Monday, December 10, 2018

There Are No More Solo Appearances



Some thoughts over coffee.

Hello. You’re looking fantastic today.

I bootlegged breakfast with my Grandpa. I am listening to September 10th’s breakfast while I eat December 10th’s. Grandpa’s wife has just entered the kitchen to tell us that she sees no storm clouds, despite the approach of Hurricane Florence.

Grandpa is pushing ninety, but he’s got a young wife. She walks several miles a day without breaking a sweat. She is 2 SLY 4 U.

Grandpa’s friend comes in and tells us about the gold coins he found down in Corolla after the previous hurricane. Sly looks at him with suspicious eyes.

While I play my forty-ninth melodic blues groove of the morning on my smooth-as-butter Martin guitar, Grandpa says, “the locals drive the beach road.”


Route 12

Thursday, November 29, 2018

"It's A Very Shakey Deal"

this is a silly song that I wrote last night. it was still in my head this morning, so I asked my friends Max Ostrich and Randy Sleeze to add some backing vocals to it. "It's A Very Shakey Deal."

it has a swear word in it, so make sure to not play it at the Lame People Convention.

it's a very shakey world
it's a very shakey deal
so hand my credit card
right to Uncle Neil

Saturday, November 24, 2018

"How Did You Do That, Mr. Joe?" (debut performance) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

Mr. Joe and Dad liked each other a lot. They are both among my invisible audience members. I just wrote this song a few days ago and wasn't planning to play it at Songs For Dad until I noticed that my Mr. Joe's daughter was in the audience.

In one of the verses, I sing about the moment that my late, great girlfriend Marcella and I happened upon Mr. Joe and Auntie Donna on a street corner in New Hope. Big changes were coming for all involved, but my lyric zeroes in on this perfect moment. Mr. Joe was happy to see me happy with my very Italian girlfriend.

out on the corner
Love Saves The Day
me with my love
you with the same

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"Dead Flowers" (with Righteous Jolly) (The Rolling Stones cover) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

Righteous and I have sung together in restaurants, churches, parks, basements, hospice rooms, theaters, bars, gymnasiums... A better singer than me, and with 7.6 times more personality, being on-stage with this gifted shapeshfiter is like floating on a cloud. Here's The Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers."

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"Stories We Could Tell" (John Sebastian cover) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine" (Gene Autry cover) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

I don't have holy books, but I have a few albums that radiate a special kind of light. The type of light that can help guide your way. One of these works is called 'Songs Our Daddy Taught Us' and it's by The Everly Brothers. Some of this stuff had been around for hundreds of years, even back then in the 1950s. My dad taught me what their dad taught them; now I pass it off to you.

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"Graceland" (Paul Simon cover) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

Dad and I went to Nashville, Tennessee twice, checking out sites like the Ryman Auditorium, RCA Studio B, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, The Country Music Hall Of Fame, Musicians Hall Of Fame, The Johnny Cash Museum. On the second trip, he was dealing very poorly with the heat and spent a lot of time in the hotel. One morning, though, Dad surprised me by asking if I'd like to go to Graceland. Google Map it - it's not close! All these years later, I don't remember the grueling drive (well, maybe a little) - I remember Dad and I going to Graceland. Graceland. In Memphis, Tennessee.

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"Wake Up Little Susie" (The Everly Brothers cover) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

As a little kid, Dad brought the music to me. And not just records and CDs; he took me to see The Everly Brothers about once a year all throughout my childhood. The opening acts included people like Chet Atkins, Dion, and Nanci Griffith. I was exposed to the best of the best very early on and it's probably why I love writing songs and performing so much today. Here's my first favorite song - The Everly Brothers' "Wake Up Little Susie."

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

"I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes" (The Carter Family) and "Hear The Wind Blow" (Trad.) (w/ JJ) (live at 1867 Sanctuary)

I'M THINKING TONIGHT OF MY BLUE EYES / HEAR THE WIND BLOW

Today is Dad's first posthumous birthday. Two days ago, we did a tribute concert for him in a nineteenth-century church in Ewing, New Jersey.

While my sister beamed each song's specially chosen photo onto the church wall, we performed about thirty songs, including about eleven that I wrote this year about Dad and some of the people he loved. I was joined by some of the best singers and instrumentalists in the area. Jenny Cat on grand piano, Frank Burk on violin and backing vocals, Nick Crocker on guitar and backing vocals, and Righteous Jolly, James Feichthaler, Pam Crescenzo, and Nelson "JJ" McGarvey as my special guest vocalists.

