West Coast rocker Greg Loiacono, stepping out his role as co-founder of The Mother Hips, has released the title track to his retro-soul inspired new album, Giving It All Away (Blue Rose Music). "Giving It All Away" premieres today at Glide Magazine and is up on all streaming services HERE. Loiacono has also shared a new video for the song above, which features a falsetto vocal against a Hammond-organ propelled deep groove. Loiacono tells Glide, “The ‘you can’t take it with you when you go’ back-up vocals were my attempt at doing a ‘Pips” thing as in Gladys Knight and the Pips.” The recording instantly transports you back to a time when soul music was a regular part of the Billboard charts, and radio was still how people were turned on to new music. The lyrics were inspired by an insight meditation by Jack Kornfield. "My mom gave me a bunch of cassettes of some of his old talks and I used to listen to them all the time when I drove around . . . a long time back . . . long enough to have a tape player in my car. He said it very off the cuff. I envision the shoulder shrug of an old rabbi with it, ‘Well, you can’t take it with you when you go.'" Recorded at Spacecamp, Dave Schools’ (Widespread Panic) Northern California studio, the song was produced by Scott Hirsch (Hiss Golden Messenger) who contributes acoustic guitar, along with Michael Urbano on drums (Sheryl Corw, John Hiatt), Schools on bass guitar, Danny Eisenberg (Counting Crows, Jonathan Richmond) on Hammond organ, and Kelly McFarling on backing vocals.
Glide writes: "The title track from his forthcoming third solo record exhibits a real depth of collaboration not only through the musicians he played with on the track but also that his son, Noah Loiacono, created the accompanying video with his partner Isaac Goff and their friend Pheobe Zheng in New York City. 'Giving It All Away' is a more mellow follow-up to his last single, a sweet take on Genesis’ 'That’s All.' 'Giving It All Away' takes us back to Greg’s softer side but this time with a dose of Soul that is immediately retrievable."
Giving It All Away is a collection of originals and reimagined covers that could speak to the dualities of love and heartbreak while simultaneously challenging Loiacono to fully inhabit his new vocal approach. Loiacono dives headfirst into the dichotomies of love, exploring happiness and heartache and redemption and regret, all with great insight and empathy.
Loiacono had spent lockdown producing records for other artists and revisiting country and soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the songs and sounds on Giving It All Away capture that vibe perfectly. He credits Hirsch for pushing him beyond his comfort zone as an artist, forcing him to embrace his falsetto singing voice and write with a clarity and directness that felt fresh and inspired.
“Recording live was essential because the rhythm section is the centerpiece of these songs,” Loiacono explains. “We knew we had to keep everything feeling groovy and deep in the pocket at all times, even on the slowest songs.
That emphasis on groove is undeniable on Giving It All Away, which sounds straight out of the late ’60s or early ’70s with wide-open drums, buoyant bass lines, and lush organ pads. The intoxicating “Can’t Forget” wears its broken heart on its sleeve as a badge of honor, while the doo wop-tinged “Mr. G” grapples with the burning questions that linger long after a relationship has ended. The breezy title track takes solace in the revelation that you can never share your heart too freely. “We’re only living when we’re giving it all away,” Loiacono sings. “You can’t take it with you when you go."
Loiacono’s artful cover choices help reinforce that notion throughout the record, as well. The soulful “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” (originally by Barbara Lynn, though later performed by Freddy Fender) refuses to grow jaded in the face of rejection, while an R&B reinterpretation of The Mother Hips’ “Del Mar Station” transforms bitterness into determination, and the inspired take on Genesis’s “That’s All,” which makes peace with love’s fickle nature.
Giving it All Away
What Can I Say
Even Though I Lost
Love is The Way
Del Mar Station
And Not Cry
You'll Lose a Good thing
TOUR DATES (full band shows):
August 12th- The Sweetwater, Mill Valley, CA
August 13th- Harlow’s Nightclub, Sacramento, CA
August 19th- Michael’s on Main ,Soquel, CA
August 20th- Chico Women’s Club, Chico, CA
*stay tuned for additional dates