Published on April 30th, 2002 | by Gerry Galipault0
Garrison Starr takes off with ‘Landing’
After two heralded but commercially unsuccessful albums for Geffen in the late 1990s, Garrison Starr seemingly vanished. The Mississippi native’s name even popped up on Pause & Play’s first “Where The Heck Are They?” list, but no one could locate her.
That was just fine to Starr.
“I didn’t know what people were saying about me,” she said recently, “so I wasn’t under any pressure from people thinking, ‘Oh, you’ve got to put out another record.’
“I heard through the grapevine over the years that people were looking for me. I was taking care of my own business, so I didn’t have time to worry about it. It gave me the freedom to get back on my feet again.”
As she tried to regain her confidence in her new adopted hometown of Los Angeles, Starr worked by day handing out movie passes for film screenings and by night playing at The Mint on West Pico Boulevard.
“It was my home away from home in L.A.,” Starr said. “I was able to develop a following again and comfortably break in new songs.
“It took a while to get out of that record deal and hook up with a new manager. There were times when it was agonizing. I started over again, but it was an important process for me to go through.”
Without it, Starr may not have created such an engaging album as her Back Porch/Virgin debut, “Songs From Take-Off to Landing,” released on March 12.
Spurred by longtime friend and fellow songwriter Clay Jones, Starr fashioned such reflective, yet optimistic tracks as “Big Sky” and “Silent Night,” the latter featuring the harmonies of Mary Chapin Carpenter. Elsewhere, notably “Serves Me Right” and “Gardenia,” she displays a rootsy American folk-rock sensibility.
“After all I went through, I knew that the only thing I had control over was finding ways to make music,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, I did my fair share of complaining, but I decided to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.
“A lot of that is reflected in the songs, how I came to realize that I needed to reassess my position in the world and going out there and making some changes.”
That revelation came during a flight from Nashville to Los Angeles as she looked out the plane window and saw a new world.
“That’s when I realized it was probably going to be a long journey, with plenty of surprises and learning, knowing I had no idea what was in store for me,” she said. “That’s where I got the idea for the title, ‘Songs From Take-Off to Landing.’ It’s not so much about where you’re going; it’s about getting there.”
Already, Starr is garnering rave reviews, including a glowing write-up in Billboard magazine.
“This is a special record that people are going to connect with, I hope,” Starr said. “I just hope it has a chance to get out there. Whether it’s successful or not, I don’t know. To me, success would be getting a chance to live within this record for a while – and be able to do another one.”
ON THE WEB: www.garrisonstarr.com.
BWF (before we forget): The Garrison Starr album discography – “Stupid Girl” (Red Fade, 1996); “Eighteen Over Me” (Geffen, 1997); “24-7” (1998); “Songs From Take-Off to Landing” (Back Porch/Virgin, 2002).