Blue Note

Guy Forsyth

Michael Henningsen
2 min read
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Call him Transformer Man. It's not very likely that Neil Young had Austin-transplant Guy Forsyth in mind when he wrote the song of the same title, but hey—if the sentiment fits. …

Since 1990, Forsyth has pretty much run the gamut when it comes to American roots music. With the Guy Forsyth Band, the then 30-year-old singer-songwriter-showman explored the electric blues emanating tirelessly from his Central Texas surroundings. In the mid-'90s, Forsyth shifted gears dramatically as leader of the renowned Asylum Street Spankers, who remain one of Austin's greatest exports, rendering '20s pop music in a purely acoustic light. After leaving the Spankers not long after the 1996 release of their debut, Spanks for the Memories, Forsyth turned his focus back to his solo work, emerging late in 1997 with Can You Live Without (Sire/Antone's).

Another album, Speak, emerged just over a year later, which saw Forsyth returning to his roots, so to speak, picking up where the Guy Forsyth Band left off and shoving forward. Hints of Marty Robbins, cabaret music and hot Texas roots akin to the rocking blues sounds of Stephen Bruton and Bocephus King pop in and out all over Forsyth's solo outings, as does his unmistakable charisma and showmanship (so far as either can actually come across on record). His new album, the self-released Love Songs: For and Against, contains all the aforementioned elements and more—a certain maturation of his songwriting now allows him to write both as participant and observer rather than just one or the other, as the album's opening track, “Long Long Time” makes perfectly clear.

Live, Forsyth is even more chameleon-like than his records would have you believe—he moves from thoughtful introspection to, as he's known to call it, “late-night voodoo-drums sex ritual” like a freight train through a mattress factory. A consummate performer, Guy Forsyth is about to set the Bosque on figurative fire.

Guy Forsyth appears Wednesday, May 25, at ye olde Bosque House Concert at 7:30 p.m. with guest Wendy Colonna. Visit for tickets, directions, details and all kinds of other stuff having to do with upcoming AMP concerts. Or call 842-5073. si

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