Joe Garvey

Joe Garvey


My original works are well received, as are my interpretations of alt artists like J. Buckley, DeathCab, J. Arthur, etc. Principal organizer of 2008 KC J Buckley Tribute and performer at the 2007 Paris JB Tribute, audiences love the brightness & purity of my vocals, both solo and with full band.

Sitting with a guitar on a concrete bench in front of the Old Town Theater in Wichita, Kansas, Joe Garvey felt at home. Playing on the street eliminates the hassles of schedules and contracts and lets the music flow as openly as the Kansas wind. Less-hurried passers-by would stop occasionally to listen to a few songs on their evening treks, tossing in a handful of spare change. From this outdoor venue he'd strum an acoustic to tunes by Joseph Arthur, Green Day, Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, and many other musical influences. But in just one year's time, Joe would leave the openness of Old Town to play in front of a packed crowd in Paris and his musical career would make a fast-paced lift-off.
Like most rock musicians, Joe was taken by music at an early age. Unlike most of those same musicians, he was not inspired to pick up the guitar until he was 16 years old.
"Most people think it's funny that 'Maria Maria' was the song that inspired me to play guitar," Joe recalls. "It wasn't even a rock song; it just featured one lick by Carlos Santana that was played over and over. I knew my dad played electric guitar so I asked him to play the lick for me. It was the first time I had seen a guitar actually played in person. It wasn't a good first impression. I thought it sounded like hell, it was way too loud and screeching." Nonetheless his father said to “take these guitars and play what you want with them.”
After that first impression, Joe left the guitars idle for a few more years. However, in 2004, he discovered Jimmy Page (of Led Zeppelin) and quickly became enthralled with their multi-layer style.
"I wanted to be just like him Page," Joe says. "I must have watched 'The Song Remains The Same' and listened to 'Early Days' at least a thousand times."
From then on, Joe never put his guitars down. He quickly developed a preference for the acoustic. Over time a primitive set list (consisting mostly of Zeppelin tunes) emerged, and Joe continued to build on it. Periodically, he played shows with a friend (Alex Hatfield) in his basement for their relatives and friends. Their support grew, and it inspired the two teens to start a band, featuring a bassist/keyboardist Ryan Dunbar and drummer Kyle Nitcher from their high school. Often times, the band (named Council of Nine), would incorporate Joe's younger brother Tom Garvey as an additional guitarist or fill-in bassist. The band played through Joe's junior and senior years in high school, at small venues like local battles of the band, pep rallies, and church festivals.
In November of 2006, another monumental introduction occurred. Joe discovered Jeff.
"'Hallelujah' was the first song by Jeff Buckley I’d ever heard; a radio station had listed it among the top 20 rock-n-roll songs of all time and yet I’d never heard of it," Joe remembers. "It was just one of those great, huge things that happens musically. Before I started listening to Zeppelin, I idolized R&B singers like Brian McKnight and Musiq Soulchild. Jeff was sort of the middle man. He had that dynamic, soulful, acrobatic voice that I had grown up emulating. He also had the harder rock side that I was currently playing. When I first heard Jeff I was playing System of a Down covers in my band, but I knew it wasn't really the kind of music I wanted to make. Nothing was the same after 'Hallelujah'."
'Hallelujah' would continue to play a large part in Joe's life. He played the song to a capacity audience at his high school's annual choir concert and talent showcase in 2006.
"I never received applause before like that in my life. It was unreal. I was in love with the song, but it was one of those alternative-sounding pieces. I didn't think the crowd I was playing to would get it at all. I had people coming up to me after that performance telling me they had been in tears. People I had never met or seen before came up to me and told me they had come back for the second night's performance just to hear that song again. I guess that just shows how powerful the song really is, and Jeff Buckley's version takes it to a different level of powerful."
Fast-forward to the summer of 2007. The scene is a bustling street in a not-so-bourgeois neighborhood in Paris, France. Joe Garvey walks with his head down and guitar case in hand towards the Hard Rock Cafe. Later that night, he will join about a dozen artists (most of them European) to play at the first annual Jeff Buckley Tribute-Paris.
"I actually lucked out on getting booked for the show. I had a bunch of online music videos up. 'So Real' and 'Lilac Wine' were a couple of the Jeff songs I was shown playing on YouTube. Apparently, the organizer of the show happened across these videos. She got in touch with me immediately telling me she wanted me to come to Paris to play. So there I was, across the Atlantic, on stage at the Hard Rock. And it was packed. Jeff was huge in France. People had been standing in a li


He's the Virus, You're the Rapist

Written By: Joe Garvey

"Leave the powder on the floor
put the handle by the door
rip the paper by the sink
makes you friendly, makes you weak

bring your boyfriend, take his hand
make him different, take a stand
play your song, when it's over
start to dance

and watch him go

abuse the freedom, hit the streets
the air is misty, sweet relief
lost the boyfriend, take a stand, you're alone

i'll watch you go

all of my dreams are just memories i refuse to believe

wipe the powder from your eyes
made you different, your disguise
made your stand, now your hands touch his thighs

on the subway to your room
the air is dripping death's perfume
he's the virus, you're the rapist he can't shake

he's got the drug
but not the dime
he'll wait

all of my dreams are just memories I refuse to believe"

If We Were Together

Written By: Joe Garvey

"If We Were Together"

Kiss the hands of your lovely daughters
One by one give them away
I'll tell you what you want to hear
But I can't give you what you need

If my car starts I swear I'll leave this one-horse town
Your heart will guide my restless mind
You'll find yourself in my arms again
You've got my time

If I was alone with you, if we were together

Circle around the block a couple of times
Find the perfect place beneath the stars
We'll hold each other close before I have to leave
Your hand's in mine

You ask me what I think of this world
My answer's clear but lost in time
Get out to walk beside the trees that line the sidewalks
And my mind slips into the night

If I was alone with you, If we were together

I didn’t see you before, but I see you now (live version)


"Samhain", released in 2006, self-produced compilation of original tunes. Newer songs are frequently streamed via MySpace or my own website, As an assistant sound engineer at KU, I've founded a new label, Red Glitter Coffin Records, and plan to release some amazing sound in the near future.

Set List

Set list typically includes original songs as well as songs by Jeff Buckley, Joseph Arthur, the Killers, Bright Eyes, Green Day, John Mayer. I'm always learning, and writing, something new.