Reviewed by Kit Burns
John Garr probably doesn’t ring a bell. And please don’t mistake him for John Parr, the cheese rocker who had a mid-’80s hit singing the theme song for St. Elmo’s Fire. Who is he, then? Garr is a baby-boomer bluesman with a creative range that reaches into the ’50s and stretches into the ’80s heyday of the AOR format. However, don’t call this retro. First of all, Garr’s lyrical subject matter isn’t defined by a particular decade. “Leave Me Alone Blues,” for example, is a timeless ode to drunken isolation wherein Garr doesn’t want anybody seeing him cry in his beer. But Garr isn’t moping; he’s simply unleashing his devils inside as his band joins the sad-sack party with explosive sax, muscular drumming, and jumpy piano.
Secondly, Garr doesn’t fall into a single category. Free from any record-label restrictions, Garr is able to strut whatever sweet tooth he has buried within from the light reggae of “I Love You Baby” to the pop jazz of “What About Love” to the rockabilly of “Failure to Communicate” to the downtrodden blues of “I Get It From You.” What the – ? Indeed, Garr has more ideas in his brain than most artists that are supposedly at the peak of youthful fertility. Save me a beer, man.