Griffin House -- a Nashville success these days, is currently doing a one man tour of theaters and clubs in support of his 10th and latest album, "So On and So Forth." He stops for a pair of regional gigs this weekend. House is at Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, Michigan Friday before gigging on Saturday at The City Winery in Chicago.
A late bloomer who did not even pick up a guitar until he was in college, the 37-year-old singer/songwriter caught on fast. "I kind of backed into this (career) ," said Griffin while heading up to a gig in Maine.
"I did a little theater in high school but mostly I played sports," he said. "When I went to college I picked up the guitar because I lived in an Arts dorm. I learned a little from some of the guys around me, then just taught myself to play. The next thing I knew, I was the singer in a band, started writing some songs, and made my own record called 'No More Crazy Love Songs' on an old 16-track digital recorder. I did the artwork and the recording myself, had a friend mix it, and then got a bunch of old jewel boxes from a local radio station that was going to throw them out. I cleaned them up and I made 500 copies of the album, selling them in my classes and around campus."
Jump ahead a few years to 2004 when House got invited to open the tour for Patti Scialfa, wife of Bruce Springsteen, which generated a high profile within the industry for the young songsmith. House later shared stages with the likes of John Ritter, John Mellencamp, The Cranberries and other top names, and in 2008 found two of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers -- bassist Mike Campbell and guitarist Benmont Tench -- sitting in on the sessions for his "Flying Upside Down" album.
The career journey from college rocker to insightful and sensitive song man has been an adventurous one. House is now a young family man and artist who is choosing sobriety and celebrating the path to his success, through songs which share his perspective on how people remember the past with rose-colored glasses, how we grow up and realize what we deeply need, and how we must find happiness in ourselves in the present.
"So On And So Forth" returned House to Asbury Park, New Jersey where his career got its jump start with Patti Scialfa over a dozen years ago. The new album was made at Lakehouse Recording Studio, recorded essentially live with very little overdubbing. Producer Jon Leidersdorff had assembled the session players whom House had never met prior to walking in the studio. “The experience ended up being one of the most fun and positive of my career," reflected House. "The process was stress-free and freeing.” It was a leap of faith with triumphant results.
During his live shows, House shares stories about the colorful stops along his career path and stories behind his songs. "People seem to like to hear stories with the music, so I'm happy to tell them," said Griffin. Those who catch up with this gifted artist this weekend should ask him to tell you about the advice Bruce Springsteen offered up when House popped into Scialfa's dressing room before a gig. More: GriffinHouseMusic.com.