By William McCray Sutherlin
Gregg Wright first picked up a guitar while attending junior high in Wichita Falls, Texas. His father was a military man, which caused the family to relocate. After moving to Washington D.C. in high school he began to play around town with several bands.
Wright began his professional career on the U.S Southern Circuit in the mid 70s, starting in Baton Rouge and touring around Louisiana and Texas for several years. During that time, Wright opened for greats such as Michael Jackson, Mick Fleetwood, and Freddie King.
“I was privileged to work and learn around greatness,” Wright says. “I opened several times for Albert King and Freddie King, and learned a great deal from them. Their words of encouragement really energized me. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
In the 80s Wright moved to Los Angeles and began working as a session guitarist, as well as continuing to tour with several popular groups.
Over the years, Wright has contributed to more than a dozen releases; including a movie soundtrack for “Ocean Oasis” in IMAX theatres, Mick Fleetwood’s “Shakin’ the Cage,” and The Jackson’s “Victory.”
Wright’s fine-tuned guitar work, vibrant stage presence, and uncanny ability to play the Blues led Wright to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
“I learned real fast how to not look like a statue onstage, having to perform beside Michael Jackson every night on the Victory Tour,” Wright recalled.
His original composition “A House Divided” from the Lightning Strike! album was voted No. 1 by the listeners of Electric Blues Radio FM, ranking him above legends like B.B King and Stevie Ray Vaughn. In addition, the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain calls Wright “one of the most innovative guitarist of our time.”
Wright’s latest album, King of the Rockin’ Blues!, released on Left Hook Records in 2009 has seen great reviews from Blues critics all over and is available on iTunes.
“My sound is Blues combined with the deep feeling of Soul and the energy of Rock’n’Roll,” Wright explains.
After digging through some old videos and live recordings, we came across a YouTube video of Gregg Wright on Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour, absolutely slaying the guitar to “Beat It.”
His stage presence was absolutely incredible. Swinging the guitar around his body, slamming the whammy bar all over the place, and dropping to his knees as Michael Jackson slides around him gracefully.
Be sure to witness his effervescent live performance at Phil Brady’s on July 18.
July 18th 2014