Gary Wehrkamp

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Gary Wehrkamp
Born (1970-05-11) May 11, 1970 (age 44)
Butler, New Jersey, USA
Genres Progressive metal, progressive rock, rock
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, drums
Labels Inside Out, Magna Carta
Associated acts Shadow Gallery, The MayBabies, JR Trio, MullMuzzler, Ayreon, Amaran’s Plight, Roswell Six, Explorers Club Warlord
Website Shadow Gallery Official site

Gary Wehrkamp (born May 11, 1970 in Butler, New Jersey) is an American musician, songwriter and producer. He is most notably a member of the American progressive rock band Shadow Gallery.

Biography[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Gary currently lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and son. He owns New Horizon Music Studios, where he works as a producer, studio musician, engineer and teacher (drums, bass, guitar and piano and recording concepts).

Career[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Gary made his foray into music as a self-taught drummer and vocalist at the age of ten. He took up guitar and bass in his teens and performed in various bands for local dances and private parties. He began performing regularly as a drummer with the band Blak Sox in 1981, playing covers and originals at numerous camps in New Jersey.

On May 25, 1986, he performed with the band Nuthin Fancy in the national event “Hands Across America”.

At age 18, Gary won a piano and found himself improvising for hours each day, crafting his talent of composing music. Since then he has only worked as a full-time musician. Gary performed in many New Jersey and Pennsylvania bands playing originals and covers. In 1992, Gary toured the U.S. playing shows to audiences of 40,000+ fans with the band, The Boxtops.

Shadow Gallery[edit]

Gary left The Boxtops in 1993 to join the progressive rock band Shadow Gallery. Since then Gary has been a composer, as well as performing guitars, keyboards and vocals in the band.

He also manages the day-to-day affairs for Shadow Gallery through their publishing company, ROOM V MUSIC.

Shadow Gallery has released seven albums worldwide through Magna Carta Records (until 2003) and Inside Out. The band has been noted as one of the most important and innovative progressive metal bands to come out in the last decade.[1]

“Shadow Gallery is a band with an extremely loyal fanbase, an irrefutable integrity, and a unique sound that will doubtlessly guarantee its continued existence for years to come.” [2]

Other projects[edit]

Gary has been a musician, composer, producer, or engineer on over fifty albums throughout the past three decades. Some of these most notable projects are:

Gary wrote an original score for the Steve Coombs film, “A Walk in the Park”, which premiered in NYC on June 11, 2001. The same year, Gary was involved in a project called Sounds like Christmas, that featured artists such as John Wetton (King Crimson), Steve Walsh (Kansas), and Trent Gardner (Magellan).

Gary has been a guest keyboardist or guitarist on three Arjen Lucassen albums: Ayreon - Flight of the Migrator (2000), Ayreon - Ayreonauts Only (2000), Star One - Space Metal (2002). He also provided his engineer skills for the Ayreon Human Equation album (2007).

“Because I thought he was funny I decided to allow him to play a solo on 'Flight of the Migrator'. The joke was on me then... it was one of the best solos I had ever heard; a combination of playfulness (Steve Vai), virtuosity (Edward van Halen) and speed (Yngwie Malmsteen) and still with a completely recognizable own sound. It goes without saying that I worked with Gary again on the Star One album 'Space Metal', especially because he had to play a duel with the fastest keyboard player of the world Jens Johansson (the outcome is undecided). That solo is the reason I never dared play the song 'Master of Darkness' live...” – Arjen Lucassen [3]

During his past and present tenures with Lucassen he has received the rather affectionate nickname of "Garyeon".

In 2002, Gary was a guest guitarist on Explorers Club’s second release Raising the Mammoth, which also included other prog artists such as John Myung (Dream Theater) and Terry Bozzio.

In 2005, Gary was involved in Prog-Aid, a charity release by various artists from the Progressive Rock world to raise funds for the survivors of the Asian Tsunami disaster.

In 2007, Gary joined a super group of musicians (Kurt Barabas, Nick D'Virgilio and D.C. Cooper) under the name Amaran's Plight to create the album Voice in the Light. The concept of the album is a look at one man’s search for answers following a near death experience. Along with providing the guitar and keyboard work on the album, Gary also acted as composer, producer and recording engineer for this album. The album made various Top 2007 album lists, including #3 on the online site USA Progressive Music [4] and staff top 2007 picks on the Sea of Tranquility website.[5]

In 2008, Gary was a guest musician on Srdjan Brankovic’s Expedition Delta music project. That same year along with progressive music publicist Jill Hughes, and Pocono-area businessman Brian Schmidt and musician Kristi Bronico, Gary formed the charity group The Wishmakers whose slogan is, “Musicians making a difference...harnessing the power of music and art to foster the spirit of giving.” He produced the single “Christmastime in the Poconos” which successfully raised money for the Christmas Fund for local children in need.

In 2009, Gary was a guest guitarist on the album based on International bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson’s book “Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon”, under the band name Roswell Six. It also featured other guest musicians such as John Payne (Asia), Erik Norlander (Asia Featuring, Rocket Scientists), and Lana Lane.

Along with the other Shadow Gallery band members, Gary has been involved in various tribute albums for Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, etc.

Gary currently performs live on bass, guitar, keyboards and vocals with Pocono-area cover bands JR Trio, fronted by Jim Roberti, and The Maybabies. These bands have played regularly over 100 shows per year over the past decade, performing at venues such as Highline Ballroom, Central Park Boathouse, The Red Lion, The Players Club, The Ritz-Carlton, The Waldorf-Astoria (NYC), and Giants Stadium Tailgate events (East Rutherford, NJ). “With more than 8,000 collective shows between them, the MAYBABIES have all the experience to deliver a professional and entertaining show where their evolving set-list includes music from all eras, suitable for the crowd in front of them.” [6]

He also is one of the owners of Wasabi Brothers Management, which books artists and sets up publishing and licensing contracts for clients.

In March, 2014 US Epic Metal Legends Warlord announced that Gary will be taking the place of Philip Bynoe as Bassist for their 2014 European tour.

Influences[edit]

Gary notes that his personal music influences are Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes, Kansas, Van Halen, and Queen. He also draws inspiration from guitar virtuosos such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen, Chris Alia and Steve Vai.[7]

Discography[edit]

With Shadow Gallery[edit]

As a Composer[edit]

As an Engineer[edit]

As a guest musician[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]