Dubbed "an American roots musician of the highest order" by Texas Music magazine, Guy Forsyth is something of a musical shaman. As a singer, songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player and bandleader – as well as actor, martial arts devotee and master of the rare art of playing the musical saw – his goal whenever he steps onstage or into a recording studio is to create magic. "Music is at the core of every religion in the world," notes Guy, "because it allows us to transcend."
Born in Colorado, Guy lived a nomadic youth as his family moved through such places as New York, Connecticut and California, before landing in the Midwest. As a result, the radio and his parents' record collection became his closest regular companions. By his teens, Guy had fallen under the spell of punk rock and insurgent folk music. At 16, he started playing harmonica and soon after got his first guitar, cutting his teeth as a musician in garage bands. But the siren's song of the blues caught his ears, and soon the wide-eyed Guy was sneaking into local nightclubs to catch some of the old blues masters.
"I was struck by lightning," he recalls. "It was just a man and a guitar and a harmonica around the neck. It was so accurate at getting to an emotion, getting to a place. Just this man with an acoustic guitar, but it was more powerful than the punk, electric blues or Tin Pan Alley I had seen. I just thought to myself, that's what I want to do."
Guy eventually settled in Austin after hearing "it was like a graduate school for musicians." Starting out playing for spare change on Sixth Street, Guy rapidly rose to the head of the class as he worked his way up through the clubs and put together the Guy Forsyth Band. The group's fierce and distinctive style reverberated so widely that Guy cut his first album, the live disc High Temperature, for a Dutch label before signing with Austin's legendary Antone's Records. With his new label, Guy produced "Needlegun", "Steak", and "Can You Live Without". Guy followed these releases with his self-produced album, "Voices Inside".
And it's only the beginning for Guy, who sees his role as a musician as more than just a gig and in fact something of a higher calling. "There has always been a place in society for the musician and facilitator," he says. "If I can do anything it would be to create music that transcends boundaries and uplifts the spirit."
And in that spirit, Guy will no doubt continue to unearth profound and valuable musical fundamentals and fashion them into something new, original and invigorating. "To paraphrase Bob Dylan," concludes Guy, "Any day you're not busy living, you're busy dying."
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