Greg Trooper (January 13, 1956 - January 15, 2017) was a singer-songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by many artists, including Steve Earle, Billy Bragg and Vince Gill.Read More
Trooper was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Little Silver. As a teenager in the early 1970s, Greg Trooper would frequent the folk clubs of Greenwich Village taking in the burgeoning singer/songwriter and blues scene. In 1976, he moved to Austin, Texas and then to Lawrence, Kansas where he entered college at the University of Kansas and continued to hone his guitar, singing, and songwriting skills.
Trooper moved to New York City for the 1980s and part of the 1990s, where he formed The Greg Trooper Band along with Larry Campbell on guitar, Greg Shirley on bass and Walter Thompson on drums. During this time he recorded his first two records: We Won't Dance and the critically acclaimed Everywhere produced by Stewart Lerman. He also met songwriter/publisher Earl Shuman, who secured Trooper's first publishing deal with CBS Songs. Trooper's records caught the attention of Steve Earle, who recorded Trooper's "Little Sister."
In the early 1990s, Trooper met fellow New Jerseyite and E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent who, like Trooper, would move to Nashville. Tallent produced Trooper's 1996 album Noises in the Hallway and released it on his D'Ville Record Group label. Popular Demons followed in 1998, on Koch Records and produced by Buddy Miller. After the release of that album, Trooper signed with Nashville indie Eminent Records, which released Straight Down Rain in 2001.
2002 saw the release of Trooper's first live record Between A House and a Hard Place – Live at Pine Hill Farm with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel at the controls. He moved on to the esteemed Sugar Hill Records label in 2003 with the release of Floating followed by the Dan Penn-produced Make It Through This World in 2005. Back Shop Live, another live recording, was released in 2006.
In 2008, Trooper moved back to New York City and in 2009 put out the previously unreleased 1995 recording The Williamsburg Affair. In 2011 he released Upside-Down Town on 52 Shakes Records.
In August 2013, Trooper released his album Incident on Willow Street, also on 52 Shakes Records. According to Trooper, "In these songs, there seemed to be characters that were trying to break away from a bad situation into a better situation or trying to grow out of a stale and stagnant life into a richer life."
Rarely has there been a more aptly named singer/songwriter than Greg Trooper. Over three decades, the New Jersey native has soldiered on through the victories and setbacks unique to a career dedicated to music, proving through gestures large and small that he's one of our best. It's evident in the company he keeps, the critics who praise his recordings, the fans who invest in his shows and the artists who learn his songs, wishing they'd written them. It is most evident in what Amazon.com calls his "catalog of superbly crafted albums." This impressive discography testifies for an artist who has always served the song and the music above all other things.
Raised in the shore town of Little Silver, NJ Trooper became enthralled by the greater New York area's rich music scene. He discovered a sort of holy musical trinity in the work of Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams, with their guiding lights of passion, literary dexterity and plainspoken honesty. It's one reason Trooper's music feels equally informed by Memphis soul, Greenwich Village folk and Nashville twang.
Trooper has made an impact on the music scenes in all the places he's lived since leaving home after high school: Austin, Texas, Lawrence, Kansas, New York and Nashville. His albums have demonstrated creative vision as well as a collaborator's heart. Americana star Buddy Miller produced 1998's 'Popular Demons' album, while soul legend Dan Penn steered 2005's extraordinary 'Make It Through This World'. His songs have been recorded by Vince Gill, Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, Robert Earl Keen, Maura O'Connell and Bill Lloyd among others.
In a review of his live album 'Between A House And A Hard Place', music critic Barry Mazor said that Trooper "sings with a clarity of purpose and a variety of effect that few in the acoustic world match." Billboard magazine has called him "an artist of considerable insight and passion." Nashville music critic Robert K. Oermann has said Trooper's "songs and delivery grab you by the throat." Fans know a voice of grit and experience signing songs in which they recognize themselves. They also know that come the proverbial hell or high water, Greg will still be forging forward, trooper that he is.
'93 'Til Infinity