JJ was not able to make it due to logistical issues (like, the ultimate logistical issues), so I played a recording of him singing in about 1970 on a karaoke machine and sang along with him. Here are The Carter Family's "I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes" and the traditional song "Hear The Wind Blow." I'm glad that my then-teenaged Dad had the foresight to make those recordings.

Thanks to Bob and Helen at 1867 Sanctuary Arts and Culture Center for everything, and thanks to Nick Crocker for recording everything.

Friday, November 2, 2018

"Count The Colors" (Backyard Version)

Hello. Here I am, performing my song "Count The Colors" in my backyard. It was around midnight and unseasonably warm. It's not the easiest to sing, but I tried hard to hit the notes for you.

When I sing this song, I think about the Good Shepherd Penn Partners hospice facility on South Street in Philadelphia, I think about the beautiful and spacious Bucks County property that Marcella grew up on, and I think about the forest and reservoir at Churchville Nature Center and the way it always leaves me feeling calm and happy.

I wrote this song on November 1, 2016. Around this time, the songs were coming fast. My notes suggest that I wrote "Something So Beautiful" the next night. With this project - memorializing my late girlfriend Marcella in song - I wanted to take my time. She'd been gone for two years at that time and I was beginning to figure out what I wanted to say and exactly how to say it.

Now, two years after that, I've played these songs at bars, campfires, and farmers' markets all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I've used my GoFundMe money (thank you!) to record some of the songs with a great band that I called The Roadside Leaves.

I'd written a few hundred songs before this one, but this is the one that showed me what my life's purpose is.

The funny thing is - if I'd had my druthers*, I would've finished the recording of this album sometime last year, way before the album's bookends - "Honey Bear" and "When You Are Sleeping" - were written. Funny the way things work out.

Anyway, thanks for listening, everybody.

*Hey, has anyone seen my druthers? They're size 9.5.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Sweet Relief

October 8, 2018: Yesterday, with the strong coffee, the Gatorade that Zayn Malik left at the studio, a successful recording session with Joe Falcey on drums, and blissful stroll/snack/drink in Doylestown, I was high as a kite. We finally cut "Here In The Future" from Count The Colors (For Marcella). I’m shocked that I slept.

Friday, October 12, 2018

"All You Need Is Love" (live at Newtown Theatre)

thanks to Matt Dorsey for his excellent performance but also for this video of the ensemble ending the night with "All You Need Is Love." as you can hear, Newtown was in good voice that night.


Greg McGarvey sings The Beatles for Dad at Newtown Theatre

Here is the set that I played at Newtown Theatre last night. Five songs by The Beatles, the last being a dedication to my late dad Scott. I've wanted to play this room since we did the premiere of Gina Andreoli's film Gemini Rising here ten years ago. Everybody at the theater (theatre) was so kind. Thanks for such a great reception, Bucks County!

Thanks, especially, for giving Dad a round of applause.

video by Dr. Nicky

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

"No Grays And Blues" (office version)

On Sunday, I’m going back to the studio to record the ballads from the ‘Count The Colors (For Marcella)’ album. All those songs mean a lot to me, but this one is especially profound as Marcella wrote all the words.

It started with a letter that she wrote me and arranged to have mailed to me after she died. A few of the lines resonated with me so strongly that I knew I needed to turn them into music.

There are lines from text messages she sent me, too, including a poem she wrote after our first date, and a reference to the illustration and phrase that she left on a walking bridge in the forest at our favorite park. “Cancer can kill you or it can awaken your soul to a life you never knew existed.”

What a beautiful gal she was. Here is one of my tributes, “No Grays And Blues.”

Love and be loved.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Something So Beautiful" (bathroom version)

Gone today for four years, I present a song that I sing for Marcella at almost every gig I do. It’s called “Something So Beautiful” and it will be on the ‘Count The Colors (For Marcella)’ album.

Another thing I can tell you is that the shower curtain is from Target. Nice, right? Always makes me want cookies and cream ice cream.

FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY

Four years ago today. I think that she would be proud of who I am today. She has so much to do with it. Like my Dad, I know that she’s still with me every step of the way. They are among the invisible crew that I travel with. 

I’ve gone to the cemetery a few times, but I don’t feel her there. I feel her when I sing for her. 

