But the hat that means the most to Greg, and the one he will be wearing when he performs at Hugh’s Room on Tuesday, 24 June, is that as artist, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, celebrating the release of his third CD, “Encore”. If you enjoy The Beatles, David Gray, Blue Rodeo, Crowded House, Squeeze, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, you will very likely enjoy Greg’s music. His vocal lines are melodic, his chords are beautifully unpredictable and his lyrics are heartfelt and personal. He delivers his songs with a rich vocal style that has hints of all the artists mentioned above, and his musicianship, whether playing guitar or bass, is stellar.
Greg was born and grew up in southern England, and his first musical influence was his father Tony, a drummer whose band “The Barons” released “surf-guitar rock” singles in the 1960’s. He gave Greg his first live playing experience sitting in on pub gigs at age 11. Two years later, The family moved to Canada, eventually settling in Ottawa, and Greg soon became a mainstay in the Ottawa music scene. Two CDs followed: “The First” in 1998 and “Something I made up” in 2001. The title track of “The First” quickly became a heavily rotated song on Ottawa radio, and two of the songs from “Something I made up”, the title track and “What are you trying to prove”, both placed in the Standard Radio National songwriting competition.
In the years since his second release, Greg has made Toronto his home base, and it is there that he performs up to 4 times a week. He has also done much travelling, touring the United States, England, Malta, Australia, New Zealand and most recently, Norway. It was travelling that gave Greg time to reflect and write the songs that comprise “Encore”. He has created a richly textured album, with musical styles borrowed from classic rock, folk rock and even a little bluegrass. His musical arrangements are lush and beautiful featuring acoustic guitars, piano, string quartet and horns. His lyrics deal with relationships, love and introspection, and the solid musicianship provided by Greg as well as his colleagues from Classic Albums Live tie it all together.
June 24th will celebrate the first ever full live performance of “Encore”. The event will be hosted by Jeanne Beker, and videotaped and recorded for posterity. Greg plans to take his show to other parts of Canada over the next year and has already begun work on songs for a follow-up CD to be released in 2015.
Canadian Musician review of CD “Something I made up”
If your goal is to graduate from the University of Melodic Pop-Rock, the professors you want to study with are obvious: The Beatles, of course, and other tune-scholars like Crowded House’s Neil Finn. Taking a page from Professor Neil Finn’s text, Wyard excels in writing melodies that are extremely catchy, yet sound completely natural amidst some wonderfully wily song structures, as found on the lead-off track, “Leave It Like That” and “Ready To Come Back Home”.
All Music Guide review of CD “Something I made up”
The second album by this Toronto-area band is a perfect compliment to the understated, intelligent melodic pop of singer/songwriters such as Michael Penn and Neil Finn. While most of the first half of the album is fairly solid and radio friendly, songs like “A Likely Story” and “I Get That All the Time” tend to veer toward the slightly harder, rockier sound of Canadian rockers the Odds . The band appears to hit pay dirt during the latter half with more introspective and catchy tunes. A gem such as “Just Be You,” with its infectious, yet quirky, Beatles backbeat is surpassed only by “Few and Far Between,” a tender, acoustic-tinged ballad. Perhaps hard to find, but hard to pass by upon listening.
Ottawa Life review of CD “The First”
Wyard’s debut CD, The First, is a fine piece of work, an eclectic blend of acoustic and electric guitars, piano and strings. Wyard’s style is straightforward light rock with an elegant folk twist. Understated vocals top off the deft instrumental work..
NOW Toronto magazine review of CD “The First”
Greg Wyard (alongside the occasional co-conspirator) writes impeccably crafted pop tunes in the vein of Squeeze or Crowded House – the kind of grown-up tunes that leave you humming the chorus. “The First” has a full sound, polished without being slick, and includes a wide range of instruments: Hammond B3, piano, sax, trombone and luxurious strings. The uptempo songs shift in style from the Argy Bargy-ness of “Nothing left to the Imagination” to the Stax feel of “Let Your Hair Down,” but Wyard maintains strong melodies on weepers like “Looking In From the Outside” and the sweet title track. Wonderful.