Overuse a word like “genius” and it becomes meaningless, so I use it sparingly and only when I honestly mean it. Local musician David Gray fits the bill, but he’s a very specific kind of genius, which is why I wanted to tell you about him this week.
Specifically, Gray is a musical mad scientist, slaving away in his laboratory, populating the world with strange and wonderful creations. Up until now this has largely been for his own amusement (and that of his friends) but I think it’s too interesting to keep secret, so I’d like to shine some light into the dark corners of the cellar where his rock and roll creations live.
David Gray has been around for a while. By a while, I mean that if there was a band in the area that made it big, or came close to making it big in the ’70s and ’80s, David likely played with them or worked with them to some extent. He’s like a living Wikipedia entry on the local music scene for the last 40 years.
These days, David has taken up a hobby. Namely, he creates “fake bands,” writes reams of music for them, records this music, and moves on to the next project. Essentially, Gray is pulling a “Spinal Tap” over and over again in multiple genres. He does it largely alone, although a friend or two has sat in on occasion, and he is damn good at it.
Gray’s latest project, Shooting Squirrels, has a Reverbnation page and a bevy of tunes for your amusement. Many are “recorded rough,” but in a way this demonstrates his skill that much more cleverly. Teasing a good sound out of less-than-optimal equipment is the mark of a master. Between writing, performing and recording, Gray clearly graduated from the Shaolin temple a long time ago.
A creative dynamo, Gray is also one of the friendliest guys you’ll meet and not averse to collaborations. Check out his work on Reverbnation or stop by his Facebook page and just say hi. If you’re a Chattanooga musician, David Gray is a man you need to know.