jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

September 19, 2005

Canadian Blues Guitarist/Vocalist Amos Garrett

Written by
cindy mcleod

Canadian blues guitarist/vocalist Amos Garrett is a bigger than life artist. You’d never know it to meet the man, he is incredibly humble and easy going, but his fourty plus years in the industry tell the true story.

Amos Garrett
Amos Garrett
*Debby Sereda photo

Born in the US and moving to Canada with his family at the age of four, Amos got his professional start with a JFK impersonator, making an appearance at Carnegie Hall, an auspicious beginning to his great career. From there he went on to record the enormously popular Anne Murray sessions that produced the great hit Snowbird, then hit the road with Ian and Sylvia Tyson’s Great Speckled Bird. Following that, he became Maria Muldaur’s bandleader for six years, during which time he laid down the Grammy Award winning guitar solo for her Midnight at the Oasis. From there he went on to become a member of Paul Butterfield’s Better Days Band, and following that, won a Juno Award for his work with the late Doug Saum and Gene Taylor. He boasts a discography of nearly 200 recordings with such luminaries as Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris, Paul Butterfield, Jessie Winchester, Todd Rundgren, Rodney Crowell, and a legion of others. His own recordings, few and far between, include the indie release Cold Club, and last year’s long awaited release of his acoustic recording on Stony Plain Records.

Amos now lives in a small town south of Calgary, which fits his lifestyle to a tee, he loves to fish and Alberta boasts some of the finest trout river fishing in the world. He is a homebody, but travels and performs throughout Europe, the US, and Canada with regularity. He also returns annually to the Edmonton Folk Festival to lead the house band, backing such greats as Solomon Burke, Ruth Brown, Richard Thompson, Rick Danko and a host of others, a gig he’s performed for two decades now. He was also featured in a Canadian made for TV movie early last year.

To see Amos in concert, one is taken with his understated presence, he’s not a flashy player or performer, and like the true masters, makes it look oh so easy. He is equally at ease with either an acoustic or electric guitar in his hands, in spite of the vast difference between the two instruments. His singing voice is rich and deep, melting the listener with its smooth, luxurious texture. In talking with Amos, you’ll find him accessible, laid back, and in possession of a keen, dry wit. There’s absolutely no pretentiousness in this man, just a fascinating array of road stories that will keep you spellbound for hours.

This weekend, Amos will kick off the Beneath The Arch concert series in his hometown of Turner Valley. The gig will feature fellow blues guitarist/vocalist Steve Pineo, and if you attend the show, you�ll see just how very proud we Canadians are to have this great artist in our midst. For information on the upcoming concert, go to www.beneaththearch.org

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