Music News

For Chris McGarry, middle America is both home and inspiration

Chris McGarry grew up near the banks of the upper Mississippi; it was in this environment that his parents first exposed him to classic country and gospel music. But like many people who grew up in the '90s in middle America, he got into Nirvana and then dabbled in jam before discovering Bob Dylan. Listening to the latter inspired McGarry to explore Dylan's influences in the kind of works Alan Lomax collected to establish the Archive of American Folk Music. Upon moving to Colorado, McGarry (due this Friday, September 7, at the Walnut Room) became fascinated with the local bluegrass scene — and that influence, along with elements of traditional American folk, can be heard on Bare Bright Halos, the latest release from his band, Chris McGarry and the Insomniacs. Like The Band with modern sensibilities, these guys are no snoozers.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.