Guy Forsyth
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Guy Forsyth

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1992 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1992
Band Blues Americana

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Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album, eclectic roots rocker Guy Forsyth dives back into the blues pool he emerged from with a pair of recent discs. Comprised of recordings taken from the same show as his introductory handshake High Temperature, the live Red Dress flicks the blues switch hard. Sticking mostly to 12 bars and shuffles, Forsyth and the original lineup of the Blues Band lay the leader's already prodigious singing and harping chops on a program of traditionalist originals and covers. From four Little Walter songs to a 12-minute take on "Play to Lose," Red Dress comes on thick and hot. "Lose" also appears, at half the length and twice the intensity, on The Pleaser, Forsyth's latest studio LP. With a couple of decades of genre-busting Americana behind him, Austin's harmonicat hops gracefully from the choogling social comment "Poverty Line" and shuffling satirical smirk "Put a Little Sex in It" to the menacing pound "Carried by Six (Pop's Blues)" and the desperate garage roar "Nobody Gonna Bail Me Out." The band itself gets to blow on "Miniskirt," written by longstanding guitarist George Rarey, and the Walter-tweaking title tune. With little wear or tear after 20 years of professional blues slinging, Guy Forsyth proudly flaunts the power of retained youth on The Pleaser with all the grace of well-earned maturity. - Austin Chronicle


He’s played to thousands and he’s played to a dozen. And in March, Guy Forsyth brings his own particular style of music to the inaugural Big Nac Music Festival in Nacogdoches.
Forsyth describes his style as Americana roots music, springing from the history, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States. Inspired by an eclectic mix of artists growing up, from Dr. Demento and Jimmy Rogers to Son Howard and Robert Johnson, Forsyth said he learned as a lad of 16 in the late 1980s living in Kansas City to appreciate the extraordinary in music.
“Listening to old record gave me an appreciation for the unexpected in media and radio and music,” he said. “I used to stay up all night listening to Dr. Demento, a tremendous collector of old records.
“Living in Kansas City as a young man I was exposed almost by accident to old Americana,” Forsyth said. “I heard something in that music that was totally different.”
‘High energy’ style
Forsyth said he styles his shows to fit the room and the crowd. He’s played to as many as 20,000, sharing the bill with Blues greats BB King and Ray Charles. He’s also played coffee houses and other small venues. Forsyth said he expects his performance at Big Nac to be fairly “high energy.
“We’ll be there to entertain,” he said. “There’s so many different types of music I love, I’ve tried not to limit myself and to follow my joy.”
Forsyth moved to Austin in early 1990, arriving with just his guitar, harmonica and a U-Haul truck, according to his online biography at www.guyforsyth.com. Among his first performing jobs was as a comedy stunt man at renaissance faires, passing the tip jar among the crowd.
He made his way around the streets of Austin, eventually landing gigs at the now-famous Joe’s Generic, playing for tips. He soon hooked up with a Dutch record label, cutting his debut album, “High Temperature,” and launching his first European tour.
‘Freedom to Fail’
Forsyth’s latest album, “The Freedom to Fail,” is an exploration of new musical territory for the artist. With “Freedom,” Forsyth decided to create a work doubling as a message to his daughter, letting her know she had to grow up feeling the freedom to fail.”
“These songs represent an articulation of the changes in my viewpoints and the new legality that I see,” Forsyth is quoted in the release at his website. “When I started to figure out what I wanted the recording to be, it really did become an album about things that I really wanted to say, ... things that I wanted to go on the record has having said.”
Forsyth calls his recorded music “the hook,” something to introduce himself to the widest possible audience. His live shows are the meat and potatoes of his musical life. He’s more comfortable on stage than off it, probably because of his early exposure to a variety of performance greats, including an early introduction to Blues great John Hammond when Forsyth was just 18.
‘It’s powerful’
“Seeing a band play together can be tremendously positive,” he said. “It’s great to see what people can do when they get together and work together, agreeing on the message they’re sharing.
“To see people working together is a beautiful expression of possibilities,” Forsyth said. Hearing people singing in harmony, playing in rhythm — it’s powerful, it’s the physical experience of being there with it.”
Because that’s what music is about, Forsyth said. It gets into the hearts, minds and souls of performer and listener alike and can be a powerful avenue for change.
“I’m really of the belief there are only three types of music: The stuff you like, the stuff you don’t like and the stuff you haven’t heard yet,” Forsyth said. “I hope people get inspired and take that energy into the next thing they do.” - Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel


