If you were to travel the course of the Mississippi River, you would hear many variations of blues music. Starting in Chicago, the blues has a down and dirty club feel. By the time you reach the southern end of the Mississippi, blues music turns acoustic. Harmonicas and acoustic slide guitars replace the electrified Chicago sound. Josh Garrett takes all things that are Delta Blues and mixes them with other sounds that are prevalent throughout the south such as Dixieland Jazz and Zydeco. Josh brought to BB’s a large band capable of reproducing all of the aforementioned sounds. Tonight’s band consisted of Josh Garrett (guitar/vocals), Mark Levron (trumpet/vocals/tambourine), Scott Jackson (bass), Clay White (harmonica), and St. Louis native Kyle Sharamitaro (drums/vocals). Josh and the band took the stage to perform a lengthy set for a large Friday night crowd. Josh explained that he makes it up to the St. Louis area around nine or ten times a year, and judging from the crowd size and their reaction, it’s no wonder he makes so many trips to the area.
Mr. Garrett started the evening with blues standards mixed in with a vast majority of his own material. A fair amount of material was covered from his latest album String of Problems. "String of Problems" has received a fair amount of airplay and favorable reviews. As of the writing of this article, the album is residing at #21 on the Louisiana Roots Radio Airplay Charts after a stint in the #1 spot. The main focus of Josh Garrett’s live show is as one would expect; up-tempo blues but Josh can also slow it down with the best of them. A standout amongst the slower numbers was a tune called “Damn Shame.” This song sparkled bright with Mark Levron’s stellar trumpet swells, Clay White’s soulfully sad harmonica, and the heartbroken rasp of Josh Garrett’s vocals. Josh added an extra kick to his blues arsenal, after a bout of broken strings on a Fender Telecaster, a road weary looking 1960’s Harmony Rocket guitar was summoned into use.
Josh is a consummate performer both on and off stage, taking time to sign CDs and pose for pics when not wowing the most appreciative BB’s crowd. During one of only two breaks during the nearly three hour set, Josh made mention that the band had to be on the road by 6:30am. He and the band kept the party going until 2:35 in the morning, continually feeding off a rowdy, drunken, blues thirsty audience. Late nights, old guitars, and rowdy crowds are all elements of the life of a traveling blues musician. These are the very same elements that put Josh Garrett well on his way to becoming a driving force in the world of blues music. Photos of the show are below:
Josh Garrett @ BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:10:00 PM Rating: