In a day of digital trickery in the music world, it may be tempting to think the impossible guitar sounds credited to John Garris are merely a product of the latest simulating software. His craft is one that must be seen to be believed, and as his travels have rarely taken him outside of his native North Carolina the man and is music has a mythical element about it.
A multiple contest winner as a youth, he began playing in a family band as a three-finger style banjo player early in the 1980’s and was well on his way to developing into the enigmatic guitar rumor he is today when he met Rex McGee in 1987.
His playing pushes multiple technical boundaries of the possible on acoustic steel string guitar with regards to volume, speed, tone and abundance of creativity. His stylistic versatility makes Kripplekrunk possible as many guitar players may be able to excel at a couple of genres, but his mastery of bluegrass, jazz, swing, Irish, rock, funk, and multiple ethnic musics normally would require 3 or 4 players.
Always ready for a in depth musical conversations pertaining to theory and vintage instruments, John is armed with a passionate knowledge of all things guitar, be it polishing a turtle shell picks or lecturing on modal jazz chord substitutions.
He remains a sought after teacher on guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and dobro. His multi-instrumental tendencies extend to rumors of some incriminating video footage of him playing the autoharp. Much of his public performance has been as the fiddle player for traditional bluegrass band Big Fat Gap. He has done occasional duet performances with Rex McGee. John recorded with Rex, Danny Knicely on Ryan Cavanaugh’s 2007 release Songs for the New Frontier.
He has lived in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 2001. All decent autoharp players can hope he stays put and that some things remain myth.