Gregory James Elroy McMullen is a multi-instrumentalist based in Manhattan, NY. Primarily a guitarist and sideman that prides himself on an ability to morph, adapt, and add unique color and texture to disparate musical situations. McMullen often steps out as a solo performer to forge his own sonic path.
Gregory Elroy McMullen is a multi-instrumentalist based in Manhattan, New York. Primarily a guitarist and pedal steel guitarist, McMullen prides himself on his strengths as a musical chameleon, and is well-known for his ability to adapt and add unique color and texture to wildly disparate musical scenarios. McMullen has made a home for himself in the space between blue collar traditionalism and the mind-bending end of the avant garde world. Whether slugging out standards from country music’s past in a honky tonk or performing high brow compositions in New York City’s fine art spaces, McMullen eschews stylistic borders and embraces music as a whole, and his fluency in the dialects of a vast many genres makes him equally comfortable constructing or deconstructing most musical machines.
McMullen attended Berklee College of Music as film scoring major in 1990 after preparing for the audition under the tutelage of former Pat Metheny student and Spyro Gyra guitarist Jay Azzolina. A chance encounter at a Boston-area music store during his studies at Berklee found McMullen a mentor and future bandmate in Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine, the Cure). McMullen has worked frequently as a touring sideman for both Chris Whitley and daughter Trixie, Me’Shell N’degeocello (as Arthur and the Coopers), the Twilight Singers (Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs), and as a member of Boston art-rock institution Bentmen after being personally tapped by Gabrels to be his successor. In 2007, McMullen became a member of late no wave icon Glenn Branca’s illustrious Ensemble, joining the ranks of notable alumni Page Hamilton (Helmet, David Bowie) and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). McMullen was tasked with both guitar and bass duties when bringing Branca’s compositions to life, and performed with the ensemble until the composer’s tragic passing in May of 2018. Most recently, McMullen acted in and contributed banjo to the score of Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler’s film River of Fundament.
McMullen can typically be found performing solo guitar pieces around New York City or happily stuck between a Telecaster and a pedal steel as a member of Los Angeles-based alt. country band Speedbuggy USA, New York honky tonkers Wood, Wires and Whiskey, or soulful rockers Lizzie & the Makers. McMullen is currently working on the second collection of solo compositions and improvisations, which he hopes to release at some point in 2020.
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