Local Talent: Garrington T Jones
Garrington T Jones has his son to thank for getting him back into the local music scene.
Back in the seventies he played in a number of bands around Worcester including one with the unlikely name of Thunderbox! After that life got in the way and he didn’t pick up a guitar again until 2007. At the time, his son Ryan wanted to become a sound technician and began working with other musicians. Watching them perform, Garrington decided it was time to dust down his guitar case and start playing again.
‘It was Carol Lee Sampson who inspired me to pick up my guitar and have a go’ he says. (Carol is another amazing local singer and guitarist) In February 2008 he got on stage again for the first time in nearly three decades and since then he’s not looked back.
Garrington is very dedicated to crafting his performance style. ‘I have to work at it all the time’ he tells me. ‘I’ll play for two or three hours every day, otherwise my fingers will go soft! It’s a case of constantly exercising the voice, the fingers and the brain.’
A lot of his time goes into writing lyrics which have a definite storytelling thread running through them. He says it means a lot to deliver a song that will inspire the listener, perhaps even making them curious enough to find out more about the story it tells.
Although he often plays solo, Garrington did spend a few years playing in a band with another strange name. ‘I was asked to play at a Blues festival at a time when my sound was very folky’ he remembers. ‘I called Noor Ali (another great local guitarist) and asked how many blues songs he could play. Between us we could manage five each which was enough for a set, so we went along and managed to pull it off. After that someone asked me if he could book our band so I made up the name Stompin’ on Spiders!’
Stompin’ on Spiders was eventually put on hold, but Garrington likes to perform with others and he’s been doing what he calls a ‘G&T mix’ with Tone Tanner, when they turn up at a venue and take it in turns to play a number. He’s very grateful to the many other musicians around him who inspire him and help him to write and perform. Without them, he says he couldn’t do it nearly as well.
Since March he’s been busy working on eleven new tracks with the expert assistance of Dave Draper, an opportunity that Garrington describes as ‘a real privilege’. The new album comes out this October and it’s called Abyssinia, inspired in part while watching an old episode of the classic tv series MASH. I’ve had the chance to hear some of it, and I have to say it’s going to be a cracker!
For details on future gigs and more about the new album, take a look at the Garrington T Jones website, www.gtjones.co.uk