Bayfield-based musicians Garrett and Callie Young want to tour. Everywhere. For a young band, playing a show in all 50 states is a challenge, but not unattainable; a band should have a business plan and some realistic goals, and with travel being one of the fringe benefits as well as a necessary part of being a successful musician, it should be at the top of the to-do list.
As one half of The Garrett Young Collective, brother and sister – Garrett, who plays lead guitar and sings, and younger sibling Callie, who plays rhythm guitar and sings – are well on their way, having knocked out about 10 states in their young but busy career.
They both realize it’s the most grass-roots way to gain listeners.
“We try to expand as much as we can because it’s so fun, and it’s cool seeing new places,” Garrett said. “You totally have to do it; it’s the best way to meet new people and make new fans.”
The Garrett Young Collective, which also features Mike Owens on drums and Schyler Healy on bass, will perform Saturday night at the La Plata County Fairgrounds for the La Plata County Fair Dance, with guests Ted Hockenbury joining them on steel and Jeff Johnson on fiddle.
There are five years between the siblings, and music has been a part of their lives for as long as they can remember. Garrett was raised on a hearty dose of classic rock and old-school country, while Callie’s first record purchase was “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac, followed by The Beatles’ “Let it Be.”
Influenced by her older brother, Callie is a fan of storytelling within songwriting.
“Growing up around his bands and getting to sing with them from an early age, I found a love for all of the music that he listened to. As we grew up and he started writing more and more, I followed in his footsteps and found my love for songwriting,” she said. “I write songs and then take them to Garrett, and he always finds an amazing guitar riff to add, or some way to add his touch and make the song that much better.”
When performing, the band plays a combination of Garrett and Callie’s originals along with a number of covers. Last year, their self-titled debut was released; Garrett connected the dots between old-school country and classic rock, doing so via influence from Reverend Horton Heat, an indie musician bridging the gap between the country and rock ’n’ roll with a punk-rock bridge. You hear that all over the record and then some, as the album dips into cowpunk and two-stepping twangy country, blues-rock and slacker-ballads, with Garrett’s vocals accentuated by the subtle backing vocals of his sister; it’s a sublime pairing, and with the rest of the band, a nice package of rock ’n’ roll.
The band is getting back into the studio with a new record slated to drop later this year. With more live shows on the way, the band knows the way to keep moving toward success is to keep playing.
“One of the coolest things is it’s just like this sixth sense when you’re on stage, being able to interact and do things on the spot with your band. You get into these grooves that you couldn’t necessarily do before, its super cool just tightening everyone up,” Garrett said. “We’re really lucky, we have a really tight, tight crew and we all get along so well. We hang out all the time; it’s so fun to be hanging out with your best friends all the time and getting to play music.”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.