Garrett LeBeau Band
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Garrett LeBeau Band

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band R&B Blues




"Album Review: Rise to the Grind"


Garrett Lebeau “Rise to the Grind” (Music Road Records)

Listening to Garrett Lebeau’s debut album, it’s logical to deduce that there’s a distinct advantage to being a self-taught musician who didn’t grow up listening to much music: You don’t feel particularly constrained by genre or stylistic boundaries.

The Wyoming native is primarily singing the blues on “Rise to the Grind,” but he adroitly adds plenty of funk, soul and folk to the mix on his first record, recently released on Oklahoma-bred Americana singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave’s Austin, Texas-based Music Road Records.

Both LaFave and Lebeau are performing Saturday night at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in the folk icon’s hometown of Okemah. For more information, go to Ö

Lebeau, 34, lays down such a laidback, listenable vibe on his debut effort that the hard-hitting lyrics of “Brothers” and “Darkness,” songs about bad choices and personal hells that draw from the starker side of his isolated upbringing on the Wind River Indian Reservation, sneak up on the listener.

Likewise, the up-and-coming bluesman’s stalker story “Eyes on You” quickly creeps up to give you the creeps; in contrast, the versatile singer/songwriter/guitarist is able to convincingly offer up earnestly unabashed adoration with “Passionate Fool.”

While “Broke Down Dream” and “When Love Was New” effectively delve into the pain of lost love, “Blue Eyed Girls” overflows with sweetness that never gets too syrupy. The title track closes the album with a warm homage to working-class folks going about their daily business.

Along with showcasing the Texas transplant’s own considerable skills as a soulful crooner and blues guitarist, “Rise to the Grind” spotlights the formidable talents of bassist Roscoe Beck, drummer J.J Johnson, B3 organ player Red Young and keyboardist Stefano Intelisano.

While the influence of Al Green, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and Oklahoma natives J.J. Cale and Leon Russell are evident on Lebeau’s debut, “Rise to the Grind” also reveals a budding artist well on his way to establishing his own singular style. - The Oklahoman

"Album Review: Rise to the Grind"

Austin, Texas-style country-meets-soul, with composer/singer Lebeau, a Native American Shoshone tribesman who grew up on a Wyoming reservation, backed by three star sidemen in Roscoe Beck, JJ Johnson and Red Young.

The melancholy slow grooves are samey but delivered with hard-won grace. LeBeau’s voice is too fragile to live up to Al Green but Boz Scaggs is a useful touchstone. The highlight and opener, “Crazy World”, is a killer. - The Independent

"Rise to the Grind Review"

Garrett Lebeau is a natural player. New and old fans hear Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Al Green and J.J. Cale in his songs and vocals. His playing style veers from blues through rock, jazz into folk. They all find a home in the music of Garrett Lebeau. The common ground lies in Garrett's ability to use genres as an influence and allow the music to find its way. Garrett has the unique ability to fit into a song so perfectly that it is difficult to separate the man from the music. The result is songs that are emotionally accessible. Tunes that cannot be cornered into a category. Garrett Lebeau was born and raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Lander Wyoming and is an enrolled member of the Shoshone tribe. Speaking to both his heritage and his playing, Garrett summed up how both have affected him; ''As a child my parents listened to very little music. There was mostly 1980s top 40 on the radio dial, so we didn't listen to the radio much. I didn't really start playing until I was out of school and then it was a very slow process where I taught myself notes and chords. The blues spoke to me and that raw unadorned honesty is what still motivates me musically. It spans all styles and is really the same thing as Soul. Folk music is kin in spirit, as is most music that I love. My goal is to connect with other like-minded human beings, and keep the Blues traditions aliveƒ feeling has no genre.'' Rise to the Grind is the Garrett Lebeau's debut album on Music Road Records. Musicians performing on the album include the rhythm section of Roscoe Beck (bass) who has backed Leonard Cohen, Robben Ford and Jennifer Warnes and J.J Johnson (drums) currently with the Tedeschi Truck Band following a stint with John Mayer. Other musicians include legendary B3 player Red Young and also keyboard player Stefano Intelisano, who recently toured in the Jason Mraz band. Rise To The Grind will be released May 7 and will find a home across many radio formats. Music Road label mate Jimmy LaFave calls Garrett Lebeau, ''a musical soul gypsy of the first degree with guitar stylings unique and authentic.'' - Amazon

"Rise to the Grind"

Today, presents the exclusive premiere of "Eyes On You," a new song by Garrett Lebeau. The track is from Lebeau's new album, Rise To The Grind, which will be released May 7 via Music Road Records.

