VOLUME 1 | ISSUE 21 | Richard Garvey

Richard Garvey and His Bicycle Tour

by: Tessa Jennison

I like Richard Garvey, as a human and as a musician. He’s honest and genuine. He writes environmentally-driven, feel-good, organic folk tunes. And he tours on his bicycle. That’s right…on his bicycle.

Most musicians pack a van with gear and people before they hit the road. With all of those amps, instruments, hardware, and merch, (not to mention all of the other general stuff like clothing, food, and beer), it’s hard to imagine going on tour in anything smaller than a mini-van. But Richard Garvey likes to keep things simple, stating, “I’m not trying to prove a point or anything with the bicycle tour; it’s just the way I prefer to travel.”

Two years ago, Richard took his first bicycle tour all the way to Tobermory, pulling a small bike trailer behind him to hold his guitar and equipment. He typically goes by himself, pedaling 30-60 km a day to his various gig destinations, making new connections and meeting new friends at each stop.

“Last time when I went up to Tobermory I met a really nice guy who’s a retired musician. He’s a farmer now, and that’s kind of the life dream, I guess, so I like to go hang out with him. Tobermory is a good town if you’re a busker.”

This summer, Richard is heading out on the road again, promoting his album To Grow. This tour will take him to Ontario’s west coast, including a stop at Goderich’s historic East Street Station.

“It’s probably one of the most beautiful venues I’ve played in Canada. It’s an old train station, and they do a coffee house like, once a month or so. It’s a really beautiful space. They do yoga classes and workshops all week. It’s very health-oriented. The owners and founders of the space are very, like, on the same page as me. They’re very passionate about well-being and community-building.”

To Grow, Richard’s second full-length album, is a true realization of his collaborative artistic nature and sense of community.

“I recorded it at my house. I hired my friend Jeremy Bernard to be the engineer, to mix and master it. We had a house show. About 15 people came and it’s just a sing-along recording session. I recorded a CD in 2009 called To Become. It’s more of a spiritual journey towards well-being.”

Richard has big dreams for the future, including a full cross-Canada bicycle tour, and a European tour.

“I’m hoping to go to Europe in 2013. When I was in university I met a lot of people who were exchange students. I’d really like to go and visit them. A lot of them were from Germany and France and Austria. So I think that’s a pretty do-able path.”

Richard’s Bicycle Tour kicks off at Kitchener’s Cafe Pyrus on June 2.

For a full list of tour dates, songs, and other neat stuff, please visit: www.richardgarvey.ca

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