Connor Garvey is a musical force, a force that is somehow more than the sum of its parts - the parts being songwriting, personality, musicianship, charisma... Each part stands alone, but, taken as a whole, the experience transcends.
In the very early spring of 2013, there was a buzz at the Cikan House, a local Bozeman, Montana house concert venue. For more than a decade, Frank and Jirina Cikan have generously invited local musicians into their home to the delight of small enthusiastic audiences. On this particular day, Chris Cunningham and associates from Basecamp Recording were setting up microphones and recording equipment to do a live recording of the songs Connor was preparing for his upcoming album Meteors and Beating Hearts. One of the live recordings, Irish Song, made it to the album. With Connor that evening were Mandolin virtuoso Tom Murphy and Tony Polecastro on Dobro.
With snow lingering on the ground in the Gallatin Valley and a chill in the air, a warm glow and excited murmur emanated from the Cikan's Great Room. Soon, Connor and friends took the stage for a captivating evening of memorable song and playful banter.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to videotape this rarefied evening. Check out the crowd-participation favorite, Bite that Tastes Good:
If you don't know Connor Garvey, a short bio taken from Connor's website follows:
"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 its 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 conection with his audience that makes Garvey wonderfully successful in his live performances where he invites the them to share in the beauty of the moment- the shared night of music.
"Garvey's sandy tenor, attention to rhythmic detail and winsome way with a melody bring to mind the music of Paul Simon in his Rhymin Simon days as well as contemporaries Josh Ritter and Jason Mraz" writes music blog Direct Current. The entertainment publication The Portland Phoenix describes Garvey's style as "Martin Sexton-ish jangle-funk, Mraz-y confessionals, and a very clear voice." Time and again he is heralded for his unique voice, approach, and ability to connect with the listener- qualities that are necessary for a long career.
"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 tours later, Garvey is finding his place as a seasoned folk-rock singer-songwriter touring around the US in his station wagon, playing festivals, house concerts, and many of the country's best acoustic venues (i.e. Club Passim-Cambridge, MA... Me & Thee Coffeehouse- Marblehead,MA... The Tin Angel-Philadelphia, PA... One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME... Avogadros Number-Fort Collins, CO...Steve's Guitars- Carbondale, CO... Ginkgo Coffeehouse- St. Paul,MN... & The Emerson Theater-Bozeman, MT). He has shared the stage with performing greats such as Catie Curtis, Storyhill, Jonathan Byrd, Anais Mitchell, Joe Crookston, Slaid Cleaves, & Edie Carey. Listeners across the US became enthralled with Garvey's sound when his song Soul on the Line (from Constancy of Stars) remained in extensive airplay on Sirius XM's The Coffeehouse- garnering him a spot in their top 6 new Singer Songwriters of 2010.
"Connor comes to music to write songs. The symbiosis of person and craft leaves Garvey continuing to grow as a musician and as a positive soul. His music never strays far from intimacy, where he personalizes life's challenges and themes. Garvey tends toward optimistic and humorous portrayal that sparks deeper reflection. In Where Ocean Meets Land (2011), Garvey immediately has listeners involved. The use of memorable melodies throughout the album makes you want to sing along while the messages within the lyrics satisfy a deeper yearning for inspiration.
"As Connor's musical career gains momentum he is bringing with him messages of hope, growth, and love in songs that silence rooms, brighten smiles, and inspire others to sing out."