About TImmy G - Guitarist, Vocalist, Teacher, Linguist, World Traveler
Hello internets! I wanted to use this space to better introduce myself, and to give you an idea of who I am as a musician and a person.
Music, languages, travel. These are my trifecta of passions, and to me they are connected to each other in profound and meaningful ways. My love of music, of singing, of musical improvisation and exploration, led to a love of language through learning to sing in other tongues, and appreciating the nuances of a language and culture that were not familiar to me. My love of language naturally led to a love of travel, of exploring new places, befriending amazing people whose mother tongue and culture were not my own, and familiarizing myself with the unfamiliar. Many of my new friends became connected to me through music – truly the universal language!
As a guitarist, I am greatly influenced by such greats as Jimmy Page, Brian Setzer, Marc Ribot, Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola, and many others. As a teen, I was into bands such as Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, etc, so some metal in me remains! As I developed as a musician, I got into more experimental, out-there stuff, which led me to jazz music, specifically the music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, John Zorn, Thelonius Monk, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. I LOVED Jobim and Brazilian bossa nova music, and his meandering melodies and odd chord progressions intrigued me. Eventually, I discovered the fleet fingered Latin stylings of flamenco guitarists such as Paco De Lucia and his buddies John McLaughlin and Al Di Meola, and I discovered that their insane double picking was not unlike the heavy metal that I had played as a teen. I took to it immediately, and this style of “Latin” improvisation remains a staple of what I do to this day.
As a singer, I tend towards the big, powerful tone, and am not so interested in the crazy, silly runs of the American Idol generation. I love singers such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Sting, Bruce Dickinson, Bono, Chris Robinson, Robert Plant. I can even appreciate singers like Billie Joe Armstrong, for his clean purity of tone. However, no list of my vocal influences would be complete without mentioning Mike Patton, probably my most formative influence. His technique and skill are legendary, and as we have similar vocal ranges, I tried as a youth to emulate his tone and style. In doing so, I accidentally acquired a great toolset of vocal techniques, which I subsequently found to be “correct” and have served me very well in further studies of the voice! (not talking about Patton’s OTHER screaming/noisemaking output, purely his “singing” singing – I won’t go near the more out there stuff, personally… afraid to hurt myself!)
So, as a musician, I find myself at home in a variety of musical styles – rock, jazz, latin, “surf”, reggae, metal. As a human, I have a connection to a few diverse parts of the globe – California; my home state, New York, the place where my parents were born and where much of my family resides; Italy, where I spend a year as a student, becoming fluent in the language and immersing myself in the culture; and Ireland, home of my forefathers and place of deep spiritual resonance for me. After the death of my very Irish father in 2009, I became much more interested in traditional Irish music, perhaps a s a way to somehow reconnect with him. I was lucky enough to meet a talented an d passionate fiddle player, Belinda Salvidge, who shared my love of Celtic music. Our collaboration, Fast & Vengefully, is a blast to be a part of, and helps me to feel connected to my heritage and my father.
I thank you for reading – enjoy the music!
-Timothy Patrick Garry (Timmy G)