MP3 Bill McGarvey - Tell Your Mother
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, ROCK: Americana
Singer/songwriter, Bill McGarvey, was born the fourth child (and only boy) in a family of five. Bill showed musical promise very early on in his life, writing his first song, "Big Brown Bear," at the tender age of eight. Flushed with pride at his accomplishment, he walked across the second-floor hallway of his childhood home and sang the song for his older sister, Patty. After a 20-minute rendition of "Big Brown Bear" at top volume, his sister threw him out of her room and locked the door behind him. Undeterred, Bill headed downstairs to the family TV room - quietly humming his new ditty to himself - when the muse suddenly struck once again. His second song, "Big Brown Dog," and third, "Big Brown Cow," came to him in a mad burst of creative energy that afternoon. Never before had McGarvey been so overpowered with musical inspiration, not even at age ten when he penned the timely "Don't Get Homesick" to his sister, MaryShiela, baby-sitting down at the Jersey shore.
His parents were quick to recognize the undeniable talent taking shape under their own roof and seized the opportunity by signing young Bill up for piano lessons. Following a difficult first lesson (in which he threw up at his teacher's house due to her use of "chunky" peanut butter in the peanut butter crackers she made him for lunch), he settled into his musical instruction quite nicely. Though his teacher tried valiantly to interest her young pupil in the great classical composers, McGarvey couldn't be swayed from his devotion to mastering his beloved "Marine Corps Hymn." His love for the military, however, wasn't matched by his love of practice. And at the end of his second year of lessons, tragedy visited the youngster. While performing the "Marine Corps Hymn" for the second straight year at his recital, an enormous case of stage fright gripped McGarvey and caused him to freeze up on stage for a solid three minutes. Humiliated, he stopped taking lessons immediately and entered into a long period of self-examination. This phase, now referred to as McGarvey's "Off-White" period, stretched out for several years. During this time, he toyed with the idea of becoming a professional basketball player and a priest.
In the ninth grade, however, the need to create overpowered him once again. This time it came to him in the form of the drums. After begging his parents for 15 months straight, he received his first drum set for Christmas when he was 14 years old. After an awkward start on the instrument, Bill began paying his sisters back in earnest for all the torture they had inflicted on him throughout his childhood. He played as loud and as long as he could in the back of the family's TV room, all the while insisting that he didn't want his practicing to interfere with their favorite programs. Sweet victory was his.
Following a protracted period that some refer to as his "college" years - but which McGarvey prefers to call his "leaving home and being forced to learn in a strange new place" years - he moved to New York City, found a one-room basement apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, and began to play drums for various NYC bands, including Winter Hours, The Vipers and The Liquor Giants. It was around this time that Bill was introduced to Stephen Dima at the foot of the stage of New York City's legendary club CBGB's and a partnership was born. McGarvey began to get the itch to move out from behind the drums and write again and approached his new friend with the idea. Dima seemed interested at the prospect and asked young Bill about his past writing experience. McGarvey excitedly told him about the "Big Brown" animal-song trilogy that he had penned in his early years. Dima agreed to write with him anyway.
Together, this time with McGarvey out in front singing, they formed the band Valentine Smith. After releasing three records, extensive touring and garnering critical praise from the New York Times, CMJ, the New Yorker and Billboard Magazine (among others), McGarvey set his sights on making a more intimate record than he could with a band. Equipped with 4-Track and 8-track tape machines and ProTools recording software, he set up a studio in his kitchen and began recording his new songs--playing most of the instruments himself.
His debut solo cd, entitled Tell Your Mother, is the culmination of McGarvey's experience making music and has resulted in his most personal record yet.
Recently dubbed "the quiet architect of SuperPetulaCinemaPop" McGarvey's melodies feel like they're being beamed directly into the new century from a 60's AM radio deep in his soul, where he combines them with an intelligent, slightly fractured and completely personal lyrical perspective clearly tuned into the details of the present.
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