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Follow Friday: Darren Garvey

The man of many bands gets ready to release his first solo effort.
Friday Feb 19, 2010.     By Centerstage Chicago Staff
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

Darren Garvey

Follow Friday is a weekly interview series in which each Chicago artist we talk to recommends a fellow local act.

This week's guest: Darren Garvey
Recommended by: Packy Lundholm

The list of bands that Darren Garvey contributes to is long, including the Andreas Kapsalis Trio, Cameron McGill & What Army, Ernie Hendrickson, L'Altra, Paper Arrows, Buddy Nuisance and Like Pioneers. With all that experience, the drummer/percussionist should have little trouble creating his own one-man band, on his debut solo album, Under A Common Ceiling, to be released in March 2010. Garvey will play guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion and sing on the record, which offers songs full of "advice for the struggle with technology and loneliness." You can find out what that means during upcoming shows at Tonic Room (March 14) and The Whistler (March 16).

Describe your sound in 140 characters or less.
Like when Phil Collins left Genesis' drum chair to begin his career of balladry; well, that's what I did, but it sounds completely different.

Where and when was your first show – and what was it like?
My first show was at Malo's in Aurora, IL in the early '90s. It eventually became Riley's Rock House before closing its doors. This was the only legit all-ages venue in the western suburbs and we were taken advantage of with payment every time we played there. They used a hand-tally device to get the official numbers from the door, but would only count one-third of the crowd. Every night ended up in the back kitchen arguing over money; and when you're 16 it's pretty tough to win that one.

Name three of your favorite Chicago spots (bars, restaurants, venues, parks – whatever).
The Tonic Room on Halsted has a special place in my heart because I played there with the Andreas Kapsalis Trio every Tuesday for almost 2 years. As a beer enthusiast, I truly enjoy the Beer School Bar at Sheffield's where Phil can recommend you an excellent beer. When I have a bit of extra cash in my pocket I like to take my wife to Green Zebra or one of Rick Bayless' restaurants.

What Chicago artist/band should we interview next and why?
Packy Lundholm graciously chose me to be interviewed. He is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist and I'd like to put myself in the same category of, at the very least, playing many instruments well enough. I'd like to pass the baton to another great multi-instrumentalist in Chicago. Jeff Wichmann might best be known on the scene for playing keys and trumpet in TENKI, but his compositions on koto, his collaborations with theater, and his new solo project featuring himself on koto and trumpet (sometimes at the same time) are definitely worth checking out!

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