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Rock: Americana Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic Moods: Type: Lyrical Moods: Type: Soundtrack

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Greg Klyma

Some artists find inspiration in romantic break-ups, others find it in rediscovering their roots. For Boston-based singer-songwriter Greg Klyma, it came from both.

Never Knew Caroline, his latest release, finds him coping with a toxic end of a romantic relationship and recalling the musicians from his Buffalo, NY hometown that inspired him in his formative years. Several of them, including critically acclaimed artists Peter Case and Gurf Morlix, join Klyma on the album.

The album opens with the title track, where we find Klyma at home while on the move after a period of “drowning in the mud” of his own mind. The album shifts gears with “Sand,” a song reminiscent of both Harvest-era Neil Young and more recent releases by the Decemberists. “Discovery,” Klyma sings, “is just stumbling across a thing that's always been.”

Morlix and Case are featured on “Kristofferson,” one of the album’s focal points. In this poignant ballad, Klyma pays homage to one of his songwriting heroes in both the title and the style of the song, while his delivery will draw comparisons to another hero, Willie Nelson.

The honky-tonk “Ex-Girlfriends Cost Less Money Than Ex-Wives” may or may not be tongue-in-cheek as Klyma proclaims, “you’ll spend less dating ten women than you will losing one bride.” It’s 1970’s outlaw country at its finest, made all the richer by guest guitarist Bill Kirchen.

The genre diversity shouldn’t come as a surprise from an artist well studied in American music. “Old school country, classic rock, and singer-songwriter folk are three styles of music that I love. I love to listen to 'em. I love to play 'em,” he says, “my wheelhouse finds me standing in the long shadows of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Tom Petty, and Mick & Keef, to name a few.”

His birthdate puts him squarely in the middle of Generation X, but Greg Klyma is an old-school troubadour. His enduring themes, articulate and amusing stories, and populist ideals make him one of those rare young artists who is carrying the torch of Woody and Ramblin' Jack. He rolls in off the road, pulls out a guitar, and proceeds to take us back to the basics: family, love, gratitude, and laughter. It's the timeless art of the true troubadour, keeping alive the American folk tradition.