In the outskirts of Dallas Texas, Grey Jacks was born. He was playing the piano and ukulele at a young age. Home schooled by his mother, a former Dallas school teacher, his musical interests were encouraged from the start. Middle school introduced brass instruments and in high school bass and guitar joined the mix, which soon led to songwriting.
College began studying singing at a Virginia music school and ended in the heart of Middle Tennessee, where in a matter of months Jacks began slinging lead guitar and keys with the indie-rock powerhouse Glossary, joining them on their 2nd, 3rd and 4th albums. The band toured throughout half the country, including sets at SXSW and CMJ.
Grey moved into Washington, DC in early 2009 and it wasn't long before writing began, fueled by the freedom from Music City and the climate of the Capital city. In 2012, with the help of longtime friend Phantom Farmer, the two began tracking 15 of Grey's original songs in Nashville. The pair soon moved lakeside near Sparta, TN in 2013 and the finished product is an impressive first release.
The albums sound is full of talented Nashville players with the main band comprised of Matt Moody (By Lightning, Hands Down Eugene), D. Patrick Rodgers (And The Relatives), William Tyler (Lambchop, The Silver Jews), and Mr Jimmy Matt Roland (Caitlin Rose, Bobby Bare Jr, Glossary). With strings by Larissa Maestro and Eleonore Denig of the band Poly, haunting vocals by Serai Zaffiro and siblings Jordan & Alex Caress (Little Bandit), and tinged with horns by the Nashville Brass, you arrive at a sound that is both warm and brilliant.
The project was dubbed the Grey A and is self described as the sound of a middle ground. The phrase "Grey A" is a clinical term used to describe those who identify as neutral or asexual and the narrative voice Grey writes in attempts to remain in a neutral space. The album title is My Country and has lyrical content touching on issues from science to sin and sings of a world with rigged election systems, income inequality, and cascading climate change.
My Country was released September 2nd, 2014 to positive reviews from No Depression and NPR. The DC based band, which features Andrew Michael Holden on drums and Howard Rabach on bass, and Kevin Dudley on guitar is performing now around the US of A with the album available online and for sale on this site.
In 2015 Grey and old friend Cyn Corrigible started writing music to Cyn's lyrics down in Richmond, VA. In 2016 they launched Graduates Rise, with drummer Herschel Stratego and bassest Jay Westermann. This new activist project is aimed at the University system's where Cyn had just completed her PHD. On May 5th they released the punk album Math Is Hard!, a record that uses punk rock, confessional poetry, and explicit criticism in an attempt to demystify systems of higher education. Many of the issues stopping education system improvement are philosophical ones. Math is Hard! confronts some of these issues and seeks to shift the focus from blaming individuals to instead recognizing how systems perpetuate aggressions. On May 13th, 2016 Graduates Rise performed at Gallery 5 in RVA.