Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will Garrison interview

Singer-songwriter Will Garrison makes a sort-of hometown return
appearance this weekend. Never heard of him? Let's hear what some of
our best singer-songwriters say about him:

"Absolutely the best songwriter who ever lived in the Deer Park
neighborhood and high, high in the running for best from this city
ever. Seriously." - Joe Manning.
"His music strikes me as independent among independents - at once
removed from fashion, and plugged in to a vast, peculiarly American
cultural landscape." - Joe O'Connell of Elephant Micah.

I asked the man himself to address some important issues:

Q: Do you consider yourself to be a Louisvillian?

A: Well, I moved around a lot growing up. So I guess I've never really
associated myself with any one place geographically. There is
something special for me about Louisville, though. It's where I spent
my earliest and arguably most formidable years artistically.

Q: What are some things you like about Louisville?

A: It's a humble place. It has a sharp wit and uses that to keep
itself as unpretentious as possible. People in Louisville know they
have something special but they'd never make a person feel small for
it. Oh, and I like that everyone enjoys drinking.

Q: You're touring with The Absent Arch, also from Minneapolis. What do
you like about them?

A They're willing to throw everything they've got into this. I've
found that to be something that's really hard to find. To me, their
sound is sort of how it would sound if John Prine was fronting
Calexico and they had a really solid jazz drummer. But they aren't
defined by their sound. They want to go all over the place, always
trying to go farther and reinvent themselves.

Q: We're having a huge heat wave. Do you wish that you were in
Minneapolis this month?

A: All of us are just happy about being on the road. No matter the
weather, we're really excited about Louisville. I'll be able to see
some family and friends that I haven't seen in too long, show the guys
some great guitars, and get a chance to play with The Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth is one of my favorite bands. (Bandleader) Daniel
(Duncan) has been a friend of mine for, I guess, seven or eight years
now. His style of writing has always inspired me and stuck melodies in
my head.

Q: How would you describe your music to, say, a friend's mother?

A: We're trying our best on an acoustic guitar and a cello.

Q: Will you have the cello guy with you?

A: Yes, absolutely. His name is James Waldo. He and I come from such
different directions. His classical background has left him unfamiliar
with music that has been highly influential to me, and allows him to
bring a variety of musical ideas separate from my own self-imposed
limitations. James doesn't think in verse-chorus-verse or in
traditional song structures. So we have a lot to learn from each other
and we're both so excited to learn.

Will Garrison and friends will play an all-ages show at the 930
Listening Room (, at 930 Mary St. in Germantown, on
Friday August 31st, at 8 pm. Tickets are $5.

c. 2007 LEO Weekly

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