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When Springfield, Ohio, born and raised Griffin House left for college, he shocked his family by turn turning down a sports scholarship to focus on music. The talented high school athlete took his $100 guitar and taught himself how to play and write songs. It proved to be a good choice—over 10 years later, House has definitely learned how to play and write a song.

 

After graduating, House moved to Nashville and independently released his first album, Upland (2003). His music attracted national attention, leading House to sign with Vancouver-based label Nettwerk, and he released Lost & Found in 2004. In August of that year, CBS Sunday Morning music journalist Bill Flanagan raved about the album—“I was knocked out.”

 

Several self-released albums followed, most on Griffin’s imprint Evening Records. He’s toured extensively, opening for artists such as Ron Sexsmith, Patti Scialfa, Josh Ritter, John Mellencamp, Mat Kearney and the Cranberries.

 

In 2007, House put out Flying Upside Down, produced by Jeff Trott and featuring Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, elevating House to headliner status and garnering commercial and critical acclaim with his intelligent, heartfelt lyrics and melodies in such songs as “The Guy Who Says Goodbye to You Is Out of His Mind” and “Better Than Love.”

 

House followed with 2010’s Learner and 2013’s BALLS. His song “The Way I Was Made” from Lost & Found was featured in ESPN’s Fan Hall of Fame commercial—fitting for the athletically gifted House. Late in 2014, House released Songs for a Prisoner, a five-song EP recorded live inside a Tennessee prison.

 

I had no illusions that my performance would be anything like Johnny Cash’s Live at Folsom Prison,” says House. “It turned out I was wrong. They were hopping and hollering and singing along and really seemed to be enjoying themselves. I’m glad we recorded it.”

 

The always-busy House also completed a series of theater shows in the past few years, notably The Cash Legacy: A Musical Tribute to the Man in Black. He contributed a cover of “Barricades of Heaven” to the Jackson Browne tribute album Looking Into You.

 

While steadily on the road, House also took time to record his next studio album. So On and So Forth is a collection of original tunes that old and new fans will consider some of his best work.

 

Catch Griffin House at the REP Theatre in Seaside Oct. 28 and 29. Tickets are $25. Visit LoveTheREP.org or call 850-231-0733. Learn more at GriffinHouseMusic.com.

MelFarina Media
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