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Editors’ Notes

The polished production of Gavin DeGraw’s multi-platinum, self-titled, sophomore full-length actually sounds somewhat overdone compared to the more organic and human sounding Free. A stellar cover of Chris Whitley’s “Indian Summer” opens with hypnotic beats, Doorsy organs à la Ray Manzarek, and a tremoloed slide-guitar that ushers in DeGraw’s bluesy inflections. The title-track is a rootsy serenade that gushes with some of his most powerful singing to date — by the time the chorus kicks in he could be mistaken for vintage Lenny Kravitz. But the two real power ballads here are “Stay” and “Dancing Shoes,” the former a moving confessional that has DeGraw’s dynamic voice breaking where it counts, and the latter a stripped-down, heartbreaking lullaby featuring only piano and DeGraw. Throughout Free the musicianship is seasoned and overflowing with honest chemistry, thanks in part to guitar player Audley Freed from the Black Crowes and drummer Charley Dayton who has worked with Johnny Cash and Keith Richards.

Biography

Born: 04 February 1977 in South Fallsburg, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Years before "I Don't Want to Be" propelled him to pop/rock success, songwriter Gavin DeGraw began honing his piano skills at the age of eight, followed by his participation in several cover bands with his older brother in upstate New York. After a brief stint at the prestigious Berklee School of Music — where he rubbed shoulders with future singer/songwriter contemporary John Mayer — DeGraw decided to take his original songs to New York City. He arrived during the late '90s and steadily...
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Free, Gavin DeGraw
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