Guy Forsyth Back To The Roots

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole HagenGuy Forsyth is one of my all time favorite Austin musicians. I have written about him on this blog before, and Friday night I saw him at another pre SXSW late night show at the Saxon Pub. I can’t count all the different settings I have seen and heard him in, everything from solo, with a tuba, with the Asylum Street Spankers to a pop band setting some 10 years go. This time he was reunited with his old compadre George Rarey, and he played one of the best sets I have ever heard from him.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

I won’t repeat Guy Forsyth’s musical history, but suffice to say that he is a multi-instrument man, with a special focus on guitar and harmonica. His bottle-neck slide work and harmonica playing is outstanding, and Friday night we also got a long awaited song with a musical saw. Best of all, his band sounded better than I can remember, much thanks to adding another guitar, and having excellent musicians on bass and drums.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

Guy Forsyth’s formula is not necessarily original, but it is effective. He has always been a retro man, finding inspiration in old blues and folk, and many of his bands have been modern versions of what I imagine blues bands from the 30’s. But he has his personal touch on his delivery, and with a strong and characteristic voice, he stands out.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

This summer Guy Forsyth will release a new CD, The Pleaser. At Saxon he and the band played some of the songs from this album, and I am already looking forward to hearing it. Luckily for some of us, he also played some of his old songs, since this year is his 20 year anniversary as a recording artist. Songs like Taxi, Mona and the walkabout song Pay To Lose are all great songs, and it was a pleasure to hear them again.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

As he did the first time I saw Guy Forsyth with his band at Antone’s some 14 years ago, he did a pit stop at the bar for a drink during Pay To Lose. And as an added bonus, we also got Over The Rainbow played on a musical saw with George Rarey on guitar. The song has been a favorite of mine for many years, and Guy Forsyth’s version is one of the best in all it’s quirkiness.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

Guy Forsyth plays regularly at the Saxon Pub and also at other clubs in Austin. He has also played a lot in Europe, and the last time I saw him in Norway, was at the Blues in Hell festival in September, when he played with Carolyn Wonderland and her band. I hope he keeps his current band for a long time and that he comes back to Europe and Norway soon. His live show is great, his playing excellent and the band is tighter than I have heard in a long time.

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

Guy Forsyth @ Per Ole Hagen

All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.

1 thought on “Guy Forsyth Back To The Roots

  1. Pingback: SXSW 2016 – The First Saturday Night | Artist Pictures Blog

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