Sunday, June 10th, 6:45pm
Faith Petric Stage
"The Wave Organ Song" is Garrin Benfield's fifth full length CD of original songs. He gained notice in 2000 with his stark tribute to Matthew Shepard, "What You're Hiding", which was used in a production of the Laramie Project. In 2002, after recording his second CD, "Nowhere is Brighter" with Bonnie Raitt's rhythm section and guest Boz Scaggs, Benfield took up a relentless touring schedule, both as a solo artist and with his band. Some of these increasingly improvisation-heavy sets were documented on the 2003 release "August Live". 2004 saw the release of "Where Joy Kills Sorrow", and Benfield's first foray into live improvisational looping, which enabled him to tour solo but with added layers of beats, bass lines and the searing lead guitar Benfield's hardcore fans have come to expect. Playing eclectic sets at hundreds of shows every year, Benfield has become an underground favorite at festivals, rock clubs, coffeehouses and house concerts.
Garrin Benfield's sound has been described as Freestyle Acoustic Rock. His music is a blend of moody, guitar driven rock and polyrhythmic groove all run through the filter of a very serious Singer/Songwriter. His talent shines through as a solo artist when he flat-picks his way through complicated and lightning-fast arrangements and also while he uses a Loop Station to create mesmerizing soundscapes upon which he lays blistering rock, blues and jazz licks, darkened by his extensive use of effect pedals. As a bandleader, Garrin can command the attention of seasoned players and improvise with the dexterity and ingenuity of players many years his senior. Improvisation is at the center of a Garrin Benfield concert experience. Whether at a solo show or at a full band event, Garrin twists and turns the tunes each night in an ever-evolving attempt to keep searching for new musical challenges.
In addition to hundreds of solo and full band shows around the country, Garrin has shared the stage with numerous headlining acts, and was asked to open for Dan Bern, Boz Scaggs, Kaki King, Rickie Lee Jones, and Page McConnell of Phish among many others. Bonnie Raitt's backing band (who added their sounds to Garrin's second album, "Nowhere is Brighter") round out the list of great artists that Garrin has had the pleasure of collaborating with during his career.
Garrin was named "One of the Artists You Must See Live" by jambase.com, the internet's premier source of information for live and improvisational music, and his CD Where Joy Kills Sorrow was awarded the "Best Release of 2004" in the Male Singer/Songwriter Category by the Indie Acoustic Project. Garrin's CD "Nowhere is Brighter" was named a 'Top 10 CD of 2002' by Acoustic Guitar and Performing Songwriter Magazines. As well, music from that disc was selected for inclusion on numerous compilation recordings including one for Not In Our Name that included Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti and others.
Benfield's shows center on his quirky pop melodies but are stretched by Garrin into improvisational explorations into new territory each night. Familiar songs are often twisted and contorted into gorgeous new creations that leave audiences breathless. At once organic and eclectic, Garrin's shows are an experience as much as they are a musical concert! Utilizing electronic effects and a loop station, audiences find themselves grooving to atmospheric rhythms and settling back into Benfield's soothing vocal style. When the whole band is cooking, Benfield seamlessly blends his compositional skills with his improvisational ones, making old songs seem new. His thought-provoking lyrics and orchestral arrangements are constantly refurbished but are never over-shadowed by the endless noodling characterized by many in the neighboring jam-Band genre.