“The insanely talented multi-instrumentalist can put on one hell of a show, alternately dazzling and amusing audiences on a musical journey that ventures from ragtime jazz and Delta blues to socially conscious folk and rollicking modern rock.” - Texas Music Magazine

“Forsyth’s skills as a bandleader, singer, harmonica player and entertainer remind you exactly why live music rules in Austin.” – Joe Gross, Austin American Statesman

“Pick a weapon – harmonica, composer’s pen, saw, bandleader baton, voice, guitar – and Forsyth will display his formidable skills, particularly onstage, where the Austin showman shines.” – David Lynch, Austin Chronicle

“More than a white bluesman, Forsyth mines the deep seams of American music traditions, emerging with fuel to feed the soul. The range of sound is amazing.” – Jeff Spevak, Rochester Democrat

“PERFECTION. Nothing I can say could adequately do justice to how PERFECT the screening of Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL was… GUY FORSYTH & his band were supreme... The score they constructed tonight fit this film like a surgeon’s glove. Perfect, and tightly." – Ain’t it Cool News

"Blues and roots master Guy Forsyth is known as a musician with gripping, powerful vocals as well as a master of numerous instruments." -New Orleans Times-Picayune

"Guy Forsyth is a hard musician to pigeonhole. He's an Austin-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who's firmly rooted in blues, but who freely experiments with other genres." -Nick Morrison, NPR.com

“Forsyth’s power of persuasion is a vast arsenal. Besides the 39-year-old’s powerful voice and guitar virtuosity, he also plays harmonica and a mean saw,” -Mark Bennett, Terre Haute Tribune Star

"The insanely talented multi-instrumentalist can put on one hell of a show, alternately dazzling and amusing audiences on a musical journey that ventures from ragtime jazz and Delta blues to socially conscious folk and rollicking modern rock." -Texas Music Magazine (5/23/07)

"Pick a weapon - harmonica, composer's pen, saw, bandleader baton, voice, guitar - and Forsyth will display his formidable skills, particularly onstage, where the Austin showman shines like a finely minted Double Eagle." -David Lynch, Austin Chronicle

National Public Radio
XM Satellite Cross Country Ch.12
(7 songs from “Calico Girl” in rotation)
KUT – Austin
WNKY - Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
WCLZ – Portland, ME
WTUL – New Orleans
KVRS – Lafayette
KKFI – Kansas City
KRIM – Payson, AZ
KGOU – Oklahoma
KGSR – Austin
KLBJ – Austin
WRUR - Rochester
WRUV – Burlington
WRUW – Cleveland
WMFO – Boston
WBUR – Boston
KHYI – Dallas
WDVX – Knoxville
KDHX – St. Louis
KWUR – St. Louis
KTBG – Kansas City
WGHB – Boston
WMBR – Boston
KRTS – Marfa Public Radio
KRVL – Kerrville
- Print & Radio


AUSTIN CHRONICLE 07/06/07
DAVID LYNCH

Two hundred twenty-two minutes. That's how much Guy Forsyth & Co. cram onto the two live platters of the well-named Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana.

Pick a weapon – harmonica, composer's pen, saw, bandleader baton, voice, guitar – and Forsyth will display his formidable skills, particularly onstage, where the Austin showman shines like a newly minted Double Eagle. Heads, the first disc, captures Forsyth and band at Antone's last summer, while Tails hodgepodges radio appearances, house parties, festivals, Saxon Pub shows, etc. Great cuts abound, including Tom Waits vaudeville ("Adam's Rib"), other-side-of-the-tracks country ("Red Letter Bible"), Celtic-esque balladry ("Children of Jack"), Latin-infused jam ("Tattletale"), and other overlapping sonic circles. Contributions by Colin Brooks, Wammo, Ephraim Owens, and Mark Addison shine.

The production is equally bright, but like a novel with too many evaporating side plots, this live magnum opus should have employed Occam's razor to shave "Auld Lang Syne," "Play to Lose," and "Run On."

