Steeped in the solitude of the mountains and islands of the Pacific Northwest, raised in the boisterous and irreverent East Vancouver arts community, Jack Garton’s music is a dance party for the vulnerable at heart. In the lineage of Weird and Wonderful Canadian songwriters Leonard Cohen, k.d.Lang, Corb Lund and Geoff Berner, Garton’s songs alchemize brokenness and pride, and celebrate the sheer “absurd difficulty of being alive” (Geoff Berner) with wit and grace. Over the last ten years while touring Canada, the USA and Europe, Garton has developed a distinctive voice on the accordion, mixing cajun, european and country styles with ease into an exciting roots music feast. Whether backed by his powerful band the Demon Squadron or solo, armed with an accordion and trumpet, his shows are theatrical, fluid, confessional, and fun. They reflect a lifetime of devotion to the art of live music as well as an impressive breadth of life experience including his roles as a father and husband, local gravedigger, theatre artist and music teacher.
Garton’s upcoming release “Move the Mess Around” is a manual for living with commitment, set to a roots roller-coaster soundtrack courtesy of his loyal band the Demon Squadron.
“The sound is punchy and bright, with the instruments perfectly
coordinated.” -Tony Montague, Georgia Straight
“Jack Garton will save the accordion” – Trevor Nichols, Jasper Fitzhugh
“This is a really catchy, well-written singer/songwriter/accordion record. The musicianship is solid, it’s well recorded. Clever rhymes, an overall point of view about just the absurd difficulty of being alive. I like it a lot.” -Geoff Berner.
‘Move The Mess Around’ Album Pre-order!
Pre-order Jack Garton’s new album ‘Move The Mess Around’, gain access to behind the scenes music, lyrics and more!
Home. I started making this record a year ago upon returning home from a long tour presciently named by singer/songwriter Shara Gustafson the Equinox Tour of Love, Lust, Greed and Other Small Miracles. My day job at the time was producing an album with Martin Reisle and Steven Drake of 50’s style showtunes for a play I was also starring in. I hadn’t seen much of my family in a long time, a fact that would bring those stinging tears creeping whenever I remembered.
My band was still young to the world but powerful, like Hercules in the cradle. My mind was lean and taut from nights of leading them into the musical unknown, and days of the grueling touring regimen. We played, drank, loved, prayed and ran together across mountain towns and highways, exploding across the Northwest like a firecracker, for the brotherhood and the music. If you’ve never experienced this particular Fool’s Joy then you’ve dodged the sweetest bullet, I think, there is.
Arriving home, the air was hot and sticky but we went headfirst into Stone Canyon Studios in East Vancouver where Steven Drake pressed onto tape the sound of our nerves sparking and hearts on a rolling boil. To say I’m proud of the captured performances wouldn’t come close. What you’ll hear is the sound of each player squinting into the crosshairs at their own fears and limits, and blowing them away one by one like as many empty cans on fenceposts.
In the end, there are too many people to thank individually here for making the recording possible. There were many, and I am so grateful. I hope you’ll enjoy the sound we made. It’s the sound of coming home.
Please join us in this stage of the album’s growth to help it see the light as a beautiful vinyl record, and take an intimate tour behind the scenes at some of the art in the making. By pledging here you will receive a download of the album and access to updates as it comes to life. Let’s get to know each other a little better.