Monday, March 21, 2011

An Interview with Greg Boerner

It was a year ago that Todd and Kiaralinda hosted the house concert where Greg Boerner performed to an enthusiastic crowd at Whimzey. Channel 10's morning show, Studio 10 ran a segment on him, and later that week Boerner delighted locals during a Third Friday performance. Boerner (pronounced Burner) sings and plays his guitar with not only feeling, but with obvious admiration for those who've come before him.

"I love what I do," he told me, "especially when I cover a Ray Charles, Tom Waits or Beatles tune--these are my musical heroes. Also, I've listened to and absorbed a lot of music over the years that seems to swim around inside me. It's nice to be able to summon that up and tap into it when I want or need it."

Boerner is not one to toot his own horn, but music is his passion, and when you listen to his distinctive finger picking and vocals, that passion really shines. He began playing at age twelve after finding an electric guitar and an old amp in the attic. "I started trying to sing shortly after that," he said. "The good songwriting came much later and I'm hoping the great songwriting is just around the corner. Believe me, I'm still trying to get it all straight."

His three albums, Nowhere, Wishing Well, and World so Blue have been reviewed by a list of fans, magazines, and music critics, and several music videos are on YouTube. Boerner's advice to beginning musicians is simple: "If you want to play music, you can. No problem. With practice and patience, that's a reasonable, obtainable goal. Now, if you want to be famous, I wouldn't know what to tell you. Even famous people can't tell you. See the difference? You've really got to be doing this for the right reasons. The love of music, connecting with people, giving back a gift you've been given. Any other reason (money, fame, girls, etc) falls short ninety-five percent of the time. In short, take your craft/talent seriously...not yourself. Hard to do at times."

A fourth CD is planned for a May release, and Boerner recently finished a project called Made in Aurora. He and other Illinois artists involved in the project plan on releasing a vinyl record (yes, vinyl!) with proceeds benefiting the Paul Ruby Foundation to raise money toward Parkinson's Disease research.

Although time has passed since his visit, Boerner remembers our town and people fondly. "From my short stay in Safety Harbor, I quickly saw that people embraced music, art, friendship, good food, nature, etc--the truly important things, right? With that said, I know the art and music center will be a perfect fit for Safety Harbor. Just don't forget to ask me to come back and play sometime!"

To purchase Greg's CDs with a check, click here.
To purchase Greg's CDs with a credit card, click here.

He enjoys hearing from you, so feel free to drop him a line or two at

No comments: