Genres:Country - Contemporary/Pop, Country - Alternative, Pop Rock, Alternative Pop, Pop - Adult Contemporary, Rock - Roots Rock, Rock - Pop Rock, Rock - Indie Rock, Rock - Alternative Pop , RnB - Classic/Soul
Greta Gaines isn’t afraid of a challenge and she’s as courageous in her artistic life as she is in her professional life. Singer/songwriter, bandleader, adventurer and extreme sportswoman - Gaines is a woman set on living life to its fullest.
Gaines comes to her blend of sports and art honestly. Her father is novelist, screenwriter and outdoorsman Charles Gaines (Pumping Iron, Stay Hungry) and the inventor of the game of Paintball. Her mother is painter, sculptor and former Miss. Alabama, Patricia Ellisor Gaines. Hunter S. Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities were frequent visitors to her family’s rural farm growing up so pushing boundaries and living life to its fullest were part of her upbringing. “My parents wrote their own rules, so it didn’t seem odd to me to invent my life as I went along,” Gaines said.
Gaines attended Northfield Mount Hermon School, with friend Uma Thurman among other notable classmates, before graduating from Georgetown University and was riding a prototype snowboard from Jake Burton in 1982, years before they were on the market. She briefly considered studying law, but decided on the life of an artist instead. “I picked up a guitar and started writing songs late, when I was 22, but quickly became devoted to the craft of song writing, relieved that I had found my inner calling."
By 1992 Gaines was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming snowboarding all day and singing her songs in country and western bars at night. After taking the Woman’s Extreme Snowboarding World Championship, she moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting and performing full time and soon landed a deal with Giant Records. After several years a corporate merger left her with 40 master recordings and no record deal. She started her own label, Big Air Records, and culled the 12 tracks on Greta Gaines from those masters. Her song “Firefly” got considerable AAA airplay and the album rose to the tops of the MP3.com charts, landing her a slot on the Lilith Fair with Sheryl Crow and Sarah McLachlan and gigs opening shows for Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette.
In 1997 Gaines’ snowboarding title led to a job hosting MTV’s Sports and Music Festival. Her song “Mikey Likes It” was used as the show’s theme song. In 1999 the Oxygen Network created Freeride with Greta Gaines. “It was a dream job and reflected my love of music, extreme sports, adventure, travel, lifestyle and the environment.” Gaines created the show’s theme song and wrote music for the show’s soundtrack. "Freeride" was on the air for three years and led to her current TV gig hosting for ESPN 2''s "Basscenter" and "The New American Sportsman." Because Gaines owns her own catalogue of some 100 recorded songs, she has licensed her music freely for use on ESPN, MTV, VH1 and Oxygen Network while contributing to a dozen movie scores. She did the entire soundtrack for director Joe Maggio''s "Virgil Bliss," which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and is currently recording music for Ethan Hawke''s newest directorial effort, "The Hottest State," due out in fall of 2006.
It Was Hot, the second album for Big Air, was also a success and led to a month of dates supporting Sheryl Crow. “It’s scary as hell to stand up in front of an audience as an opening act with nothing but your guitar and your songs,” Gaines says. “It’s is also fantastic. It did a lot for me as a performer, jumping in head first with no safety net.” At Farm Aid Gaines sat in with Willie Nelson, David Crosby and Neil Young and sang a dramatic rendition of “Pink Houses” with John Mellencamp that was broadcast on CMT.