Garrison Starr (interview by Frank Goodman)

In the middle of SXSW 2006, I had stopped in to a club to see a set by Jules Shear. I noticed that Garrison Starr was the act before him so I went down early to catch that, too. I'd liked the songs I'd heard here and there, but had never seen her live.

I could tell by the way she stood that she weren't no folksinger. Although he was completely in darkness stage right, I noticed Brian Bequette on guitar with a big pedal board, a guy I knew very slightly from Nashville, but thought he was a bass player... The highly regarded Neilson Hubbard was on keyboards, I knew that he'd produced Garrison records in the past, and records for a couple of friends of mine. The drummer I didn't know, but you could tell when he checked his drums real quick that he hadn't been hired for his brush work.

There was some problem with the sound system or mixer, but they blasted right through that. You only get a short set and then you're done, so there's no time to get bogged down. From the top, Garrison's presence and her singing was so true, so urgent, and so naked that I couldn't take my eyes (or my lens) off her. The ensemble was picture perfect, but in a rock and roll way. The songs were beautifully written and sung, great melodies and arrangements. And the chick was throwing down, hard. They weren't happy with the sound, but they weren't gonna let it spoil the fun. That was the night I became a fan, which I'm sure I will always be.

Especially after we spent some time on the phone recently. Garrison is a very passionate and sincere person, outspoken and not full of pleasantries. So we got downtown in a hurry. She was not happy with her label that day, and pulled no punches about it. But she gave more time to things and to people she loves, and to whom she is grateful.

The Sound of You And Me is rightfully thought to be her most revealing and emotional record to date, glad we jumped aboard here. That said, let it be known that another well-loved album of the artist is Songs From Take-off To Landing, we're after that as well. But this new one has producer Neilson Hubbard teamed with pop maestro Brad Jones at the console, and together they came up with some boss sounds, and a vocal signature that anyone would envy. They started, after all, with one of the best vocalists in singer songwriter pop today.

Garrison Starr's music filled a hole I didn't know I had. She actually gave me something to fill that hole with. You gotta love a person who does that.    continue to interview