Doctor G’s intricate writing, soulful pitch-perfect vocals and kick ass band make one hell of a combination. With finesse comparable to Kris Kristofferson, he manages to blend social conscience, the plight of the common man and whimsical sensibilities into his writing before the listener even realizes he’s been educated as well as entertained. He’s created his own style of”Swampytonk” (Mississippi/Texas blues with a dash of country swing) that lays a foundation for strong lyrical content. In every song he writes, it is evident that Doctor G puts his entire soul on the line for the creative process.”I certainly hope I have something to say that resonates with people,” he says,”and that my music expresses the struggles in my own life journey that others can connect with in some way…even if it’s based on personal experience, the listener can interpret it any way they want.”
Doctor G (Gregg Andrews) was born along the banks of the Mississippi River in the Mark Twain land of Hannibal, Missouri. He grew up in a cement company town, where nearby sounds of river traffic, train whistles, and smokestacks resonated throughout the dark hollows and steep limestone bluffs. Doc’s love of music was filtered down through his father, who worked at the cement factory plant. A soundtrack of Hank Thomson, Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce and Johnny Cash provided the backdrop for hard-lived, hard-worked life. At the age of fourteen, his father taught him his first song on the guitar-“Waiting For A Train” by Jimmy Rodgers. Not long after, his father became an invalid and passed on, leaving he and his mother to face the struggles of the River life. The ups and downs in this setting provided the vivid imagery and themes that characterize Doctor G’s hard-edged songs today.
With Mississippi mud on the bottom of his boots and a song in his heart, Doctor G moved to Texas in 1988.”Long before I came to Texas, I was very much into Texas music,” remembers Doc.”Especially the Outlaw progressive country movement in the seventies with Willie, Waylon, Shaver and Kris Kristofferson. Kris was a main influence. That’s really when I took a main interest in writing. He was an intellectual and could bridge both worlds.”
In the year 2000, it was a fateful meeting with Kent Finlay (the legendary owner of Cheatham Steet Warehouse in San Marcos) that sparked Doc into performing and writing like never before. At the persistent prompting of Finlay, he began participating in the Cheatham Street Songwriter’s Nights. With the ghosts of Texas Legends past lining the walls of the historic venue, and the howling trains passing through the track in the back parking lot (eerily reminiscent of his youth), Doc found himself in an exciting, creative environment.
It wasn’t long before Finlay was determined to produce an album of Doc’s songs. The result was MUDCAT (released in 2005). Featuring an array of twelve originals that encapsulated the ‘river rat’ life, along with a bit of political social conscience (with a subtle humor peppered in that would make Mark Twain proud), the album seemed more like a veteran entry than a debut. The”Mudcats” were born when the musicians who played on the album found they had great live chemistry with Doc and they began performing all over the Hill Country.
Doc’s characters and personal tales denote the struggle of common people as they try to have a dignified life against great odds. It is evident that his contributions are vital to the world of music, and to humanity.
I grew up in a hard knocks old world
it seemed to me to be my destiny
To have to fight like the devil
just to camouflage the soft lovin’ side of me…”
(Soft Lovin Side of Me, Doctor G)
Doctor G’s new CD, My Daddy’s Blues, is available for listen and download here.
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