Hi Craig! What’s on your set list for the residency at Equinox ? Will you be playing a combination of originals and covers?
Hi Joe! Yeah my set list will be mainly covers, with a couple originals mixed in each set. Covers are mainly classic and modern rock with some Blues and R&B mixed in, including the Beatles, Billy Joel, Elton John, Simon and Garfunkel, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Rolling Stones, REM, David Bowie, Randy Newman, The Eagles, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, et al. Some of my covers are close to the originals, and some are more like interpretations, and I tend to improvise and extend solo sections in songs a bit.
Kampot has become a favourite destination for expats in Cambodia and a hangout for musicians, painters, writers and artists of many descriptions. What is your experience of the riverside city so far? Have you been bitten by the Kampot bug?
Well I been here less than 24hrs but so far I really dig it. Maybe ask me again in a couple weeks 😉
Lyrics you have written, such as ‘Death on the Liberty Line’, speak directly to politics and the current world situation. As a songwriter, do you feel a responsibility to deal with these topics in your songs?
I wouldn’t say I see it as a responsibility to the public or fans of my music to deal with such topics, but I DO feel a responsibility to my own muse that when I have something to express that has a political theme I will put it out there. I mean it’s not really a conscious decision. I do follow a lot of politics and Liberty Line came out of feelings and thoughts I had after the bombing in Boston several years back, but I didn’t set out to write on the topic it just kind of came out.
There is something fabulously intimate and ‘old school’ about the piano-bar set up at Equinox Kampot: just a room and an upright acoustic piano and a performer (and a convex mirror for him to see his audience). How does this setting compare to your regular gigs back home?
I agree, it has a bit of an old style saloon like vibe. Again I’ll have to update you on this one since tonight is the first night of the residency, but my sense of it is that it won’t be too different from other piano bar gigs I do, except maybe the drinks will be a lot cheaper! 😉
Outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a very rural and naturally beautiful country. Will you have chance to travel and explore the Kingdom of Wonder during your trip?
Yes I’ll have about 10 days after the residency ends to do some traveling. Also on my days off I’ll do some local trips. Very much looking forward to it!
Craig, you’re currently a long way from your usual performance venues in New York City. If you could mix one special cocktail for your Cambodian audiences, to give them a taste of the Big Apple, what would it be?
Ahh hmmm, I’m pretty basic in my tastes, usually drink whiskey, vodka soda or beer. But since nothing else is coming to mind I’ll go with the obvious answer – a ‘Manhattan’!
Thanks very much, Craig, and best wishes for your time in Cambodia. See you around the traps!
CRAIG GREENBERG will be appearing at Equinox Kampot during January 2018.
PRESS NOTES (via Equinox Kampot):
Performances start January 3rd, 2018 at Equinox #14 Street 726.
Three shows per night 7PM, 9PM, & 11PM Thursday thru Monday.
Here’s what you need to know about our incoming artist in residency. Craig has been called this generation’s “troubadour piano man” (Jambands.com, Jan 2011), combining the pop sensibilities and greatly skilled musicianship of Billy Joel and Ben Folds, with the lyrical smarts of Randy Newman. His voice brims with soul and personality, coming from his strong native New Yorker identity, and also from his experience getting his start while living abroad, performing in the bars and on the streets of Chile and Spain from 2001 to 2003. Since moving back to his home city in 2004, Craig has been a mainstay on the downtown and Brooklyn music scene, and as well has toured nationally and internationally.
Craig’s songs, in content and feel, run the gamut from light-hearted and tongue and cheek, to quite dark and edgy. It’s his range as a songwriter that sets him apart.
In November of 2007, Craig co-produced and released his debut EP, entitled “The World and Back” and in August of 2010 released the follow up EP, entitled “Spinning In Time”.