Even then, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana is the Forsyth fan's desert island collection.



TEXAS MUSIC MAGAZINE 05/23/07

The insanely talented multi-instrumentalist can put on one hell of a show, alternately dazzling and amusing audiences on a musical journey that ventures from ragtime jazz and Delta blues to socially conscious folk and rollicking modern rock.



AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN 05/07/07
JOE GROSS

This right here? Very possibly the ultimate Guy Forsyth album, for all sorts of reasons. Forsyth's skills as a bandleader, singer, harmonica player and entertainer remind you exactly why live music rules in Austin.



SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS 12/30/05
JIM BEAL

Forsyth and his band are not the kind one usually expects to hear in a historic Texas dancehall, but Gruene Hall's schedule has long been eclectic. Austin-based Forsyth crafts music that's impossible to pigeonhole. Based in the blues, Forsyth's songs run the gamut from heartland folk with a rock 'n' roll foundation to reggae-tinged to full-on electric blues powered by slide guitar, harmonica and, now and then, musical saw.

With his band, Forsyth sets up deep grooves that can be hypnotic at times, dance-inducing at others. His big voice, equally large personality and first-class band make for a strong combination. Forsyth is toiling with a new CD, "Love Songs: For & Against," on his own Small & Nimble label. Forsyth doesn't shy away from love, politics, personal responsibility or entertainment. And it all comes together on the disc and in the live show.
- Quotes


2007-08 Music Poll
Austin Chronicle

Placed in 8 categories: Musician of the Year, Album of the Year, Song WriterBlues Band, Roots Rock Band, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Male Vocals, Miscellaneous Instrument

2006-07 Music Poll
Austin Chronicle

Placed in 5 categories: Musician of the Year, Song Writer, Blues Band, Male Vocalist, Miscellaneous Instrument

2005-06 Music Poll
Austin Chronicle

BEST MALE VOCALIST
1. Guy Forsyth

Placed in 8 categories: Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Musician of the Year, Song Writer, Acoustic Guitar, Miscellaneous Instrument, Blues Band, Rock Band

2001-02 Music Poll
Austin Chronicle

Placed in 4 categories, including: Blues Band, Male Vocals, Musician of the Year

2000-2001 music poll
Austin Chronicle

BEST BLUES BAND

1. Guy Forsyth

BEST MISCELLANEOUS INSTRUMENT

1. Guy Forsyth, musical saw

Placed in 4 categories, including: Musician of the Year and Best Male Vocalist.

1999-2000 Award Winners
Austin Chronicle

Miscellaneous Instrument
1. Guy Forsyth, musical saw

Placed in 4 categories including: Musician of the Year , Male Vocals, and Song Writer. No Blues category awarded that year.

1998-1999 Austin Music Awards
Austin Chronicle
Placed in Five, won the saw
Placed in Five, won the saw





- Miscellaneous


• 1990, Moved to Austin, became immediate success as staple in folk and blues clubs

• 1993, High Temperature Released in Holland

• 1994, Signed to Antone’s Records, released Needlegun

• Founded The Asylum Street Spankers

• Played the Pier Blues Fest in Belgium to 20,000, shares stage with BB King, Ray Charles, Ben Harper, Irma Thomas

• 1998 Antones Records released 3rd album, Can You Live Without

• Appeared in the movie Waking Life

• Seven Year Award Winner, Austin Chronicle Readers Music Poll

• 2000 Antones Records released 4th album, Steak

• Co-created soundtrack to award-winning documentary Hands on a Hard Body

• 2002, Independently Released Voices Inside

• Brings Austin music to the Himalayas touring and playing in Nepal, crosses the Cho La pass with guitar on back, plays “Sittin' On Top of the World” at 5,500 meters, briefly is the highest guitar player on the planet.



