Garrin Benfield Heads to NYC

by E. "Doc" Smith on August 10, 2012

After extensively touring the country, one of the Bay Area’s best musical talents is off to NYC at the end of August. I once had the pleasure of having Garrin join bassist Edo Castro and me for a truly fun-filled performance at Duboce Park several years ago. About his final Bay Area shows, Garrin writes, “I’ve got a few more gigs in San Francisco before I once again relocate to New York City. My next show in San Francisco will be at Dolores Park Cafe on Friday, August 10! What can I say about this homey venue that has hosted so many memorable nights over the years? Please come out and say see you later before Jason and I take off!” If you haven’t seen Garrin before, tonight is your chance. One fine example of Benfield’s work, is a video shown below, “Walking Time Blues” and is among my favorites.

Garrin’s website sums up his latest efforts: “The Wave Organ Song is 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.

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…”

Safe journeys my man…

GARRIN BENFIELD at The Dolores Park Café
San Francisco, CA
Friday August 10, 7:30p

E. “Doc” Smith is a musician, producer and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon and John Scofield among others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick.

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