Garrett Gardner Comes Home to Ringwood
and Reveals Why He Just Might
Become the Voice of His Generation!

A Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch

Indie rocker Garrett Gardner recently graduated from Lakeland High School in Passaic County, New Jersey. But, more importantly he not long ago received an advanced degree in the ins-and-outs of the music industry thanks to appearances on Season 3 and Season 4 of NBC's hit television show, The Voice.

Garrett Gardner Comes Home to Ringwood and Reveals Why He Just Might Become the Voice of His Generation
Multi-instrumentalist Garrett Gardner on guitar in Ringwood.

Team is a Ringwood-based news organization and we only began to get into The Voice in 2013. When we learned that Garrett Gardner is a longtime Ringwood resident our ears perked up and we had a hometown hero to root for. Gardner returned to his roots when he played a special afternoon concert on September 29, 2013 at the Ringwood Public Library (RPL).

Garrett sings, writes and also plays guitar and keyboards. He is currently fronting a four piece band called The Greater Good and they took the stage at the RPL for friends, family and the fervent fans who made the trip out to support the rising star. The town's local library is itself a musical mecca as they have been hosting concerts on Sunday afternoons for over a decade. Since Garret is a "homegrown talent" he was an ideal artist for the on-going music series at the RPL.

Garrett - who won a spot on team Shakira - finished as the season 4 Top 12th finalist. The Voice was an excellent opportunity and learning experience for the high school senior. Now, a graduate, Garrett is building on his name recognition and the skills that he acquired on The Voice to pursue a career in music. Instead of jumping right into college Gardner has decided to take a year off to take advantage of the opportunities being on the show has provided - and his gig at the RPL was just one of many scheduled in the immediate future.

Garrett greeted the crowd and played two songs on an acoustic guitar allowing his voice to be the focal point. He had an expressive range that ran from graceful to gritty in a good way. Another thing we liked about Gardner 's singing style was that he sang clearly so that the words of the song spoke to the audience.

Gardner called up the band and they performed "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse. Garrett gave the song a soulful feel and The Greater Good added a jam to it. As a group they played well together. Their set was a mix of covers, originals plus a number of Beatles songs. The first was an engaging version of "Taxman". Garrett Gardner and The Greater Good put their own unique spin on the tune but kept it within the traditional structure. They utilized this technique throughout their set to strong effect.

Garrett mentioned that they had been writing and working on a lot of songs recently with the hopes of releasing a record soon. They presented a few of their originals including "The Valley" and "Chess". Both were vibrant sonically and visually demonstrating that they have skills in song craft as well as presentation.

Garrett Gardner Comes Home to Ringwood and Reveals Why He Just Might Become the Voice of His Generation
Multi-instrumentalist Garrett Gardner on keyboards in Ringwood.

The next Beatles tune they tackled was "She Said" a song of layers yet The Greater Good crafted a cool spacey effect without any studio tricks. Garrett is willing to tackle serious subject matters and social issues with his own music. He shared that a song that he had recently penned would be featured in an anti-bulling movie that was coming out in October of 2013. "Enemy" was a descriptive dialogue about the pain of getting picked on with riffs and rhythms punctuating these points.

"Hustle Man" was an upbeat bluesy tune with a bit of grit. Garrett Gardner and The Greater Good performed a fine montage of Beatles classics that began with St. Pepper that transitioned into "She's A Women" and "I've Got A Feeling" with the later receiving a more up-tempo treatment. They also performed a beat heavy rap/hip hop song.

Garrett talked about the movie "Searching for Sugar Man" with a brief summary about the film before playing a crafty "Crucify Your Mind" by Sixto Rodriguez. They closed with a song that Gardner wrote called "Out of Place". It was a catchy pop rock tune with a jam that had us thinking it had a John Mayer vibe. Sure enough it then segued into John's "Olivia" to close their concert at the RPL on an energetic note.

The crowd in attendance ranged from young to old with several preteens from the town's middle school perched in the front row. There was also a number of young women in the audience revealing the magnetic "sex appeal" Garrett first showed on The Voice. In fact, one young lady braved New York City's Port Authority alone for the first time in order to make the pilgrimage all the way from Brooklyn. This bodes well for Gardner's future as a successful music career relies in part on a dedicated and passionate fan base.

At times this show felt a bit like we were all invited into an intimate band rehearsal. There was noticeable chatting and positioning going on between band members to decide what song to play next. While we really enjoyed this concert it probably would have gone off better if a setlist had been decided on beforehand.

If Garrett Gardner truly wants to become the voice of his generation he needs to make sure his message is as equally clear moving forward. The potential that Shakira first saw in him on The Voice was apparent throughout this show and it will be fun watching him turn his musical dream into reality as his journey unfolds.

Garrett Gardner Comes Home to Ringwood and Reveals Why He Just Might Become the Voice of His Generation
Garrett Gardner and the Greater Good are a modern band with classic rock roots.

Related Links: For more information on GARRETT GARDNER and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Garrett Gardner | The Voice | Ringwood Public Library

(Originally Published on October 03, 2013)




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