It’s a tribute to his place in the local arts community that April 28 has been declared “Gregory Page Day,” by the City of San Diego. A show at Java Joe’s that evening will serve as a celebration for that honor as well as his birthday party, the album release show for his new disc, “So It Goes,” and warm up for a European tour set to start May 3 in Holland.
Page is happy to return to his musical home Java Joe’s. “Joe is a musical magnet of sorts, bringing us all together,” he said. “His love for the music and his deep appreciation for giving us a stage to do our song and dance on is a beautiful gift to this town.”
Though known today as an acoustic troubadour, Page cut his teeth in the local music community playing more rock-oriented material with a succession of bands that included The Rugburns and the Hatchet Brothers. “I used to love to rock out, but afterwards on my drive home I would listen to Django Rhienhart, or James Taylor albums,” he recalled.
He notes the loud music hurt his hearing. “Years of dirty nightclubs that smell, and no ear protection took its toll. I have a severe level of tinnitus. This wicked chronic frequency has almost taken me off this planet a few times,” Page said. Fans hoping to see him in that format will be disappointed. “Rock is over for me,” he said. “I like the memories of the Rugburns or The Hatchet Brothers, but I buried my electric amp years ago in Balboa Park.”
Page recorded “So It Goes” at Power Sound Studios in Amsterdam and locally, at Studio West. “This album is the most personal document to date,” he said. “During the time I wrote and recorded it, I lost my father, my uncle Tom Page, and my dear friend Candy Kane. There is something raw and immediate about these songs that I was able to pull deep down inside to express myself in.”
While much of Page’s new album was inspired by loss and matters of the heart, a song like the album’s first single, “I Say A Prayer,” is rooted in current events. “That number is a song I wrote very fast while on tour in Europe,” he explained. “The refugee crisis is front page news each day and I felt helpless and heartbroken by such news.
“I was given a rare opportunity to perform at a refugee camp in Holland. It changed my life. In four hours my life was turned upside down and I was shaken to the core.” Page wrote the songs as a way to work through what he had seen. “I was trying in vain to express my feelings through lyrics and music. Then the song came and tears streamed down my cheeks as I was wrote it.”
The coming year will feature more recording and further touring, all part of a lifelong journey Page has embarked on to bring his music to the world. “My aim is to play music that I like to hear and connect with an audience. It’s that simple,” he said.
In the meantime, he will continue promoting his new album across the globe. “A project like this links you to past friends and also makes you some new ones along the way,” he said. “All tied together by the nature of the gifts each musician lent to the recording.”