Guy Forsyth biography
It’s been a long and dusty, winding road for Austin singer/songwriter Guy Forsyth that’s lead to a recent surge in praise over his dazzling live shows and his rich Americana roots sound. Forsyth (vocals, acoustic, electric, & slide guitar, harmonica, ukulele, singing saw), along with Will Landin (bass/tuba) and Rob Hooper (drums/Cajon), bring a unique mixture of styles such as folk, rock, country, and Tin Pan Alley to create a sound that’s as heterogeneous, raw and compelling as America itself. You’ll hear powerhouse vocals deliver energetic yarns about love, the government and the apocalypse, to name a few, as Forsyth and company squeeze everything they have into each song and rarely come up for air.
Forsyth brought his skills as a stellar live performer to help found and make infamous nationwide the theatrical acoustic group The Asylum Street Spankers. He gave Wammo his first washboard and Christina Marrs her first guitar and ukelele. His time with the Spankers touring and recording 5 albums added to a wealth of earlier unique experiences in his life – working as a stuntman in renaissance shows, busking on the streets of New Orleans and playing on a mountain top in Nepal – which provided him musical fodder to be refined in the songs of Forsyth’s numerous solo albums. The release of his latest, Calico Girl, which features new songs as well as re-recordings of some of Guy’s most popular songs from 1999's Can You Live Without, marks the fourth album for the record label he started in 2002, Small and Nimble Records.
Guy is known today as a musician with gripping, powerful vocals as well as a master of numerous instruments. He started his musical development first with singing, and began playing harmonica at 16. Shortly thereafter he heard a very distinct and overwhelming sound on Kansas City radio that changed his life; it was Robert Johnson. After that, he borrowed a guitar, fell in love and learned to tune it with his feet from a friend who had lost both his arms in an accident. In college, he lasted a single semester at the University of Kansas, and then he found the music he had been seeking – gritty, organic folk and blues, “from a practical hands-on, gears, joints and joists level.” And he struck out to learn it.
Since then, he’s been awarded an Austin Music Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2005, as well as numerous other AMA’s over the years in categories such as Blues and Best Miscellaneous Instrument Player (singing saw), among others. Last year’s 2-disc live record, Unrepentant Schizophrenic Americana, was received very well by critics and fans alike.
In the past year, Forsyth has stepped up his touring significantly to reach fans in the Southwest, Southeast, East Coast, and Midwest United States, as well as continuing to play in Europe several times each year. Guy has been featured in a number of large festivals recently, including the Austin City Limits Music Fest in 2005 and 2007 (Austin), High Sierra Music Festival (Northern California), Los Alamos Festival (New Mexico), BBQ & Blues Festival (New York), Tonder Festival (Denmark), and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival (Belgium). He will continue broadening his tour base throughout 2008, taking his live show to new cities and festivals. His confirmed appearances upcoming this year include Chicago’s American Music Festival, the Ottowa Blues Fest, Kerrville Folk Festival and Rochester’s Bricktown Festival. Forsyth has opened for and shared the stage with musicians such as BB King, Ray Charles, Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Vaughn, Dr. John, Robert Cray, among many others.