Lebeau was born and raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Lander, Wyoming, and is a member of the Shoshone tribe.

"Growing up, I was isolated pretty heavily, and I think that indirectly played a part in developing my style,” Lebeau says. Without much outside influence, he began to teach himself notes and chords. As time progressed, he developed a singular musical perspective. “Honesty is what still motivates me musically. It spans all styles and is really the same thing as soul. The blues really spoke to me. Folk music is kin in spirit, as is most music that I love. My goal is to connect with other like-minded human beings and to keep these traditions alive. Feeling has no genre.”

Lebeau’s sound draws comparisons to Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Al Green and J.J. Cale. On Rise to the Grind, Lebeau is backed by Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen, Robben Ford) on bass, J.J Johnson (Tedeschi Trucks Band, John Mayer) on drums, Stefano Intelisano (Jason Mraz) on keyboards and Red Young on B3 organ.

Rise to the Grind is Lebeau’s first release on Music Road Records, which was co-founded by Jimmy LaFave and home to artists like Slaid Cleaves, Kevin Welch and Sam Baker.

For more about Lebeau, visit his official website and Facebook page. - Guitar World

"Oklahoma Musicians Come Together for Woodie Guthrie Center Fundraiser"

The Woody Guthrie Center’s anniversary party was off to a rocking start Thursday, with a group of musicians following in the footsteps of the Oklahoma native.

“For gosh sakes, we’re celebrating,” said Deana McCloud, executive director of the center.

Thursday was the first day on a calendar full of events marking the center’s second anniversary. Oklahoma singer-songwriters Paul Benjaman Band, Samantha Crain and John Fullbright all played Cain’s Ballroom to start the festivities, with money from ticket sales benefiting the center’s educational programs.

“It’s a perfect way to kick off our anniversary,” McCloud said. “We’re celebrating Woody’s legacy by showcasing Oklahoma’s young talent.

“The musicians are all in the spirit of Woody.”

Programs continue Friday with a free Tulsa Symphony concert at the Guthrie Green, with more music Saturday and Sunday and programs in the center that look at Guthrie’s legacy in music, art and social justice.

That’s a huge part of the center’s goal this weekend, McCloud said. The theme for the second anniversary is “I ain’t dead yet,” meaning Guthrie’s work and legacy continue with the center’s exhibits, artifacts from his archives and educational programs.

“One of our main goals is to stress that Woody isn’t dead. We’re keeping his legacy alive,” McCloud said.

Guthrie was born in Okemah and traveled the country, an early pioneer in the folk music movement who wrote prolifically. Songs about a wide range of topics from the Dust Bowl to kids songs are all now housed in the center, which opened in the Brady Arts District in 2013.

The collection includes the handwritten lyrics to Guthrie’s most famous song, “This Land is Your Land.” Those lyrics are usually kept in the archives but are on display during the anniversary celebration.

Events such as Thursday’s fundraiser help accomplish the center’s goals, McCloud said.

Just Thursday, three school groups visited the center, which hosts after-school and summer music programs that encourage students to be creative and to use their voices to make a difference, McCloud said.

“You can see the light in their eyes,” she said. “It’s cool to be in the center when they’re in their groups working on songs.”

Among the big crowd at Cain’s on Thursday was Brian Horton, who runs the nonprofit Horton Records. In the center’s two years, he said, its impact has been huge with its programming and education.

“I love what the Woody Guthrie Center has done with the community,” Horton said. “It’s the future of our music scene, what’s happening in the next generation. I think their reach is expanding.”
Woody Guthrie Center second anniversary celebration
Events marking the Woody Guthrie Center's second anniversary continue through the weekend, with music, panel discussions and more. Music at Guthrie Green is free. Programs inside the Woody Guthrie Center are free with admission. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $6 for those age 5-17 and free for children younger than 5. Admission for military service members is $6.


"This Land: Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie"

7 p.m., Guthrie Green; free

The Tulsa Symphony with guest conductor David Amram will perform his symphonic composition of Guthrie's music.


