Guy Forsyth: File Under "Stuff I Like" Music/Concert Review by Mari Johnson
Mari Johnson is a great writer and even better friend! When she comes to me and says she has a great piece, there’s no way I am going to turn it down! We go “way back” as friends and colleagues on the net (back when the ‘net — and sites for women– were young). If you read her piece on SXSW film festival Beautiful Losers premiere, then you know she’s got the chops and a whole lot of savvy to cover the diverse culture out of Austin as well as the typical fluffy stuff that is usually featured here.
Mari sent me this piece on a well-traveled musician/singer/songwriter who really should be a “name brand” solely based on the first video shown on this piece. I added the second one.
This is cutting-edge, emerging talent that oozes “sexy”…. and a whole lot more.
File Under Things I Like by Mari Johnson.
Everyone who hears Guy Forsyth for the first time (myself included) says the same two things.
One, this man is amazing, and two, why isn’t he a household name?
His voice is incredibly strong (strong enough to start “Play to Lose” off mic from the bar and be heard clearly over the crowd,) and incredibly versatile, yet there’s no mistaking his voice. Forsyth can work an audience with a winning combination of wicked humor, incredible talent and true generosity of spirit. Timing, label-changing and myriad other changes may be at play, but the man and his band are due the spotlight.
“Play to Lose” with the off mic lead-in to the performance. Wow!
At the University of Texas, Austin’s Cactus Cafe, Mark Addison (keyboards) and seriously grooving Rob Hooper (drums) accompanied Forsyth and played to a packed house. In such a small bar, it was easy for the audience to cling to every word sung and said. By comparison, Nutty Brown Cafe, which the band play a couple of weeks later, was a huge, open air venue with a welcoming dance floor. Well suited for a tuba, for instance – played extremely well by Will Landin(bass).
Guy Forsyth knows his audience and he knows his venues. Each show was different and the conversational style he shared between songs varied accordingly. Outdoor venues in particular, like Nutty Brown Cafe, gave Guy and the band the opportunity to really let loose. That night the audience responded in kind. The children at that show couldn’t get enough of the music and danced for hours. Grown-ups waited for “Taxi,” or “Tattletale” to get out on the floor.
Guy Forsythe & band
The beauty of seeing Guy Forsyth and his band is that it doesn’t matter what kind of music you love. As the title of his live CD compilation, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana suggests, there is no pigeon-holing his music: blues, jazz, rock, indie, folk; there’s a little of everything. Rockers in the audience like to dance to “Taxi”; rockabilly lovers go for “Red Letter Bible.” Blues fans go crazy for “Lovin’ Dangerously,” and everyone loves the “singing saw” song “Teeth,” written by former Asylum Street Spanker, Sick.
The singing saw alone is worth getting out and hearing. Maybe you will get to hear the saw in “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” or “Summertime,” too. If you do, you’ll see why people get the famous saw t-shirt when they stop the table to buy their CD’s. There is just nothing else like that sound. It’s enough to make a journalist tell her editors she wants to switch beats and cover live music from now on–but I digress.
Catch the next show if you can– check out the list below. There’s something playing near you I hope.
If you can’t make the one of the shows then get sign of for the newest CD, Calico Girl, which comes out May 20, 2008. (see the link below for details.)
Check out Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana for a taste of Guy Forsyth live. I’ve never been a fan of live CDs until now. This two CD set gives at least a taste of what the shows have to offer.
Beautiful Mistake (one of my faves!)
That CD set also has song Forsyth wrote commemorating novelist Jack Kerouac. According to author John Lardas, Kerouac compared himself to a “shortwave radio,” who picked up the frequencies of collective consciousness.
Once I heard Guy Forsyth live, I couldn’t help but make the comparison. There’s no better song for Guy Forsyth to sing then “Children of Jack,” which has become one of my favorites. (The song, written by Forsyth, takes the line, “America, where goest thou in thy shiny car at night,” as its chorus, almost directly from Kerouac’s “On the Road.”)
“I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.” — Jack Kerouac (Lardas, John. The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 2001, pg. 165)
The new CD Release Party for the band’s latest CD “Calico Girl” is in Austin at Antone’s, Friday, May 16th and other dates are below:
May 17 2008 9:00P Rolling Oaks Bar & Grill: San Antonio CD Release Party San Antonio, Texas
May 23 2008 10:30P Granada Theater Dallas, Texas
May 24 2008 7:00P McGonigel’s Mucky Duck: Houston CD Release Party Houston, Texas
May 24 2008 9:30P McGonigel’s Mucky Duck: Houston CD Release Party Houston, Texas
May 25 2008 1:00P Gruene Hall: CD Release Party New Braunfels, Texas
May 28 2008 8:00P Maple Leaf Bar: CD release party New Orleans, Louisiana
May 29 2008 9:00P Blue Moon Saloon: CD release party Lafayette, Louisiana
May 30 2008 9:30P Spirits Food & Friends: CD release party Alexandria, Louisiana
May 31 2008 8:00P White Water Amphitheatre: CD release party New Braunfels, Texas
Jun 6 2008 9:30P Railroad Blues: CD release party Alpine, Texas
Jun 7 2008 11:00P Kerrville Folk Festival Kerrville, Texas
Jun 12 2008 8:00P Shady Grove KGSR Live at the Grove Austin, Texas
Jun 13 2008 11:30P VZD’s: CD release party Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Jun 14 2008 9:30P J&J’s Blues Bar: CD release party Fort Worth, Texas
Jul 2 2008 8:00P American Music Festival Berwyn, Illinois
Jul 3 2008 11:30P Horseshoe Tavern: CD release party Toronto, Ontario
Jul 4 2008 6:15P Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest Ottawa, Ontario
Jul 5 2008 7:30P Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest Ottawa, Ontario
Jul 7 2008 8:00P The Monkey House: CD release party Winooski, Vermont
Jul 8 2008 8:00P One Longfellow Square Portland, Maine
Jul 9 2008 8:00P Johnny D’s Somerville, Massachusetts
Jul 10 2008 10:00P Rodeo Bar: CD release party New York, New York
Jul 11 2008 10:30P Rodeo Bar: CD release party New York, New York
Jul 12 2008 3:00P Big Rib BBQ and Blues Fest Rochester, New York
Jul 12 2008 6:00P Big Rib BBQ & Blues Fest Rochester, New York
Jul 15 2008 7:45P Club Cafe: CD release party Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Jul 18 2008 9:00P Beachland Ballroom and Tavern: CD release party Cleveland, Ohio
Jul 19 2008 10:00P The Verve: CD release party Terre Haute, Indiana
Jul 20 2008 9:00P BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups: CD release party St. Louis, Missouri
Jul 21 2008 7:00P Knuckleheads: CD release party Kansas City, Missouri
Jul 27 2008 6:00P Lakeway Resort Austin, Texas
Aug 23 2008 9:00P The Rambler Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Aug 24 2008 8:00P Swing 2008 Wespelaar
Sep 13 2008 8:00P Blues at the Crossroads Terre Haute, Indiana
For more information, check out Guy Forsyth Band’s Myspace Page .
To preorder the CD, follow this link: Connextion.com
Love Songs For and Against (Check out Beautiful Mistake and Brand New Day— killer!)
Forsyth quote: http://www.thisistexasmusic.com/artists/guyforsyth.html
Thanks to Mari Johnson for this amazing piece. I think Guy Forsythe should be added to the “must see” list– yours and mine!
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