You are here: Home Music Beat Amos Garrett to do what he does best at Lethbridge Jazz Festival
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

L.A. Beat

Amos Garrett to do what he does best at Lethbridge Jazz Festival

E-mail Print PDF

Canadian guitar legend Amos Garrett is recovering from last year’s flood and getting back to what he does best— playing music.

 He plays the  Geomatic Attic for the Lethbridge Jazz festival, on June 11.Amos Garrett and his jazz trio play the Geomatic Attic, June 11. photo by Richard Amery
 It’s  been very difficult, but we got through it together,” said the 72- year-old musician  creating a dragonfly lure so he can go fishing.

“We had about 90 seconds notice to get out of there. Luckily someone fed my cats when I was away. Unfortunately they didn’t leave a litter box, so I had a big mess to clean up,” he recalled adding a lot of work has been done to hopefully prevent anymore flood damage.

“I lost two guitars, my cassette collection and my vinyl collection,” he said.

 He is always happy to be playing.
 He will be playing with his long time jazz trio, fingerstyle guitarist  Keith Smith and  Greg Carroll.
 “ I love  the breadth of jazz music. It’s a natural combination of bebop, jazz and blues music,” he described of his sound.

 He is well known for his crazy dual string bends and has played with a variety of people from Bonnie Raitt to Maria Muldaur’s pop hit “Midnight at the Oasis,” plus luminaries like Paul Butterfield, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris.
He was a highlight of the South Country Fair in 2011, which was the last time he played  in Southern Alberta.
He is excited to return with his trio.

 “ I had been talking to Mike (Spencer of the Geomatic Attic) about playing there for a while, but didn’t want to give up the jazz festival gig, so I was happy to find out it was going to be part of it,” said Garrett adding he will be playing a variety of music including  selections from Thelonious Monk and  Miles Davis.

While he made a name for himself as a bluesman, he has been listening to jazz music when he was three, listening to his parents’ record collection.

“ They had an extensive record collection all on 78s, he said adding his teacher convinced his parents to encourage Garrett to  explore his early musical talent  first by  piano, then as a trombonist.
“Ma y piano teacher told my parents I had prodigious musical talents, the next thing was trombone, but I couldn’t reach some of the notes,” he said adding he got into guitar about the same time  rock and roll had started to appear.

“I had a friend who had a guitar he didn’t use and I didn’t have one,  so I borrowed it,” he said.
 He started bending strings because he wanted to imitate  steel guitar players.
“ They have levers and pedals. So I just invented it,” he said.
“ It’s very difficult to bend one strings. Two is more difficult. You really have to pay attention to intonation,” he said.

He released an instructional video a few year ago.
“I wanted to make some money,” he said.
 His guitar solo on Maria Muldaur’s is one of his best known solos.  He said not much planning went into it.

“I just improvised it in the studio. I just did it one,” he said adding  he liked the solo a lot but never expected it to become so popular. The same was true of the song itself.
“I thought it would be popular. I never thought it would be a pop hit though. It took off on the charts. of the 200 songs, it hit number six and stayed there for six months,” he said.

 Working with Maria Muldaur was a career highlight for Garrett as was working with her husband Geoff.
“ And the years working with Paul Butterfield were precious to me,” he continued.
 Playing trombone on Bonnie Raitt’s first album was another highlight. She was another artist he worked with who he knew would be a success.

“She was already quite successful. She didn’t need a hit record to fill a 2,000 seater because she’d already been touring non -stop for 10 years and she built her audience that way,” he said.
 Garrett is pleased to be a friend and fan of Canadian science fiction writer Spider Robinson who has written several liner notes for Garrett's albums.

“We]re old friends. M We met when we were doing interviews on a television show in Vancouver 25 years go.. He was a little grumpy because it was at 7 in the morning. He’s very much a nocturnal person. He’s used to sleeping  during the day and getting up for breakfast at 6 p.m. and writing until six in the morning. A lot of writers are like that because there are fewer distractions. And I wasn’t at my best either because I was playing  seven days at a club in Vancouver called the Yale and, So I was used to finishing  at 2 a.m. and  going to bed at 3 or 4 in the morning,” he continued adding they quickly became close friends.

“ I helped produce his record and helped him find a producer in Vancouver. He’s a really good musician,” he said.

The Amos Garrett trio play the Geomatic Attic, Wednesday, June 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $25.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 June 2014 17:15 )  
The ONLY Gig Guide that matters


Music Beat

Lights. Camera. Action.
Inside L.A. Inside

CD Reviews


Music Beat News

Art Beat News

Drama Beat News

Museum Beat News