- Propaganda Media Group


Discography

High Temperature (1994), Needle Gun (1995), Can You Live Without (1999), Steak (2000), Voices Inside (2002), Love Songs: For And Against (2005), Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana (2006), Calico Girl (2008), Live at Gruene Hall (2010), 300 Miles From There To Here DVD (2011), The Freedom To Fail (2012), The Hot Nut Riveters Moustashe Girl (2014), Red Dress (2015), The Pleaser (2015)

Photos

Bio

The Pleaser is Guy Forsyth’s eighth studio release, and marks a return to the blues – back to where he got his start slaving away at Joe’s Generic Bar in Austin in the early 90’s. It contains all new material and features a backing band of some of the best blues musicians in Austin including George Rarey on lead guitar, Mark Hays on drums and Naj Conklin on bass.

Guy Forsyth is an acclaimed Austin-based musician, nearly impossible to categorize, but immediately identifiable, who tours throughout the US and Europe regularly to an ever-growing and often fanatic fan base.

He performs in a variety of incarnations, and his old-time string band The Hot Nut Riveters released their debut album, Moustashe Girl, in 2014, followed by a lengthy and wide-ranging tour. Visit www.hotnutriveters.com for more information on them. These days you will most often find him fronting his blues band, harmonica close at hand, but you can still find the odd solo show, Riveters appearance, and the Guy Forsyth Band trio will even make a periodic appearance.

• Austin Music Awards Male Vocalist of the Year (2005)

• Co-founder of the legendary Asylum Street Spankers

• Festival appearances include: Big Nac, Blues Peer, Cognac Blues Passion (Cognac, France), High Sierra Festival (CA), Los Alamos (NM), American Music Festival (Chicago), Sisters Festival (Sisters, Oregon), Ottawa Blues Festival (Ottawa, Canada), Peer Festival (Belgium), Tonderfest (Denmark), Westerpop (The Netherlands), Austin City Limits Festival (Austin), Kerrville Music Festival, Bricktown Music Festival (NY), BBQ & Blues Festival (NY). Big Muddy Blues Festival (St. Louis), WC Handy Festival (Henderson, KY), Cincinnati Blues Festival (Cincinnati, OH)

• Music featured in the films The Waking Life, The Newton Boys, Hands on a Hard Body, and Before the Music Dies, among others.

• Guy has shared the stage with BB King, Ray Charles, The Neville Brothers, Ben Harper, John Hammond, Carolyn Wonderland, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dr. John, and many others.

• Album Love Songs: For and Against was a Billboard chart’s Top Ten Blues Album

“Texan Guy Forsyth and his band, especially built up for the occasion, offered late Saturday evening one of the best concerts of this Cognac Blues Passions festival. It is utterly rare that the festival asks the same artist to come back for a second time in a row, but since he made such an impression in 2011, Guy Forsyth had received carte blanche to set the stage of the Blues Paradise on fire, which he did with enormous power, energy and intensity.” - Philippe Ménard, Sud Ouest

“The insanely talented multi-instrumentalist can put on one hell of a show, alternately dazzling and amusing audiences on a musical journey that ventures from ragtime jazz and Delta blues to socially conscious folk and rollicking modern rock.”  – Texas Music Magazine

“Pick a weapon – harmonica, composer’s pen, saw, bandleader baton, voice, guitar – and Forsyth will display his formidable skills, particularly onstage, where the Austin showman shines.” – David Lynch, Austin Chronicle

“More than a white bluesman, Forsyth mines the deep seams of American music traditions, emerging with fuel to feed the soul. The range of sound is amazing.” – Jeff Spevak, Rochester Democrat

“He and his excellent band brings a titillating game of Texas blues and Americana to help you lick your fingers. In addition, Guy is an entertainer at heart.”

– Nineke Loedeman, Blues Magazine, Netherlands (2015)

“The man also has Peer Blues again offered a great band, no matter what George Rarey can play guitar! Personally I find this a very good move, Guy is so much freer to perform. Guy Forsyth a huge fan-base has witnessed the fact that the audience chant the titles of the older hits...what a giant, this musician! Frankly, this performance is the best reporter and photographer ever saw: Guy Forsyth came, saw and conquered! I say buy this new album!”– Arjan Vermeer, The Blues Alone (2015)

“...bursting with talent, both with his band on stage and in his music. Today we hear a lot of blues work with great attention to harmonica and guitar in a four-man line-up. It's also nice that his texts harboring substantive interest, which inevitably translates into compelling storylines and musical arrangements”

                      – Frank Jacobs, Live Acts Belgium (2015)


Band Members