Kitchener’s Richard Garvey is a man about town. The upbeat, acoustic folk singer has been a staple in the Kitchener music scene for several years, often heard at The Boathouse and Pyrus Café. He was even voted as the Best Local Musician by the Cord Community last year.
While he has been happily playing guitar since he was young, performing doesn’t come naturally to him. “I am a quiet person and most of the time I don’t say much,” says Rich. “But people tell me I am a different person on stage.”
Performing is also a time when Rich gets a charge from having a command of a room. “To get people to sing together and to experience something meaningful is a powerful thing,” he says. “My hope is that the art I create inspires people to think about their lives and experiences and ideally inspires them to some kind of action.”
Rich says his complicated family history has influenced the person he has become and the music he writes. “My musician friends and I try to tackle some tougher emotional issues, looking inside ourselves to express our experiences in song,” he says. “Sometimes those songs can be fun and upbeat, really getting the crowd going, covering topics such as love, nature, struggle, friendship, community and travel.”
In a world of free downloads, how hard is it to get people to buy your albums or songs? Rich says he is always delighted by how many people buy his work. “Music is about a relationship people have with you and your music,” he says. “If someone is streaming my music and that gets them to connect to my work, that’s great as often those people come to my shows, buy my albums and share it with friends.”
It can be hard for musicians to self-promote but in today’s market, Rich says this is the way to gather momentum, supporters and funding to continue your projects. And you can help. Mark your calendars for June 7, the date of Rich’s next album release, Where Fools Gather, or more importantly, visit his crowdfunding site to make sure Rich can make his latest musical dream happen. Then you get to be part of that musical community building Rich is so proud of.
You can also take a moment to vote for Rich’s song Abigail on the CBC Music Searchlight competition.
Beyond the stage, Rich also works as a music promoter, booking bands at the Boathouse and Pyrus. “I think the trust they place in me echoes the work I’ve been doing to network and build community through music.”
P.S. Rich’s favoruite topic of conversation: Dreaming about his next bicycle tour.