Greg Trooper

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Greg Trooper
Greg Trooper at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Greg Trooper at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Background information
Born(1956-01-13)January 13, 1956
OriginNeptune, New Jersey, US
DiedJanuary 15, 2017(2017-01-15) (aged 61)
GenresAmericana, alternative country, folk-rock, folk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Instrument(s)Acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica, piano, vocals
Years active1992–2017
LabelsD'Ville Record Group
Koch Records
Eminent Records
Sugar Hill Records
52 Shakes Records

Greg Trooper (January 13, 1956 – January 15, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by many artists, including Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, and Vince Gill.[1]


Trooper was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, and raised in nearby Little Silver.[2][3] As a teenager in the early 1970s, Trooper would frequent the folk clubs of Greenwich Village taking in the burgeoning singer/songwriter and blues scene. In 1976, he moved to Austin, Texas, and then to Lawrence, Kansas, where he entered college at the University of Kansas and continued to hone his guitar, singing, and songwriting skills.

Trooper moved to New York City for the 1980s and part of the 1990s, where he formed The Greg Trooper Band along with Larry Campbell on guitar, Greg Shirley on bass, and Walter Thomson on drums. During this time he recorded his first two records: We Won't Dance on Wild Twin Records in 1986 and the critically acclaimed Everywhere produced by Stewart Lerman. The title track to Everywhere would later be covered by Billy Bragg on the 1991 album Don't Try This at Home. He also met songwriter/publisher Earl Shuman, who secured Trooper's first publishing deal with CBS Songs. Trooper's records caught the attention of Steve Earle, who recorded Trooper's "Little Sister", and Vince Gill, who covered the title track from Trooper's "We Won't Dance" on his 1989 release When I Call Your Name.

In the early 1990s, Trooper met fellow New Jerseyite and E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent who, like Trooper, would move to Nashville. Tallent produced Trooper's 1996 album Noises in the Hallway and released it on his D'Ville Record Group label. Popular Demons followed in 1998, on Koch Records and produced by Buddy Miller. After the release of that album, Trooper signed with Nashville indie Eminent Records, which released Straight Down Rain in 2001.

2002 saw the release of Trooper's first live record Between A House and a Hard Place – Live at Pine Hill Farm with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel at the controls. He moved on to the esteemed Sugar Hill Records label in 2003 with the release of Floating followed by the Dan Penn-produced Make It Through This World in 2005. Back Shop Live, another live recording, was released in 2006.

In 2008, Trooper moved back to New York City and in 2009 put out the previously unreleased 1995 recording The Williamsburg Affair. In 2011 he released Upside-Down Town on 52 Shakes Records.

In August 2013, Trooper released his album Incident on Willow Street, also on 52 Shakes Records. According to Trooper, "In these songs, there seemed to be characters that were trying to break away from a bad situation into a better situation or trying to grow out of a stale and stagnant life into a richer life."[4]

Trooper died of pancreatic cancer on January 15, 2017, two days after his 61st birthday.[5]


  • We Won't Dance (as The Greg Trooper Band) (1986)
  • Everywhere (1992)
  • Noises in the Hallway (1996)
  • Popular Demons (1998)
  • Straight Down Rain (2001)
  • Between A House and a Hard Place: Live At Pine Hill Farm (2002)
  • Floating (2003)
  • Make It Through This World (2005)
  • The BackShop Live (2006)
  • The Williamsburg Affair (2009)
  • Upside-Down Town (2010)
  • Incident On Willow Street (2013)
  • Live at the Rock Room (2015)


  1. ^ "Singer-songwriter Greg Trooper dead at 61". Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  2. ^ Carter, Eric R. (October 2, 2010). "Greg Trooper Tunes Up Community Center". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Greg Trooper: It's Real Like That". Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  4. ^ from an interview on episode 205 of the Americana Music Show, published September 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Thanki, Juli (January 15, 2017). "Singer-songwriter Greg Trooper dead at 61". The Tennessean. Retrieved February 21, 2017.

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