Author Archives: Greg Engle

About Greg Engle

Austin singer-songwriter Greg Engle, a career diplomat, has led a life of constant travel. He’s witnessed attempted coups, had lunch with Nelson Mandela, and seen two African dictators fall. Four songs on his debut album (2010), "Take It Personally," provide colorful accounts of his many years in Africa. He is a founding member of the East Coast-based Duke Street Liberation Army Band, which released its debut album, "Arsenal of Love," in 2014. Engle won first prize in the 2011 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriting Competition. His songs have played on radio programs around the U.S. Engle and veteran Austin musician and producer Stephen Doster have performed and conducted songwriting workshops in Swaziland (2012) and Lesotho (2015) as part of the U.S. State Department's Arts Envoy program.

New Guitar Body Octave Mandolin

Greg Engle/ December 7, 2017/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

I just received a new guitar body octave mandolin (GBOM) crafted by luthier Mike Black of Mike Black Mandolins  It’s a beautiful instrument to play and look at, and I can’t put it down.  In a past post, I featured two other instruments — my original Trinity College Irish bouzouki and the guitar body Irish bouzouki that luthier Paddy Burgin

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Doster & Engle Visit Mauritania as Arts Envoys

Greg Engle/ August 27, 2016/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

Doster & Engle — Mauritania 2015 Greg Engle and Stephen Doster performed, played of music with many fantastic local musicians and had a great time talking to high school students about songwriting during their July 2016 trip to Mauritania.  The trip, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Arts Envoy Program and organized by the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, afforded

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Fender Donates Guitars for Kids in Africa

Greg Engle/ August 27, 2016/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

Fender donates guitars for kids in Africa Greg Engle (left) and Stephen Doster (right) accept five Fender guitars from Fender’s Austin representative, Jeff Van Zandt (right), on behalf of Guitars for Swaziland.  Four of the guitars will go to Mauritania, where a fledgling music school and a foundation for the preservation of Mauritanian music will each receive two.  The fifth

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A Tale of Two Bouzoukis

Greg Engle/ December 28, 2015/ Instruments and Stuff/ 0 comments

The Irish bouzouki is a relatively new instrument, dating to the 1970s. It’s a variation on the traditional Greek bouzouki with a flat rather than rounded back and four courses of two strings each, with the two strings in each course often tuned in unison (my preference) rather than an octave apart. The most popular tunings for Irish bouzouki are GDAE

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Keith Richards: Under the Influence

Greg Engle/ September 25, 2015/ Musicians/ 0 comments

Netflix just added a new documentary to coincide with the release of Keith Richards’ new solo album.  It’s called Keith Richards: Under the Influence.  Logical assumptions aside, the “influence” in this case is the various artists and roots music that has inspired him over the years, and he chuckles and revels as he recounts his exposure to them.  The very

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Movies about Inspiring Back-Up Singers and Session Musicians

Greg Engle/ September 15, 2015/ Musicians/ 0 comments

I recently watched two fascinating movies about singers/musicians.  20 Feet from Stardom is a great documentary about some of the most talented and successful back-up singers and what it means to support rather than be the star.  The Wrecking Crew chronicles the inception and evolution of LA’s most sought-after session musicians.  You might be surprised to find out how often the instrumental

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