Ham Jam House -Concert
Guy Forsyth will play a fine acoustic concert on Sunday, June 3rd, at 4:00 PM.
Because of the strong response, Guy's concert will require that folks make reservations to attend. Please see the reservations instructions at the bottom of this page.
Guy Forsyth’s guitar playing and singing became well known to blues fans in and around Austin, Texas where as sideman or leader or solo artist he was very active. Among bands with which he has worked is the Austin-based Asylum Street Spankers, appearing on 2000’s Spanker Madness. Forsyth’s repertoire, while couched in the blues form, ranges widely and incorporates elements of rock, R&B, folk, jazz and contemporary pop. His working band in the mid-90s included Keith Bradley (guitar), Gil ‘T’ (bass) and Rich Chilleri (drums). In addition to his fiery guitar playing and smoky singing, Forsyth also plays lean harmonica. His recordings show him to be a dedicated player with the ability to work his band, and by extension his listeners, into an enthusiastic lather. He also composes songs, several of which appear on his albums, as do songs he has co-composed with other Austin-based musicians. In the early 90s he formed his own label, Small & Nimble Records.
Though he’s not a native Texan, Forsyth’s mother was a Houston debutante (her father was president of the University of Houston). His dad worked for an airline, so the family moved from Forsyth’s Colorado birthplace to Kansas City, New York, Connecticut, a couple of California locales and back to Kansas City, where he first discovered the blues. He lasted for one semester at the University of Kansas before realizing the kind of music he wanted to study – earthy folk and gritty blues, “from a practical, hands-on, gears, joints and joists level” – couldn’t be found in classrooms. So he hit the highway. By then, he’d adopted his parents’ love of show tunes and Western songs (cowboy, not country), discovered “the immediacy and honesty” of punk rock and started playing harmonica at age 16.
He started his musical development first with singing. Shortly thereafter he heard a very distinct and over whelming sound on Kansas City radio that changed his life; it was Robert Johnson. After that, he borrowed a guitar, fell in love and learned to tune it with his feet from a friend who had lost both his arms in an accident. ” And he struck out to learn it; and eventually became a musician with gripping, powerful vocals as well as a master of numerous instruments. While listening to Delta Blues players, he learned an important lesson. “The thing that’s being transmitted is not in the notes, it’s in the mojo,” he explains. That discovery inspired him pick up a guitar. By then, he was already living in Austin and performing anywhere he could, drawing his sound from a virtual history book of musical perspectives.
In 1995 The Guy Forsyth Band issued their Discovery/Warner Bros. label debut Needle Gun. On it, his quartet reinvigorates the blues-rock form, taking the music into uncharted waters. Forsyth is accompanied in his band on Needle Gun by Gil T. on bass, Keith Bradley on guitar and Rich Chilleri on drums. The music on their debut is equal parts blues, rock & roll and Americana. Forsyth sings with conviction and plays harmonica and some smoldering guitar. Live, the band is what you'd expect from any good blues-rock conglomeration: loud, raw and raucous. Can You Live Without followed in 1999 and Steak a year later.
Forsyth brought his skills as a stellar live performer to help found and make infamous nationwide the theatrical acoustic group The Asylum Street Spankers. He gave Wammo his first washboard and Christina Marrs her first guitar and ukelele. His time with the Spankers touring and recording 5 albums added to a wealth of earlier unique experiences in his life – working as a stuntman in renaissance shows, busking on the streets of New Orleans and playing on a mountain top in Nepal – which provided him musical fodder to be refined in the songs of Forsyth’s numerous solo albums. The release of his latest, Calico Girl, which features new songs as well as re-recordings of some of Guy’s most popular songs from 1999’s Can You Live Without, marks the fourth album for the record label he started in 2002, Small and Nimble Records.
Since then, he’s been awarded an Austin Music Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2005, as well as numerous other AMA’s over the years in categories such as Blues and Best Miscellaneous Instrument Player (singing saw), among others. Last year’s 2-disc live record, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana, was received very well by critics and fans alike.
Forsyth has stepped up his touring significantly to reach fans in the Southwest, Southeast, East Coast, and Midwest United States, as well as continuing to play in Europe several times each year. Guy has been featured in a number of large festivals recently, including the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2005 and 2007, High Sierra Music Festival , Los Alamos Festival, BBQ & Blues Festival , Tonder Festival, and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival, Chicago’s American Music Festival, the Ottowa Blues Fest, Kerrville Folk Festival and Rochester’s Bricktown Festival. Forsyth has opened for and shared the stage with musicians such as BB King, Ray Charles, Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Vaughn, Dr. John, Robert Cray, among many others.
This has lead to a recent surge in praise over his dazzling live shows and his rich Americana roots sound. Forsyth (vocals, acoustic, electric, & slide guitar, harmonica, ukulele, singing saw), along with Will Landin (bass/tuba) and Rob Hooper (drums/Cajon), bring a unique mixture of styles such as folk, rock, country, and Tin Pan Alley to create a sound that’s as heterogeneous, raw and compelling as America itself. You’ll hear powerhouse vocals deliver energetic yarns about love, the government and the apocalypse, to name a few.
When he's not performing with either of these groups locally, you can find Forsyth sitting in with someone else just for kicks.
Forsyth is a rare combination: he's a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter, but also a diligent, conscientious student of blues, blues-rock and other indigenous folk music.
Doors open at 5:00 and the concert is 6:00 to 8:00. BYOB and hors d'oeuvres are welcome!
A $20 admission donation at the door is requested. Please email Daren for reservations. Daren will reply to confirm your reservations.
Email Daren at: firstname.lastname@example.org.