Houston Calling

David Garza

September 9th, 2003 · No Comments

I?ve thought about this for a while now, and the performance I saw last Thursday night at The Continental Club in Houston once again convinced me that David Garza is one of the best performers in music today. I know, I know, sure David Cassidy and Celine Dion might sell out shows in Vegas, and Brittany and Christina might kiss some old has-been on stage in an attempt to shock the world, but my money?s on David (say it ?Dah-veed?).

This Texas musician has been playing music since the late 80?s in Austin (he studied classical guitar at The University of Texas, where he started his first band, Twang-Twang-Shock-A-Boom–worst band name ever), throughout Texas, and around the country. He released many albums on his own Wide Open Records, but in the late 90?s the music industry finally took notice and Garza was signed to Lava/Atlantic.

He released the critically acclaimed This Euphoria in 1998, his songs appeared on compilation CDs and soundtracks, and he toured on MTV’s Campus Invasion tour with Sugar Ray and Orgy (he sounds like neither act, thankfully). He appeared on a Best Buy commercial, in major magazines, and played with the likes of Ben Harper and Juliana Hatfield (and even produced some of Hatfield?s songs). Comparisons to Jeff Buckley abounded. Billboard compared him to the likes “trailblazers such as Prince, David Bowie, and Donovan.”

But one of the best things about David Garza is seeing him play live.

I first saw Garza circa 1992 during college and was hooked. I have followed his career and have seen him perform several times over the past few years. Every show I see reaffirms my faith in the fact that, despite all the shady business that happens within the music industry and the number of bands that get screwed on a daily basis, musicians can still do it themselves if they really have what it all boils down to ? talent.

And David is dripping with it.

Not only that, he?s a nice guy. He has a good time on stage. He talk to fans, jokes with his band, and even plays acoustic sets to those fans who choose to stick around after the main set is over. Last Thursday night in Houston, close to 60 fans stuck around after the show while Garza sat on the floor and played half a dozen old songs that fans wanted to hear.

What musician does that?

In 2002, Garza released his second CD for Atlantic, Overdub. “Absolutely mind blowing” said one review. Incessant touring followed, and Garza took up residence in Los Angeles and played numerous shows at Largo, many of which were bootlegged and are available online. Garza played everything from coffee houses and Borders bookstores to mainstream concert venues in support of the album. Overdub gives fans a special treat by including Underdub, a set of MP3 demos of the songs that appear on the album. It is a great thing to be able to hear what he started with, maybe on 4-track, and then to hear the final version on the album itself.

Garza has even gone the Danny Elfman route and has entered into the flim industry by writing and playing instrumental tracks for director Robert Rodriguez?s hit film, Spy Kids. He also released a limited-edition CD of instrumental songs that are available only at shows.

When Garza comes to your town, be sure to make an effort to go see him play. I highly recommend any of his albums and am patiently awaiting his next release.

More information on David Garza can be found at his website.

Now Playing in My iPOD: Doves — Lost Souls

Tags: Music