Keeping the spirit of Old School R&B fresh and alive for new generations of listeners, David Garfield has a longstanding tradition of creating dynamic, freewheeling re-imaginings of songs by legendary soul artists both live and in the studio.
Following his worldwide Top Ten radio hit “Let’s Stay Together,” the veteran Los Angeles based keyboardist, composer, arranger and recording artist digs deep into the great Stevie Wonder’s catalog for his latest single, the slyly funky, brass-fired “Go Home” – a Top Ten Pop hit and #2 R&B hit from In Square Circle that’s been a staple of Garfield’s live performances for years. Released on Garfield’s independent label Creathcy Records, “Go Home” is currently charting high on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart and worldwide elsewhere, with L.A. Music Critic Robert Leggett writing, “sweet sound featuring strong saxophone and guitar, great upbeat rhythm, awesome background vocals and a catchy melody throughout.” The song impacted radio August 7 and is now available for streaming and digital download.
IndiePulse Music recently interviewed the hard-working musician, here’s how it went.
IPM: Why did you choose to cover Stevie Wonder’s song “Go Home” as your latest single?
DG: It was always one of my favorites from back in the day. Used to play it on my gigs, too, as an instrumental.
IPM: With an amazing plethora of musicians at your fingertips, how did you determine who would record with you on “Go Home”?
DG: I wanted to use great funky players so I picked some of my faves. I also reached out to (saxophonist) Kirk (Whalum) because I wanted a real “Soulful” approach on the sax.
IPM: What was the recording and performing vibe like as an integral member of renowned world-jazz collectives, Los Lobotomys and Karizma?
DG: We had so many GREAT times performing all over the world and had a HUGE following here in LA. Once the fire marshals shut down our show at The Palamino because there were too many people 🙂 Great people would come by and sit in with us all the time: Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Sheila E., David Sanborn, George Benson, just to name a few. We sold out many venues in Europe and especially in Germany and Scandinavia. Also Japan and Indonesia.
IPM: Let’s discuss your songwriting partnership with the great Smokey Robinson. How did that come to be?
DG: I started working with Smokey on his CD “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” as an arranger and collaborator in the studio. We had great chemistry so we ended up writing two songs together. George Benson recorded one of them and both will be on my new project.
IPM: You’ve been in the music industry a long time. What are the major changes, in your view, that have had the most impact on the business, both good and bad?
DG: No more record stores!!! The digital transformation has changed every way we can earn a living with our music. Also, many of the younger generation of musicians now have gone to college, and have had all kinds of technological aides in learning and making music like You Tube and Internet-related lessons & instruction. We had VERY little to work with when I came up.
IPM: You’ve enjoyed a long working relationship with the great George Benson, who you’ve also been Musical Director for since 1986. How has that impacted your career?
DG: Working with George has opened me up to so many situations and given me so much exposure all over the world. It also has been an invaluable experience to collaborate with an artist of his stature and talent. It can rub off a little.
IPM: What are a few of the most memorable concerts you’ve performed at?
DG: Opening for Miles David in Berlin back in the 80’s…sitting in at a special Stevie Wonder Tribute concert with Stevie and Herbie Hancock on “Another Star” …performing at Carnegie Hall after McCoy Tyner and playing on the same piano performing with George Benson, Joe Sample, David Sanborn, Leon Russell for Quincy Jones at Montreux Jazz Fest. There are SO many!!!!
IPM: If you weren’t a full-time musician, any idea what other career path you might’ve pursued?
DG: Counseling or Cooking.
IPM: With the ever-changing face of the professional music business landscape, what’s the best advice you can offer a young musician today?
DG: Learn and get familiar with all styles and learn the technology side too…software and hardware. Learn piano even if that’s not your instrument and learn to read music as well as study pop and jazz theory & harmony.
IPM: Best online links. website, etc. to keep up with David Garfield?
(Catch David Garfield & The Cats in concert at Bogie’s Bar at the Westlake Inn, from 7-10pm, on both Thursday, October 19 and Thursday, November 14; also at the 20th Annual Carlos Vega Memorial Birthday Concert at Alva’s Showroom in San Pedro, on Sunday, December 20 from 4-6pm).