Hailing from Standard, Alberta, Gregory‘s music career exists alongside his farm work. ”I grew up in the country, we farm for a living,” he says. It’s this kind of experience that has shaped Gregory‘s songs. The music from his 2010 debut album Country Hurricane is catchy and upbeat. Gregory also has an EP for sale called My Drunk Friends.
The single “Lay it All Out There” was released in January, and since then Gregory and his band, the Hired Guns, have been promoting their music across Canada. “Lay it All Out There” hit #88 on the Canadian country charts, a great achievement for Gregory because he is an independent artist.
A new single will be released at the end of April 2012, but Gregory is careful not to share too many details. He says, ”The new song is a real fast-paced summer tune. That’s all I can tell you.” Gregory‘s new music was recorded at MCC Recording Studios in Calgary. ”[MCC Recording Studios] believe in what we’re doing and they’ve been awesome,” says Gregory.
Most of his music is written in Nashville, and Gregory loves traveling to Music City. “There’s a bunch of Canadian writers down there, it’s a great community,” he says. Regardless of where he is writing, Gregory says “[Every song I write] is about something that happened to me. I’m just not a good story writer, I can’t do a big elaborate story about something that happened to somebody else. Authenticity is very important to me, it’s what we’re going after.”
After returning from Nashville, Gregory and the Hired Guns drove north to Ontario. ”We hit about 17 radio stations on the way back home and had a blast,” says Gregory. That radio tour helped Gregory introduce himself and his music to the rest of Canada.
“I’m really just trying to get further across Canada [in 2012]. We’re going to be going out to the CCMA Awards in [Saskatoon in September]. I want to build a fanbase across Canada. Expanding is really our goal,” says Gregory.
The Hired Guns consist of players Gregory found through family members and mutual friends. He says that after a few years of playing with the guys in his band, he can’t think of playing with anybody else. “They’re all great guys, we’ve never had any of that band drama you hear about,” says Gregory.
Aside from writing and performing, Gregory is actively involved in managing his own career through social media. With the help of his manager Angie Morris, Gregory has built a following on Facebook and twitter. He says that social media sites like Facebook are great because they’re free advertising and perfect for connecting directly with fans.
“I do all my own publicity, and I want to continue to do that. Every time somebody e-mails me I try to get back to them and have that respect. You do that a few times and you make fans for life,” says Gregory.
“All [social media] takes is time. You don’t have to pull out huge ads in newspapers. All this new stuff is free. You don’t even need a big distribution deal, you can get your music spread across Canada with every internet store there is. That’s where everybody’s buying nowadays,” Gregory says.
His experience as a farmer is what guides Gregory through the music business. He says, ”The farm is one of those things where you have to do everything. You have to do your own managing and run all of the equipment. You have a little hand in everything. I’ve taken that over to the music.”
In 2010, Gregory won the Country 105 FM Lamlee’s Best Original Song contest with his song “Country Hurricane.” “There were some great original songs in the finals that guys were throwing out, it’s pretty special to just be in the finals, let alone win anything,” says Gregory.
In July 2012, Gregory will be a part of the Calgary Stampede‘s centennial celebrations by performing every morning at the Calgary Stampede Rope Square Breakfast. Check his official website for more 2012 tour dates.
“Little things happen here and there that help me know I’m doing the right thing, for sure,” says Gregory.
Check out Drew Gregory‘s “Lay it All Out There” on radiowrangler.com
Special thanks to Angie Morris and Sirroma Entertainment