Over the Years
The fourteen numbers on the album are in fact a retrospective of seventeen years of writing, recording, producing and ultimately performing. A common thread running trough the album is the thoughtfully intricate mix of Mississippi hill country, down-home and delta blues; all of which Garry has been honing with a passion. He and his music have evolved together into a rich tapestry of highly evocative acoustic, electric and steel picking for the 21st century. Whether the message in the music focuses on everyday humdrum or political and ecological issues, the music is always fresh and invigorating. Very fine album indeed. Brian Harman Blueprint, England Some demo Reviews Garry is but one of the talented legions of stalwart players in the blues world who have tirelessly and studiously 'toiled' for their craft in their own particular blues furrow, performing within the blues circuit in his native Delaware for a good number of years entertaining the public by feeding their passion for good high quality blues, sadly though without any particularly notable success in the wider blues world. He nonetheless maintains a busy working schedule performing in clubs, pubs and at festivals. At the age of nineteen he thought he was a pretty mean guitarist until he went to a Folk Festival in Washington D.C. in one particular blues workshop he witnessed for himself the immeasurable talent, skill and spellbinding storytelling abilities of 'Sleepy' John Estes; from that one performance he realised that if he wanted to aspire to play anything like 'Sleepy' John Estes he had an awful lot to learn and an even awful lot more practice to put in. Over the next two decades he continued to improve and expand his playing skills and repertoire; early in his career Garry studied under the watchful eye of Philadelphia Jerry Ricks; when asked about Garry's ability as a guitarist Jerry has been quoted as saying that "He's so good it's scary." Garry plays in a very fluid and flat manner excelling at finger picking, especially in the Hammer Stroke Style. Over the years Garry has released a steady flow of high quality self produced CD E.P.s which have contained excellent examples of his highly original material, which amply displays his inspiring and dexterous guitarwork. Bafflingly he has yet to make any significant impact on the established major labels. One fact that should be noted is that before George Thorogood hit the big time with his band the Destroyers he spent his formative years under the mentorship of Garry and in March of last year when George returned to Delaware to play there for the first time since two thousand and three he emotionally welcomed Garry onto the stage of the Delaware Grand Opera House in Wilmington with his band The Complainers to not only share the bill but also to join George for the second encore of the evening and the final guitar solo . So although Garry may not be at the top of the tree his roots are deep and with this his latest E.P. A richly mixed piece of Americana, (which has a satisfying running time of over twenty five minutes) he shares vocal and writing credits with Shannon Hale, who co-wrote "Pow-Wow trail." Of the three other numbers; Garry wrote "I found you" and "Native American," a profoundly moving and tersely melancholic statement on the treatment of the Native American and the land from the first settler to the present day. Last, but not least a rather splendid laconic slowburning cover of the classic "Route 66." Garry plays guitars and is backed by his band the Complainers, who are; John DiGiovanni; drums and Jerry Kirk; bass and Jimmy Crawford is guest drummer on "Pow-Wow Trail." This is a gem that should be sought out! Recommended! Brian Harman. Blues musicians are not that common these days; even less so are good ones; rarer still, guitarists as adept on electric as acoustic. Narrowing it down even further, how many link the blues of the twenties with a major world event of the modern era? Then, once we have specified these criteria, who is left who can demonstrably still claim to be pushing his music forward? There is one man, well-respected in his native Delaware and recognised internationally. He was directly inspired by veteran blues legend Sleepy John Estes himself, and his accompanists sometimes include members of George Thorogood's Destroyers, the act chosen to represent the blues at the global (and now also legendary) Live Aid concert. This man can turn in a mean Delta blues when he wants to, or he can recreate and adapt the sound of British blues-rock; but he also recorded most recently with Native American Shannon Hale, bringing to mind the currently very popular, driving, deep Mississippi hill-country sound whilst addressing the concerns of the 21st Century. This man's name is Garry Cogdell, of course. Norman Darwen (Blues & Rhythm, Blues In Britain, Blues Matters magazine, and others) January 2010.