Garnet Rogers at Stanfest : photo by Ken MacIsaac
You never know where you will end up when you wake up in the morning some days. Mom always says when you are on the right path all the right things are there waiting for you. Turns out she’s right. Lately great things have been happening for me, and today was no exception.
I had supper and walked the pooch and was ready to chill out for the evening as I was out pretty late last night. Then I got a note from my friend Paula asking if I wanted to go see Garnet Rogers at the Carleton as she happened to have a ticket for me. Well of course I went out. I’d have to be in pretty rough shape to stay home when I could go check out wonderful music instead. Thank you Paula!
As a side note, a friend asked me today if I was going to write any criticisms on this blog. Well that certainly is not my goal. If I enjoy something and I have the time to write about it I will just do that. I have no time or inclination for negativity. Music brings me a lot of joy. If writing about it coaxes anyone out of their easy chair and into a club to watch a live performance, then I have achieved something I can feel good about.
And in that spirit I only have glowing things to say about Garnet Rogers. I’m ashamed to say it but tonight was the very first time I heard his music. It’s hard to believe it escaped me for so long.
Truly all I knew about Garnet before tonight was that Stan was his brother, and that Garnet is a very accomplished singer/songwriter in his own right. I discovered that Garnet and Stan are quite different musically, but they do share incredibly rich melodic voices.
One of the great things about folk artists is that they often wear their hearts and their politics on their sleeves, and Garnet is no exception. Tonight I learned that Garnet Rogers is ridiculously funny, a stupendous guitar player, and a man who lives his life with great passion and compassion. His stories were as wonderful as his songs.
All of his songs were beautiful, but the song I enjoyed the most was Small Victory, about a retired race horse he rescued. I am a sucker for a good tearjerker.
The lyrics are quite heartwarming on their own, although it’s hard to do it justice without the pretty melodies. Soul Kiss was another favorite of mine this evening.
It was also nice to hear Garnet do some of Stan’s songs, but in his own style. Overall I enjoyed Garnet’s songs the best. He did however do a simply gorgeous version of All the Diamonds by Bruce Cockburn.
For me the measure of good music is when I realize I have forgotten all my cares and worries. When I am lost in the music and am living totally in the moment. Tonight I realized at some point during the show that I had drifted off in my mind somewhere. And so although it took me way too long to discover Garnet’s music, I am officially a fan.
And you can tell a lot about a man from a handshake. Garnet is the kind of man who although he is almost 6 and a half feet tall, doesn’t make a little 5 foot tall girl like me feel small…that’s pretty cool.