Programs at the Woody Guthrie Center Theater

10:30 a.m.: "The Beatles in America: How They Shaped Our Lives and Our Music" by Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum

11:30 a.m.: "Huntington's in Woody's Words" by Jim Pollard

12:30 p.m.: "John Hope Franklin, Civil Rights and Music" by Paul Finkelman

1:30 p.m.: "The Music of Lead Belly" by Jeff Place and Bob Santelli

Music at Guthrie Green starts at 3 p.m., presented by Music Road Records

Lance Canales

Garrett Lebeau

Sam Baker

Jimmy LaFave

Hal Ketchum - Tulsa World

"For Garrett LeBeau it's less about showmanship and more about Subtlety"

It’s a simple approach to making music. No tricks. No frill. Just honest songs void of flash with zero studio enhancement or digital trickery. This is still THE approach to making music. For every teen pop star or major label con artist, there are thousands of in-the-trenches musicians who are navigating their way through an unpredictable business where the rules of success are being written song by song and show by show. This includes Garrett Lebeau, purveyor of the genre of “Super-soul.” It’s a style of slight tempo, hushed lyrics, and blues guitar that nods to early R&B and soul while weaving itself into the fabric of American roots music.

Lebeau and his band will return to Durango Wednesday (Jan. 25) with a performance at El Rancho. Along with Lebeau, who sings and plays guitar, the band is John Duran on drums, Ben Geise on bass, and Ryan Howard on keyboards.

The Austin-based musician, who made his way to Texas after growing up on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, doesn’t pigeonhole himself into a specific genre. He’s a fringe musician, toying with blues and soul yet disguised and delivered in a slight, electric folk package and mellow vibe.

The space between the notes is important. Knowing when to ease back on your instrument is as important as knowing when to lean in. It’s often what is left out that is appealing about a musician like Lebeau. Look at the jam-band world. There’s a presumed necessity of nonstop showmanship, a chest beating “look what I can do with my instrument” approach for every song that is all technique. It’s full-blown musical masturbation, a whole lot of sounds and musical tricks that’s void of any life, feeling and soul. When there’s no practice in personal restraint, the product is a whole lot of hype that at times is enjoyable ear candy, but with very little to sustain the fan.

Lebeau remains similar to musicians like Van Morrison or J.J. Cale, players that walk a line that dabbles in the genres that make up American roots music without shoving it down your throat.

“A lot of musicians just focus on their skills on their instrument, which leads to some pretty hollow music, I think, a lot of the time,” Lebeau said. “I wasn’t enjoying music when that was my goal. I was playing out and playing gigs but the music wasn’t feeding me because it was more about me showcasing my guitar skills. “The music I make now represents many years now of me moving away from that, and playing music for the sake of music. I still use my skills, but that’s not the point of the music.”

“All my favorite artists are somewhat subtle, and that’s the thing about a great artist is there’s some subtlety to what they’re doing. They’re not going to hit you upside the head. It’s me trying to become more nuanced, and write better tunes, and I think that is the normal trajectory of somebody who is serious about what they’re doing and really trying to get better.”

2016 was a busy year for Lebeau. He continues to write, record, and release. Those releases include a live recording from a performance in Durango from summer 2016.

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. - DGO


Still working on that hot first release.



Garrett Lebeau is a registered member of the Shoshone tribe, born and raised on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Lander, Wyoming.

His music draws instant comparisons to Boz Scaggs, Al Green or Van Morrison vocally with a sound that is completely and genuinely his own.

Garrett Lebeau heard very little music growing up and never had a music lesson.  The Wind River Reservation is remote and isolated. Garrett was raised in an apocalyptic religious cult, one that keeps its members shunning the outside world. As a result, Garrett led a life sequestered from other people.  Those experiences left their mark on his music.

On the Reservation, there was so much wide open space, and that, combined with his unorthodox upbringing, is abundant in Garrett's music. He gives his music space to breathe and develop. Garrett's music is at one moment gritty, then tender the next. He expresses a full range of emotions with his lyrics and music. 

Garrett is a self taught musician who did not start playing the guitar until he was an adult. For Garrett, the process of learning to play was a slow one.  He taught himself the notes and chords and then began writing songs.  He is an accomplished songwriter and because he is not fettered by traditional music theory, his guitar playing is unique.  

Garrett's first record, Rise to the Grind, was well received and reviewed and Garrett has just completed his second record, Gone So Long.

Garrett enjoys playing live and prides himself on his ability to actually put on a show for the audience, as opposed to simply playing music.  Garrett tours around the U.S. with his band and they have been privileged to share the stage with Mavis Staples and earlier this month opened several shows for Boz Scaggs in the Boston and Philadelphia areas.

Band Members