“You truly are a great country singer.”
– Blake Shelton (The Voice, 2015)
From the looks of it, you may have taken a wrong turn from the buttoned-up streets of DC and ended up in Texas. Jack Gregori brandishes his deep baritone voice and black Stetson from local blues bars in Washington, DC to Hollywood, providing his audiences a rare opportunity to practice a rebel yell and test out their best heel-toe moves. And while Jack now has a well-deserved reputation for genuine Texas-influenced country and western musical style (and attitude) his musical path began far away from the land of country music.
In 1983, within a bucolic neighborhood in Plymouth, New Hampshire, a 6-year old Jack Gregori first began to demonstrate his precocious singing and performing skills. Jack’s grandfather had been an artist and performing jazz drummer in the 1950s and his father quickly took note of Jack’s ease and comfort in front of audiences. He was happy to continue the tradition of arts education by enrolling Jack into early childhood piano and saxophone lessons. These lessons would lead to early exposure to The Beatles, Howling Wolf and The Rolling Stones, leaving a lasting imprint on the forms of rhythm-and-blues and the swagger of rock-and-roll. Years later, Jack would uncover a hybrid musical style – country music – that would serve as the inspiration for his regular DC-based performances and ultimately lead him to compete on to a national TV show – The Voice – where multiple Grammy award nominees were all in agreement over Jack’s undeniable talent and charisma.
In 1983 halfway across the United States in Austin, Texas country artists Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson had just released their honky-tonk album “Pancho and Lefty,” featuring the Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt’s title track. It would take nearly 25 years from those early days in New Hampshire, including a move across three states, the acquisition of college and law degrees, as well as a boom-to-bust mortgage career, for Jack to discover this seminal honky-tonk album that would forever change his life’s direction and momentum. Here in our nation’s capital in 2016, this legendary album title track has become a repertoire staple of DC’s own acclaimed country-western singer and songwriter.
“Your voice is incredibly deep and powerful” said Grammy-award nominee Ellie Goulding after Jack advanced to the next round on the international FOX television hit show The Voice. Those events broadcast Jack’s undeniable talent out to millions of eyes across the country. Up until that moment the word-of-mouth about Jack’s charisma had been pushing at the seams only in the small music communities of Northern Virginia and Washington DC.
Yet for years Jack had been fine-tuning his vocal command and delivery through the country-and-western outfit he created, the “Human Country Jukebox”, now a staple of the DC music scene. The band has enjoyed a multiple-year residency at Madam’s Organ, the legendary DC music institution voted as DC’s Greatest Bar by Playboy Magazine, providing the platform for his performances to grow in local lore. On any given night throughout the region Jack and his band can be found entertaining audiences with sets over 4-hours long and deep into the early morning hours.
Regional press outfits The Washingtonian Magazine and the Washington City Paper (among others) have recently spotlighted Jack and noted his growing stardom. He has the show history as well to match any of the great touring country artists. Just in the past few years alone, Jack and his band have performed well over 500 shows. All of this in addition to releasing his debut album of original material in late 2014 titled – Human Country Jukebox. Jack has performed at nearly every stage and theater in the Metro DC area, from landmark music venues Black Cat and The Hamilton, to the dark saloons and watering holes in-between. He has also performed alongside some of Nashville’s great stewards of country-western and honky-tonk style, most recently performing with Nashville’s own Jim Lauderdale.
The best country singers carry with them stories and experiences that transcend the songs they sing. It takes the accumulated years of wisdom and perspective to lend credibility to the songs of the heart-broken as well as the truly grateful. Jack is a singer who has lived some years, witnessed some small successes and failures, and a performer who lends his own life experience to give the songs he sings the gravity they demand.