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Garrin Benfield
Garrin Benfield (Eighth Note Records)

By: Jett Black

Garrin Benfield, opening for Boz Scaggs on seven performance dates in August 2001 {See EVENTS page } has built an amazing reputation during LIVE music performances within the San Francisco music scene and spreads his music nationwide in many music venues across the USA. In listening to "Living a Dream" I find myself concurring with other reviewers who agree that Garrin Benfield is a "rising star" in the world of Folk Rock.

On his debut recording "Living a Dream" [Eighth Note Records], Garrin showcases his own varied talents as a songwriter, singer, guitarist, and bassist. "Living A Dream" is an excellent representation of both how Garrin sounds performing Solo, as well as varied full-band studio and live music experiences. Be certain to visit Garrin's Photos page for coast to coast Live Music snapshots featuring Garrin performing solo, as well as with a wide variety of other musicians in Venues such as House of Blues [Las Vegas], Lion's Den [NYC], 19 Broadway [Fairfax] and many, many others.

Garrin Benfield - - another fine artist selling music at CD BABY

Songwriter, Singer, Guitarist, and Bassist; Garrin Benfield contributes Lead and Harmony vocals, acoustic, electric, baritone, and bass guitars, plus measured use of a "singing bowl" to the "Living A Dream" cd.

Garrin wades into waters of Blues, Country, and Folk rock music and weaves them together along the acoustic and bass lines into his own comfortable eclectic style...

Garrin carries an appearance seeming of a young pop star waiting to be discovered. His music, however, makes no bold pretensions upon nickel and dime lyrics, clich?s of the moment, nor any politically motivated sound-bites.

Instead, Garrin appears to casually drive more thoughtful and personal lyrics with guitar strumming that sift through creative strings, like a pensive mind's distracted fingers sifting through fine sands.


1) Living A Dream (4:13)

One of the more upbeat tracks, this title-song provides a bouncy opener to this album bearing the same name.

This track speaks well of the diversity to be heard within this album. Keep listening, the directions will shift along the way.

2) Vacation (4:41)

A much different and yet altogether pleasant song, particularly the intro. Some vocal processing in medias res contributes a sense of the Nuevo pop and provides for an interesting chorus.... lending a third-eye perspective upon the lyrical content.

"Vacation" deals with general aspects and attitudes of "getting taken for a ride"... and the vacation mentioned seems to refer to a vacation from sanity, sensibility of self, and good reasoning. Undoubtedly a "love" song, in its own way.

3) Too Much Information (4:32)

The title alone speaks volumes, and somehow, I know that I can relate. Relaxation kicks in as this song carries my mind away.

4) What You're Hiding (3:59)

Relaxation snaps back like whiplash as this song takes a driving, aggressive posture. This song invites investigation, begs of inquiring minds to lean forward and start asking questions.

5) Already Heard (4:52)

Garrin pulls back into the camp fire story-teller, reflecting, almost whispering, upon a night spent with a loved one in the woods. A self-conscious remembrance, leaves so much left unsaid. A duet here might be very interesting... particularly in developing both sides of mirrored perspectives.

6) Easy to Guess (3:36)

Referring more again to the things left unsaid that might be so "Easy to Guess". I get the distinct feeling that words play a more cognitive role in the relationship, than providing for clearly descriptive communications... which of course provides for such pregnant emotions... great fodder for assumptive lyrics, poetic ponderings. Outside of music Words never seem so sexy as mysterious implications of emotion.

7) We Don't Guess (4:27)

This is one of my favourite tracks on this album. Bouncing and pausing naturally, this song tells of an honest love story... words again which emotions compel, but sometimes might never be shared at all, as the story describes. I believe most anyone can relate to writing words and feelings truly felt that may or may never see the light of day, let alone the gaze of another person's eyes, particularly the eyes of the one person for whom those words were specifically written.

Perhaps that's why I like this song so very much. I enjoy finding similarities between my experiences and those described within the lyrics. I expect that in spinning this cd again and again, I too will find myself compulsively reflecting upon similar strains of romantic memories.

8) Theme from Calaveras (1:51)

No words to this one. Just a delicious guitar-lovers run upon the strings... with an abrupt end. This song will make a great bridge between choruses, or even between songs, someday soon, I hope.

9) If You Find (2:49)

Honest words from a good friend, significant other... endearing, romantic. An all so brief such as the concept it encapsulates.

10) Leave Me Alone (4:55)

Upon the exodus of "Love", or merely a separation of souls for a moment... the title says it all. Details reveal what the self tries to bury and conceal. The song turns the irony out into the open... where avoiding the question of "What went wrong?" becomes an inevitable course of action.

11) The Only Friends We Need (3:14)

Toys with the argument that two lovers braving the odds against the world together have no need of the counsel of "other" friends. The argument seems to lack certainty and seems to resolve that despite the apparent uselessness of the counsel of "other" friends, sometimes, the only thing that really matters is simply having alternatives to an omni-present reflection with one you love.

12) Slave (4:25)

An interesting approach to pressing home one's individuality and recognition of self, while conceding also one's devotion to a loving relationship that provides for more than individual needs.

13) Walking (3:04)

This last song on LIVING A DREAM is the one which draws me back in again and again. Given this notion, placement as the last track on the album seems uniquely clever, though it may be entirely coincidental as the lyrical content as well as the title also makes for a great implied closing to the album.

So, what's it really about that makes this song so interesting? Like many other songs on this album, though not so explicitly as within the lyrics of this song, "Walking" puts forth the notion that mutual respect and appreciation within a loving relationship supplies its own incentives and rewards and that an absence of such recognition provides for adequate justification to be "moving on" in search of greener pastures.

LIVING A DREAM seems to put forth these notions as a theme threading through the entire album, that relationships involve give and take and insightful recognition, interest and appreciation from both sides in order to make all aspects of supporting the relationship at all worth the effort.

Each song sheds light upon a vignette of feelings, attitudes, and perspectives about a relationship, or series of relationships which beg for feedback, attention, and serious give and take between the partners involved.

Each songs seems to validate feelings that often never find pathways from the mind out into the coldness of moments of disintegration.

Perhaps such validations may compel just the sort of "carpe diem" needed to inject upon the chill of the moment a more certain sense of warmth and compassion both partners in a loving relationship silently crave.

Garrin Benfield joins the Tourbaby 2001 Acoustic Music tour of 12 musicians traveling down along the West Coast from Vancouver, BC to L.A. California. September 1 - 30, 2001.

Pick up all the details inside the TourBaby 2001 Press Kit available FREE online.

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