Hamilton-born Greg Hobbs has established himself in Toronto’s folk-roots music scene with honest and entertaining lyrics that bring out the beauty of blue moods and the humour of seemingly dark situations. He is a treasure of a songwriter, as those who have seen perform at festivals and clubs across Canada are well aware.
Hobbs’ songwriting has been favourably compared with that of John Prine, while his voice has been described as a cross between Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.
He has released 5 CDs under his own Puddle Thief Music label: Under Your Feet (1994), Confused and Bleeding (1999), Drake Motel (2001), Threats and Promises (2004) and Thunder and Dust, which is to be officially released in October 2007.
On the new disc Hobbs captures complex emotions in simple words, locates eternal truths in everyday activity, and makes music that flows as surely and naturally as a river.
It’s a river that twists and turns along many routes, from the haunting, minor-key landscape of “The Horizon” to the jazzy shuffle of “Sunshine & Roses”; from the country twang of “In The Dark” to the folk-pop balladry of “Crowded Room.” Hobbs is superbly backed by bandmates Darcy Yates (bass) and Christine Bougie (guitars, drums and keyboards). There’s no showboating here, and through these classy arrangements, as well John Switzer’s understated production, the songs shine.
They’re worthy and timeless songs, most of them about the vagaries of romance. With “In the Dark,” “Sunshine & Roses” and “Cupid’s Arrow,” the protagonist refuses to allow a history of heartbreak to keep him from gambling for a love that might last. In “Secrets of the Bride,” the narrator drunkenly watches an ex-girlfriend’s wedding, wondering if the groom knows as much as he does. With the aching, bittersweet “Sunday Morning,” Hobbs has crafted a song that holds its own in the league of Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning,” and Lucinda Williams’ “Sunday.”
It’s no wonder that Hobbs was named one of the "local must-sees" by the Toronto Star.