Singer-songwriter Greg Tamblyn will perform at the Unity Church of Rockdale in Olde Town Conyers on Feb. 5.
Singer-songwriter Greg Tamblyn knows funny.
The Missouri native, who will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 at Unity of Rockdale in Olde Town Conyers, has enjoyed a 20-plus-year career entertaining people with his humorous tunes, but there's generally a message to go along with the mirth.
When asked what east metro residents can expect when he makes his Rockdale County debut, the singer and guitarist said, "They'll laugh a lot and have a lot of fun. If I'm known for anything, it would be humor. I have a lot of funny songs that I humbly think are intelligently written. They're about life and about how sometimes we make life harder than it is.
"We can laugh at ourselves that way. The catchphrase I like to use is 'We'll celebrate the best of ourselves and laugh at the rest of ourselves.' So we'll laugh and have a lot of fun, but there will be some pretty songs, too.
"Some songs are true stories, some are about amazing things that happen to amazing people. I get inspired that way. There will be some stuff that will open the heart as well, hopefully that will make everybody feel good."
The year is off to a roaring start for Tamblyn. He recently appeared at the seventh annual emPower Posi Music Awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla., where he received the Personal Transformation Award for his song "Love Will Come Around." It's the second consecutive year Tamblyn has been recognized by the organization.
Unfortunately, Tamblyn's visit to the Sunshine State also involved car trouble, but he's able to take the bad with the good.
"The year is off to a great start in so many ways, but now I'm having major car trouble," he said. "But as a friend of mine told me, 'It's car trouble, not cancer.' So I think I can deal with it."
Tamblyn also plans to record some new songs this year that will make up his seventh album release. The humorist, who has been referred to as "a contemporary Mark Twain" said he's equally enthused about live performance and studio work.
"If it's a funny song with a good audience, the energy is fantastic," he said. "But if it's a pretty, heartfelt song, it's a magical thing to go into the studio and have fabulous musicians play on your song and coming up with ideas you probably wouldn't have thought of and feeling the whole band come together is a real high, too. So I guess the short answer is it depends on the song."
Before creating his own niche as a performer, Tamblyn spent time in Nashville in the mid-1980s, working as a songwriter.
"I got a great education and I made a lot of progress," said Tamblyn, whose Music City-penned song "It's Another Joyful Elvis Presley Christmas" was named "Christmas Song of the Year" by the influential Cashbox Magazine.
"But as fun as it was to write songs, you really have no control of your work. Writers are at the bottom of the food chain in Nashville. And I also liked the idea of performing myself. I like the idea of having music with a helpful message without beating people over the head with it."
Many of Tamblyn's performances take place in churches like Unity of Rockdale, but he also plays plenty of corporate dates and professional conferences.
"I probably do churches as much as anything else," he said. "Churches may be my primary venue. The Unity Churches and Centers for Spiritual Living provide, positive, non-judgmental spirituality and that's a good fit for what I try to communicate."
And it's not likely Tamblyn will ever return to the bar and nightclub circuit.
"When I was in Nashville, I played bars and clubs and it was fabulous training," he said. "I didn't do it for too long because you quickly realize that while it's not a dead end, it does have a low ceiling. I find I prefer to play for people who are sober and are in a concert situation with no distractions."
Tamblyn shared a story that illustrates his determination to stay out of the bars.
"About 10 years ago, there was a Democratic Party rally in my town and one of my neighbors is friends with Stephen Stills, and he convinced Stills to come to this rally," he said.
"So there were all these candidates speaking and they got Stills to come onstage and perform. So we're in this bar and my seat is about 10 feet away from Stephen Stills, the great rock star and writer.
"He comes out with his guitar and starts playing all his big songs and I am really enjoying it. And then I look around, see that there are about 200 people in this bar, and maybe 30 of them are listening. For Stephen Stills! So I look at it this way -- put people in a bar and they'll behave like they're in a bar. It was a good lesson."