Jeremy Garrett (of the GRAMMY-winning Infamous Stringdusters) is taking the next step on his own artistic journey with Wanderer's Compass, his latest album, out now from Organic Records.
Showcasing an ever-expanding list of inputs and influences — matched by innovative performance techniques and technologies that enable him to use his arsenal of fiddle, guitar and mandolin to create an infinite variety of sounds — it’s a diverse set that captures the singer/songwriter mid-stride between his personal bluegrass past, and a wide-open future.
Opening with an inspired take on world music master Jai Uttal’s 30 year old “Footprints,” Garrett presents originals interleaved with a startling array of covers of songs by writers ranging from an Israeli pop singer to Coldplay to Jimmie Rodgers — the latter, characteristically enough, by way of bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. There are staples of his solo shows, like the studio duet with guitar maestro and labelmate Jon Stickley (“I’m Not The Enemy”), and new songs written in the heat of troubled times (“The World Keeps Turning Around”), several with award-winning frequent collaborator Jon Weisberger. For each, Garrett has chosen a unique arrangement, with some offered in pared-down, acoustic instrumentation and others in more elaborate, technology-enabled settings that have taken him into new territory for a solo roots music performer.
“The idea of a Wanderer’s Compass really sums up for me what this collection of songs is all about,” he offers. “I think it’s completely respectable to follow one path in music and be really good at that one thing — but like a kid eyeing a candy store, I am one who’s been drawn to the periphery of that path along the way. I grew up listening to so many styles of music, and even though Bluegrass was my main focus early on, I can’t help but embrace other styles of music that have also influenced me over the years. Music from pop, world, country, hip hop, bluegrass, rock, soul and gospel, have had powerful impacts on me and my style.”
“This collection of songs is about exploration and discovery,” he adds. “An exploration, in the sense of bringing these styles together in a simulation of what could be a playlist to see how the songs and feels can complement one another. A discovery that, if you let art take you wherever it wants, it can push you beyond comfort into a realm you might never have thought possible.”
Secure in his gig with the Stringdusters as they head toward the 15th anniversary of their award-winning recorded debut, Jeremy Garrett is nevertheless intent on making his own way as a solo artist, too — and what better way to guide that journey than with a Wanderer’s Compass?
Listen to Wanderer's Compass HERE.