She’s so many things, including one of my main source of renewal on the days of self-doubt. Marcella is a place where I go to regain my focus. Where I go to remind myself of my purpose. 

It was in the aftermath of her passage that I pushed myself to write music was worthy of her. That changed everything for me. 

Also, she seems to have performed a little miracle for one of her loved ones today. 

I am also grateful to have a partner with a big enough heart to allow me to take Marcella with me. Thanks, Nicky. 

To everyone I mentioned here, I love you. Thanks for reading. 

NYC 2012



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"Cleansed In Waves" (bedroom version)

New shirt, new glasses, new notebook, and new song. It’s all black except the song... although the song’s main character DOES wear a lot of black.

I hope you like my new song, “Cleansed In Waves.” I wrote it today. Thanks to my friend Marianna for making this song an intercontinental journey.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I invite you

I saw the prettiest face the other day at Goat Hill. the way her eyes change when she smiles and the colors that the sun reveals in them. like her paintings, no matter how close you look, there’s more to see. she is steady like those big cliffs that overlook my favorite towns and the river between them. don’t let them tell you she’s not a rock chick. I kissed her on one just the other day.

we watched the July 4th fireworks popping off the Maine coast from the ocean ten miles away. I couldn’t take the picture so she painted what we saw.

this brilliant cascade of notes burst out and I imagined a psychedelic bouquet, hyperblooming in a cartoon-in-real-life vase. an aggressive kiss from my guitar to my Celestion Blue speaker. times like this when chance intervenes. I prepared well for the job, but the moment itself was the genius. I breathe well around that kind of air.

I said to my good friend: you and me have drank some of the same water. cosmically and otherwise. he smiled and agreed.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

"Here In The Future" (live in New Hope with Jenny Cat)

here in the future, I'm still on this ride
and I feel you reach out to me from the other side

video by KaosMusicPromotions
written by Greg McGarvey
from Count The Colors (For Marcella)

Friday, April 27, 2018

"Delilah" (Tom Jones cover) (with Righteous Jolly and Kwamee Geez) (excerpt)

"Terri & J.R. (Gammy & JJ)" (live at Manny Brown's)

I wrote this tune about my grandparents this week and debuted it at my neighborhood bar.

I recall the carefree moments of kid adrenaline and family love, running around their yard in Dunellen, New Jersey. I wasn't allowed to touch JJ's guitar, but, as a photo that's famous within our family proves, I did.

When I turned eighteen, they restored that old Gibson and gave it to me. I wrote some tunes like "Future Tense" and "If It Helps You Dream..." on it.

My mom often feels that they are somewhere in the vicinity, checking on my dad during his ongoing time of need. They're free to fly, and fly they do. Thanks, guys. Love you!





did you ever meet Terri and J.R.? she played the fiddle, he played guitar.

Terri and J.R. stayed together for life like John and June. like old people used to.

back in them old days when the phone stayed on the wall and we weren’t always on call.

did you ever meet Terri and J.R.? now they’re free to fly and fly they do

mashed potatoes and Camel cigarettes. the smell of the laundry vent. country music station and fresh-cut grass. running round the yard. under the clothesline. everything was fine. Terri and J.R. were always nearby.

Terri and J.R. I called ‘em Gammy and JJ ‘cause I don’t talk too good.

they’re right down the road, right near where I live. you can visit anytime.

they told me I can't touch that old Gibson guitar, but if I bide my time, maybe it'll be mine!

sometimes I go and sing their favorite tunes. in crazy times like this, I do imagine that they’d know what to do.

"Blueberry Hill" (Fats Domino cover) (live with Righteous Jolly and Kwame Geez)

"Blueberry Hill" (Fats Domino cover) (live with Righteous Jolly and Kwame Geez)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

"Mrs. Tyler" (For Stella Tyler) (live at Newtown Book & Record Exchange)

This is, I imagine, the debut of this song that I wrote in 2007. In it, I imagine spending an Indian Summer day with the late, great sculptor Stella Tyler. Her old property - now split between Tyler State Park and Bucks County Community College - is one of my life's great spiritual recharging stations.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Just Show Up

JANUARY 17 - “I feel actually quite lucky!” a posh English toddler announces while sliding into the chair beside me. Accents like this only surround me when I leave the apartment. Although it would be pretty interesting to get up for a 4 AM pee and hear a little English ghost child talking to me. “A li-uhl much wah-taw then?”