Glenn Tilbrook and Jefferson Grizzard
Are Beguiling in the Backwoods of New Jersey
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Glenn Tilbrook is best known for his work in the band Squeeze but Glenn is also an in-demand solo artist. Squeeze was at the forefront of the new wave movement of the 1970's. Squeeze enjoyed much success into the 1990's when they disbanded for a bit allowing Tilbrook more time to work on his own projects. Happy Endings (2014) Glenn's latest record was released to critical acclaim. Tilbrook describes it as one of his most personal records to date; it's filled with portraits of people, places and time. Glenn is also an active advocate for Love Hope Strength an organization that raises awareness in regards to the importance of bone marrow donations along with collecting funds that goes to cancer units.

Glenn Tilbrook and Jefferson Grizzard Are Beguiling in the Backwoods of New Jersey
Glenn Tilbrook is the fourth act to play the recently launched Seckler Stage Series in Highland Lakes, NJ.

Tilbrook is currently finishing up a solo tour in the States. Glenn has played at a wide variety of places on his latest run with stops at a number of venues in the region. On October 24, 2014 he performed at the more rural Highland Lakes Country Club in New Jersey. Rich hadn't been this far back in the sticks of the Garden State since his days at YMCA's Camp Bernie.

On the rustic Seckler Stage Glenn had set up a table with some mannequin heads along with his gear - an electric and two acoustic guitars. He started the first of two sets on an acoustic. Glenn was in good voice and presented a career spanning show with plenty of crowd pleasing Squeeze classics. Fans were clapping and singing along to "Take Me I'm Yours" where Tilbrook aptly crafted leads paired with the song's familiar rhythms. "Persephone" from Happy Endings was a peppy piece with a catchy refrain about an independent woman.

"Vicky Verky" was filled with vivid English imagery along with crafty chord progressions. "Untouchable" from his solo record Transatlantic Ping Pong showcased animated acoustic work. Before an expressive "The Truth" that ran from the low to high ranges Tilbrook distributed some of the heads. Glenn effectively carried full band songs as a solo artist. Arrangements were sparser but still spirited with a prime example being "Tempted". The tune allowed ample opportunity for the audience to sing back and forth with Tilbrook. "Do We Roll" a more recent track rolled along on Glenn's sweet singing combined with his fine fret work.

Tilbrook mentioned that he is working on new material with Chris Difford and shared a song that will be on their forthcoming album. "From the Cradle to the Grave" had a serious feel to it as it looked at the passing of time woven into a memorable refrain. Glenn countered it with a lively "Is That Love". "Party like its 1909," jested Tilbrook as he asked his fans to help sing the whimsical "Ice Cream" also from his latest CD. "Annie Get Your Gun" was still snappy even in an acoustic format.

Glenn Tilbrook and Jefferson Grizzard Are Beguiling in the Backwoods of New Jersey
Glenn Tilbrook performed hair-raising leads on both acoustic and electric guitar in Highland Lakes.

After a short break Glenn returned for the electric portion of his concert to rap his way through a sassy "Slap & Tickle" with short guitar notes punctuating the lyrics. Other highlights of the second set was the distinctive "Black Coffee in Bed" with Glenn adding different flavors to the familiar tune that again encouraged audience participation. "Up The Junction" also had some structure changes while still sticking to the framework of the original song.

Tilbrook nailed "Another Nail For My Heart" and "Hourglass" which included a short jam from Glenn before returning to the hook. Tilbrook's engaging encore included "Pulling Mussels (From The Shell), "If I Didn't Love You" and a giddy "Goodbye Girl" closing the concert on a happy note. Glenn was available after the show to meet with his fans.

Opening for Glenn Tilbrook was Georgia native Jefferson Grizzard. Jefferson started writing songs and playing guitar at age 13. Grizzard grew up on classic rock, which helped him hone his style. Jefferson is currently on the road supporting his second album Learning How To Lie, which runs the gamut from ballads, blues and rock. " He's like "Tom Waits meets the Stones at the Heartbreak Hotel" states fellow musician Willie Nile reflecting on Jefferson's latest effort.

Glenn Tilbrook and Jefferson Grizzard Are Beguiling in the Backwoods of New Jersey

Jefferson had a gritty vocal style that matched his moody and sometimes sad stories. His set showcased songs from his latest, Learning How To Lie. Jefferson was performing in a stripped-down acoustic format whereas on the record these tunes feature more players and a fuller band sound. "Rough Time in Paris (Around, Around)" flooded the listener with pictures of hard times but still had a hook. The title track was filled with life and death imagery. "Bound For The Sun" was a road trip through a mystical visual landscape.

"Thank you Glenn Tilbrook, big round of applause for Glenn," said Jefferson before continuing what was his final night on the tour with Tilbrook. "Lorelei" featured an interesting play on words about lost love - "I can't live without you honey. So send me something to forget you by," sang Grizzard. Jefferson was a strong strummer and storyteller like Glenn but Grizzard explored darker terrain.

During Glenn's break we heard people from the Highland Lakes Country Club talking about expanding their musical outreach with the Seckler Stage Series. They hope to get the word out to the music lovers in the region pointing out that their rural community is less than 40 miles from the New York City metropolis. Time will tell if the shows continue but in the meantime the concert on Friday 10/24/14 was a success.

Glenn Tilbrook and Jefferson Grizzard Are Beguiling in the Backwoods of New Jersey
Atlanta, Georgia's Jefferson Grizzard was a confident performer with a lot of promise!

Related Links: For more information on GLENN TILBROOK and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links -- Glenn Tilbrook | LoveHopeStrength.org | Jefferson Grizzard | Highland Lakes HLCC | Glenn Tilbrook - 2004 | Squeeze - 2012 | Squeeze - 2008

(Originally Published on October 27, 2014)

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