Million Miles

Garrick Rawlings

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Million Miles is Garrick Rawlings’ debut release, a collection of 10 self-penned, self-recorded songs ranging from quiet introspection to loud protest.

As stated in the opening cut, “Just Passin’ Thru,” Garrick was born in Wichita, Kansas and grew up in a small town in Southwestern Michigan. “Sturgis lies at the midpoint on an old Chicago-Detroit Indian trail, now called US-12,” explains Rawlings. His mother was born and raised in Chicago, daughter of Greek immigrants, while his dad is from farm country in central Illinois as described in “Lincoln Penny.” “I had the best of both worlds; growing up in a small town environment, along with plenty of exposure and time spent in the city of Chicago. I started out working on farms and then in the factories that fed the Detroit automotive industry.”

Garrick’s Midwestern roots and adventurous Western migration are all over these songs. He started playing electric guitar early in high school and has been at it ever since.

Garrick reveled in the aggressive rock attitude emanating two hours northeast of Sturgis in Detroit (the aftermath of the MC5/Stooges era,) and was exposed to massive amounts of blues and some jazz two hours southwest over in Chicago. “When I was living in Chicago, I had the good fortune to hear many brilliant blues musicians. This one guy, Lefty Dizz, played in a nearby dive after Cubs day baseball games. I watched and listened to that guy I don’t know how many times and could never figure out why nobody had heard of him. He liked to take about jamming with the Rolling Stones at Buddy Guy's club”.

“Dizz was a tiny guy with a west side, uptown look, one of those guys who always wore a suit and had all the moves onstage. He had a wonderful twinkle in his eye, a marvelous grin and loved to drag his guitar along the floor with one hand while playin’ licks at the same time with the other hand. He had a beautiful, nasty tone and played southpaw on a right-handed Strat, strung right-handed. Dizz never really made any proper records before he died in ‘93 but did record a decent one-off with Louisiana Red. I learned later that he did have a reputation as a hotshot gunslingin’ guitar cat, but he could never be found! I was damn lucky to have wandered into that bar one day; I soon had a regular stool! There was a play based on his life performed in Chicago for a while after he died.”

Moving a Million Miles away to Los Angeles, Rawlings survived by working numerous jobs in the film industry and; "I was really at a loss artistically until I discovered the solo works of Dave Alvin and Tom Russell along with rediscovering MC5 songwriter/guitarist Wayne Kramer, and his rebirth as a solo artist. It finally dawned on me that I needed to get it done myself, my own way, like those guys.”

Around this time, Rawlings was getting to know Ramblin’ Jack Elliott through mutual friends. “Of course I was and am a huge Ramblin’ Jack fan and was thrilled to meet and hang out with him. Jack’s wife/manager/road manager Jan always made sure to get me backstage to say hello when he was in town. Sadly, Jan got very sick and then died way before her time from a liver ailment, leaving Jack heartbroken and alone with gigs to play. I was available at the time and for better or worse, became Ramblin’ Jack’s road manager. Along with his usual solo appearances, I was fortunate enough to be along for shows with Merle Haggard, John Prine and the Everly Brothers and some great Cowboy Poetry Gatherings. There’s no way and not enough hours in the day to describe the value and good fortune of the time I spend together with Jack -my god- he started out with Woody Guthrie!”

Garrick’s music is neither traditional folk, blues nor rock and roll. “The best I can describe it in terms of comparison, with no intent of insulting the masters, is Neil Young meets Johnny Cash meets Led Zeppelin meets Wayne Kramer meets Dave Alvin meets Tom Russell meets John Prine meets…well, you get the idea.

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