Electric Cowboy Ballads EP

by Michael Garfield

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about

Three new recordings on voice and solo electric guitar (Oh electric guitar, where have you been all my life?), recorded in Austin and San Marcos, 2018.

My life as a singer-songwriter is understated, passionately soulful but not something that I flaunt around. It is, however, closer to my sense of self than being a live painter, or a futurist, or essayist. Playing guitar and writing music are, I think, the best ways I know how to get a point across. These songs say more with less than I seem to be able to in other writing, or in conversation.

I wrote the closest thing I've ever made to outlaw country, "Don't Fret," in 2001; I wrote the tender neuroscience anthem "Always Catching Up" in 2015 as part of the windfall from an ayahuasca mishap; and I never actually wrote "Electric Improvisation in D Major" to begin with, just attuned to its always-already-ness and let it speak through me. So you're hearing a wide swath of my inner life and musical identity in three relatively short movements.

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Michael Garfield Austin, Texas

Lush, atmospheric, and ecstatic tunes erupting from the intersection of acoustic and electronic music – pedal-heavy. percussive acoustic guitar psych-western Cosmic Americana. Marrying the singer-solo-guitarist and electronic live producer, Michael welcomes listeners into driving and dynamic, emotional and groovy spaces spanning folk tradition and the avant-garde. ... more

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Track Name: Don't Fret
I'm in constant distress while you're near, I confess
but I chill by listing all the reasons why I should sidestep that mess.
Still I'm curious about why I'm living in doubt and without.
Do I really think I'll never make it right?
It's why I lose sleep at night.
But don't fret; I'm fine.
Don't lose your mind if it's over mine.
Maybe you think that I make excuses and deny and avert my eyes,
inflate my fears and cook up reasons not to try,
and yeah you're right.
But one day soon I'll make amends.
Lord knows I should break these trends.
But until I do I'll wallow, weep, and spend too much time in bed.
But when I gave up on my hope for solid ground,
I found that disconnection is okay.
When one holds on too tight, it slips away, alright...
And my aesthetic breaks my neck.
It starves my heart to feed my head.
But just because I've slept alone for quite some time
doesn't mean that I'm crying.
So don't fret; I'm fine.
Don't lose your mind if it's over mine.
Track Name: Always Catching Up
Time's not a river; more like a landslide.
Arrows in quivers, breaking inside.
Every shiver, molting a new life,
needed and given, stride after stride,
you're always catching up.
You can't be helped to respond to what it already gone.
You're ahead of yourself, lapped by your ghost on the life track,
short rope in the well, unraveling more for more slack.
You're a flaming caboose, punctuating the past,
flagellate prop in the juice, bringing up a fast pack's back,
you're always catching up.
You can't be helped to respond to what it already gone.
But walking, according to physiologists,
is a controlled fall forwards,
and toddling to tottering, all of us
are always one step from and one step toward.
But life's just like that.
Languages grow at the rhythm of walking pace,
and every idea we inhabit is seconds behind your Original Face...
You're always catching up.
You can't be helped to respond to what it already gone.
You can't be helped to move on,
pushing the river that started this song.

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