Things started heating up for local singer-songwriter Greg Sover somewhere around 2015. The nimble guitarist had begun work on his debut LP, Songs of a Renegade, and connected with a group of musicians that not only helped the recording project, they leveled up his gigs in the regional live scene as well. Bassist Garry Lee, guitarist Allen James and drummer Tom Walling are the trio at the core of coffee house scene favorites Deb Callahan Blues Band, and paired up with Sover’s husky vocal delivery and howling licks, the energy is explosive.
This year, Sover followed his debut up with the Jubilee EP, a short and sweet set that sees him breaking beyond the blues rock pigeonhole he’s often placed in and dabbling in expansive reggae, anthemic pop, and string orchestrations.
That’s not to say, however, that blues aren’t at the core of what Sover does. Performing in WXPN studios this week, he and the band punctuate a performance of “Jubilee” with the gripping tones of bottleneck slide on a Hohner resonator guitar, as well as a lively solo from local harmonica player Mikey Junior — check out video of that below.
The foot-stomping “Preacher,” a track from Renegade, also has a classic blues vibe, but the rest of the session — a mix of new and old — sees Sover and the band mixing things up. Opening rocker “Emotional” brings some serious fire out the gates, while “You Make Me (Say Yeah)” finds Sover drifting into the contemplative headspace of classic-style love ballads. The closing “Hand on My Heart” mixes up a flamenco-style guitar solo on Sover’s acoustic with heady, Pink Floyd tones on James’ strat. Watch an impressive performance of that one below.
In addition to the EP release and a trip to Tennessee to take part in the Memphis Blues Challenge, the first part of Sover’s 2018 includes a gig this Sunday, March 4th, co-headlining alongside the Jamie McLean band at The Sellersville Theater; he’ll also be at new Wayne venue 118 North on March 22nd. Tickets and more information on both shows can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar. Listen to Sover’s Key Studio Session in full below.
Greg Sover, The Key Studio Sessions