A couple years ago, I stuck around for a folk festival while I was on
vacation in Ottawa. One of the guys I was really impressed with was
He came down from the great white north and last night he played a wonderful
show for the Institute of Musical Traditions.
I guess Garnet's music qualifies as Folk, but it's certainly wide ranging. He was here solo... just him, four guitars, and a raft of electronics. Tonally it ranged from straight acoustic guitar to a Strat just dripping with echo. Throw in Garnet's wonderful resonant baritone and some spectacularly written songs with topics ranging from the political to the sweet to sleazy. He spends a fair amount of time tuning between songs but covers it well with some very funny stories and biting sarcastic observations.
Unlike the Handy All-stars show, I really felt I got my moneys worth and then some. After the opener (hang on we'll get to her in a minute) Garnet came on and did a set full of stuff off his new album, Firefly. The second set was filled with requests, including one from his brother Stan's repertoire. And we did get an encore without too much goading; it was 'Blue Moon' which turned into a sing along and then, of all things, a whistle along.
Ok, I promised. The opener was Rachael Davis. Pay attention to that name, you will be hearing from her again. She's this little skinny rail of a girl, all of 21 years old. But what a voice... she's as close to a successor to Eva Cassidy as I've heard. She's got a huge tonal and pitch range and a nice sense of timing. And Rachael is not just singing other folks stuff; she's writing some nice songs of her own. She was accompanied by Brett Hartenbach, who is a very talented acoustic guitarist with a nicely ornamented style.
After the show, everybody left very happy... and whistling.