News and Bio...
Nap time: peaceful piano for a busy world
is Greg's latest project. The 17 song work was premiered May 30 in Portland in a performance and cd and score booklet release party with all proceeds going to Call To Safety, a Portland non-profit working to end violence against women. This work shows Greg's love of instrumental melody and composition and a nod to our need for rejuvenation in a culture on edge.
is out! It's eight new songs that evoke a wide range of moods and musical styles. From the dark, steamy electric guitar/harp infused "Swamp" to the love ballad "Life With You" to the funkified "Earthman" and the folky "That Summer at the Lake" - Greg hits the right note in each genre, whether full band or simple voice and acoustic guitar. Originally projected to be an unrelated group of songs, Square Pegs has turned out to reflect a warm unified vision, thanks to heartfelt writing and a substantial vocal presence.
Two of the songs were co-written with cellist Kendra Carpenter, Greg's collaborator in two projects: the cello/guitar duo Sweeter Than Later, and in the change-the-world-through-music of Swaha!. Kendra also adds vocals and cello to the Square Pegs mix.
In 2012, Thelen and Carpenter released Poolside
- a dozen of the songs they perform together as Sweeter Than Later. They also toured the US that summer performing music from the Sweeter Than Later and Swaha!
albums, both produced and recorded by Thelen.
Before joining with Kendra to make music in 2010, Greg performed both as a solo artist and with his band. He has been active in the Portland songwriting community for many years. Songs from his 2007 solo release, Enough Thunder
are currently in rotation on internet radio worldwide.
Greg's musical compass often swings toward roots music, yet he also loves the style and feel of the great American popular standards. He draws from a lifelong interest in jazz in his writing and playing. His keen ear for harmony often paints his song arrangements with rich, yet often subtle emotional shadings.
He grew up in the Portland, Oregon area and his early years were steeped in an eclectic mix: Fats Domino, Elvis, Hank Williams, The Beatles, a square dance calling dad, and a mother who taught him ukulele and an abiding love for words and music at a tender age. It shows.
Greg sees music as a vibration that can act as a catalyst for positive change.