Live At The Evening Muse
Singer-songwriter Mike Garrigan has gone on record as saying he believes traditional bricks-and-mortar record stores and established record label models will be defunct in a few years. With the demise of chains such as Sam Goody and the major labels in turmoil, Garrigan believes solo artists and indie bands can be well-positioned to take advantage in the future.
Certainly, if his indie contemporaries showed the same commitment to excellence as demonstrated on Garrigan’s first DVD release Live At The Evening Muse, then there might be an increased willingness amongst aspiring musicians to forego the traditional belief that a major label deal is the be-all and end-all.
With numerous independently-released solo albums under his belt, a devoted live following and now a professionally produced and packaged DVD, the Greensboro-based artist is a shining example to other indie artists that you don’t need a major label deal to have relevance in today’s multimedia-dominated music industry.
You do need talent though, and as Live At The Evening Muse demonstrates, Garrigan has this in abundance. The DVD of an acoustic solo performance in July 2005 collates songs from his time in the alt-rock band Collapsis, as well as solo material dating from 1994 to the present day. From the powerful “October” and the intense “Gravity Affects Me” to the poignant “November” and the emotive “Sour Milk,” Garrigan’s fans will be delighted with the track selection.
Producing a DVD on a budget is a difficult task, but with the assistance of local filmmaker Chip Roop, Garrigan has delivered a product to be proud of. There is the odd shaky camera shot, but the varied photography overcomes the challenges involved in making a solo gig interesting and watchable, and the atmosphere and intimacy of the performance has been expertly captured. The mix by Joe Kuhlmann provides top-quality sound and Garrigan’s detailed and insightful commentary adds another dimension to the songs and the overall show.
Live At The Evening Muse is a triumph on so many levels but perhaps the biggest achievement is its price of $12: if an indie artist can sell quality product at such an inviting price, then the demise of mainstream record store chains could come sooner than even Garrigan predicts.
Mike Garrigan: www.mikegarrigan.com