James McGarvey

part folk. part rock. all soul.


Perfect Strangers

On the Star-Spangled Banner

Guest post from my lovely wife, Maggie, today. She’s also trained as a singer, so has some great insights on singing the National Anthem (although, her tips can be applied to any performance too). Check out what she has to say.

On Life and Other Adventures

The Star-Spangled Banner, our much maligned National Anthem, has gotten a bad rap for being “the hardest piece of music to sing.” This myth has been propagated by any number of bad performances by celebrities (including some world class musicians) and the advent of the internet. Never before has it been so easy to find and share bad performances of the Anthem.

Can I tell you a secret? It’s actually really easy to sing.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been watching and listening as James helps prepare our friend (his Perfect Strangers) band mate Stefaniefor her performance at the January 27thLA Kings game. Here are some of the notes he’s given her, along with some of my observations from years of performing (and watching performances of) the Anthem.

Find your first note.
Most performances of the Anthem begin their flame out on the first note because…

View original post 1,131 more words

Life in La Mesa

After spending a couple of weeks in Oceanside, we’ve migrated further south to La Mesa, CA.

I spent a couple of afternoons up in Carlsbad, practicing for the upcoming Perfect Strangers debut show (Sept. 10th @ the Wrench & Rodent in O’Side); then I started taking in some of the local scene down here in San Diego and the surrounding areas.

I have to say, busking at Ocean Beach may be my new favorite thing; I’ve met some great people, and the view is pretty easy on the eyes.

Tonight Maggie and I had a quick dinner at DiMille’s in Normal Heights (possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had. Seriously, the spicy Alfredo sauce is the bomb dot com). Then we headed over to Java Joe’s to check out their Sunday open mic. It was quite an experience to play on the same stage that so many incredible artists have performed on.

Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting (among others) our host for the night, Isaac and next week’s host Nina. Both of them are excellent performers, and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from them.

In other news, we’ve got our internet connection figured out, so I’m planning to update much more frequently; so keep watching this space for news, and the Gigs page for places you can come see me play.

James McGarvey playing at Ocean Beach


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