March 15, 2013
Connor Garvey opens
Factor in a strong acoustic guitar technique that eschews simplistic strumming in favor of expressive finger-picking and a pleasant voice that sounds like a more insistent, fuller bodied James Taylor, and you have David Wilcox, a solid solo-acoustic performer who is a big favorite on the circuit. ¶ Connor Garvey opens the show. He is the real deal and has been described as an “amazingly accomplished and mature songwriter” for a twenty-something. His numerous songwriting awards are testament to his talent.
Cleveland-born David Wilcox was inspired to play guitar after hearing a fellow college student playing in a stairwell. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings, giving him a range and tenderness rare in folk music. He released an independent album in 1987, was a winner of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk award in 1988, and by 1989 he had signed with A&M Records. His first release on the label, How Did You Find Me Here, sold over 100,000 copies the first year largely by word of mouth. Now, 17 albums into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans, David continues to find and deliver joy, inspiration, and invention. Considered a ‘songwriter’s songwriter’, his songs have been covered by artists such as k.d. lang and many others.
In addition to his writing prowess, Wilcox’s skills as a performer and storyteller are unmatched. He holds audiences rapt with nothing more than a single guitar, thoroughly written songs, a fearless ability to mine the depths of human emotions of joy, sorrow and everything in between, and all tempered by a quick and wry wit. Reflecting on well over 20 years of record-making and touring extensively around the US and world, Wilcox says, “Music still stretches out before me like the head-lights of a car into the night. It’s way beyond where I am, but it shows where I’m going. I used to think that my goal was to catch up, but now I’m grateful that the music is always going to be way out in front to inspire me.”
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Connor Garvey’s songs are like placing folk-funk guitar & ukulele, soulful vocals, and paradoxical metaphors in an electric juicer- you’ve never tasted it before, but it’s intriguing and delectable so you have to keep drinking. His clever, rhythmic string foundations provide a background for his most prominent instrument, his voice. His songs draw the attention of the entire room with humor, daring honesty, and grace through “a universal message that people can grab hold to just the kind of thing I needed.” (Dennis Bigelow-Music Director of KRFC-FM) It is this connection with his audience that makes Garvey wonderfully successful in his live performances where he invites them to share in the beauty of the moment — the shared night of music.
Connor Garvey’s initiation as a modern troubadour came in 2008 by way of train; a 45-day, self-booked tour by Amtrak across the country. Now, many years of traveling later, Garvey is finding his place as a seasoned folk-rock singer-songwriter touring around the US in his station wagon, playing festivals, winning songwriting competitions from Maine to Texas, wowing house concerts, and playing to full crowds at many of the country’s best acoustic venues. Radio listeners across the US became enthralled with Garvey’s sound when his song “Soul on the Line” remained in extensive airplay on Sirius XM’s The Coffeehouse- garnering him a spot in their top six new Singer Songwriters of 2010. It was through this song that Olympic figure skating coach Audrey Weisiger contacted Garvey to perform live at two major figure skating events where she and others choreographed pieces to his songs. You can never predict the path of a good song but you can watch these skates on YouTube!
Photo by Adam Chittenden
- For any singer-songwriter to be able to muster passion, hope and grace after 15 years in the unsung folk genre is an accomplishment, and as such, David Wilcox is infinitely accomplished. Paste Magazine
- A charismatic performance by a star still waiting to be discovered by a much larger audience The New York Times
- For David Wilcox, music is a personal compass for finding his way home. Lining it up with something deep inside, his words become image-filled poetry that dance to an internal rhythm. Challenging situations, elusive ideas, and long-suppressed feelings are directed into inspiring metaphors of hope. Coupled with a seamless melody, it is all delivered in the language of his heart. Performing Songwriter
- Fueled by brilliantly articulate guitar, an honestly pretty baritone, and deft lyrics, he combines the best of both pop and modern folk aesthetics. Boston Globe
- David Wilcox’s ongoing musical journey [is] . . . compelling and richly deserving of a listen. Rolling Stone
- Folkin Great San Francisco Bay Guardian
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- . . . When Connor Garvey stepped up with solid singing and playing, the place was silent and I knew that this acoustic music tradition was in the right hands. . . . Vance Gilbert, Folk Legend
- … proves you can be optimistic and self-aware without being boring. Aimsel Ponti, The Portland Press Herald
- One of the brightest young performers on the folk scene Phil Daligan, Songwriters by the Sea
- A universal message that people can grab hold to just the kind of thing I needed. Dennis Bigelow, Music Director, KRFC-Fort Collins, CO