and recording, which I had turned my back on for nearly 10 years."
"In the spirit of that free exchange, and the idealism and promise that, unlike Metallica and the RIAA, I would always allow people to access my music and trade it as they see fit, I will be giving away my entire record in MP3 format."
Every day, starting on Monday, September 3rd, Grampadrew is providing on his Facebook page a link to a song, along with a story surrounding it. "13 songs. 13 stories. 13 days. The last song and story will conclude on September 15, and will culminate with a live show at the Whistlestop [on Fern Street], for the San Diego Music Thing."
You can listen to and read about Monday's song "All I Have" at http://soundcloud.com/grampadrew/grampadrew-01-all-i-have-1/s-F7xi6
Douglas cut his teeth performing at the Whistlestop. “Sam the owner is fantastic about supporting and nurturing the local scene, so they pretty much put South Park on the map with the arts. And I mean no disrespect to Judy the Beauty on Duty, the proprietor of the Big Kitchen who worked tirelessly for decades to better our community, pretty much alone.”
He took a shot at forming a local-based record label, mainly for his own releases, though he found the music biz still clinging desperately to the near-obsolete major label model of A&R “discovery and development. “I was sitting at a lunch counter at LAX on my way to Austin for SXSW, and my label at that point was just a website and a fancy business card. To my right is Jeff Buckley’s mom, on the phone with the President of Sony Records negotiating the release of her son’s box set. Between phone calls, she asks for my fancy business card and insists I call her Mary.”
“On the flight, Mary tells me about a show I have to go to. When I arrive at the gig, she isn’t there, but everyone keeps staring at me and clapping with suspicious enthusiasm, all the while looking back at me and smiling and nodding. Finally, the singer’s manager walks up to me and says ‘Mary told us you were coming,’ and starts pitching his band to me like I’m the head of Capitol Records. I handed out my fancy business card, waited until nobody was looking, and slipped out as quietly and inconspicuously as possible.”
As for non-musical endeavors, he says “I'm a registered Reverend who’s performed five weddings and a funeral. That’s one more than the movie Four Weddings and Funeral. So far.”
His ministerial cred comes into play with Monday's song and story for "All I Have," which -- eventually -- concerns a local celebrity musical couple of sorts...