As a comedian, Rick Garrett has opened for such notable jokesters as Jimmie “J.J.” Walker and Indianapolis’ funniest Elvis impersonator, Dave “The King” Wilson.
As a musician, Garrett has spent the last 45 years performing other people’s music in places ranging from Branson, Missouri, to the Whitewater Valley, where he’s a frequent performer at the Metamora Performing Arts Opry Barn and Metamora Music Festival.
Now, at 63, the singer-songwriter, who splits his time between Indianapolis and Metamora, is about to take center stage with a project all his own – the release of his first single, an autobiographical song titled “I Love the Sound of a Train.”
The tune, written by Garrett and performed by him and his group Patchwork, is available online starting Oct. 4.
Garrett on lead vocals is backed up by Dean Phelps on thumbpicking guitar, Holly Garrett on fiddle and backing harmonies, Mario Joven on tenor banjo and Rick Moore on upright bass. The listening link is https://soundcloud.com/user-229402367/i-love-the-sound-of-a-train-2019-09-13.
“This song came to me while standing on a ridge above Metamora,” he recalls. “The train pulled in and blew its whistle, and it echoed through the hills of southern Indiana.” That took him back to his early years in east Tennessee.
“Some of my earliest memories are hearing the train whistles echo through the hills of east Tennessee, where my dad worked for the L&N (Louisville & Nashville) Railroad,” says Garrett, who began songwriting at 60.
When he was 5, his family moved to Cowan, a small community near Muncie that owes its origin to a railroad line. Yet the sounds of Tennessee continue to influence his songwriting. “My earliest musician memories are of folks pickin’ in the general store in Armathwaite, or on back porches or in church,” he says. ”This wasn’t country music, nor was it bluegrass; it was kind of old-timey, precountry music. I wanted to preserve that sound while giving it my own twist.”
His lyrics say it all: “Through sunshine and rain, through the smiles and the pain, I love the sound of a train.”
The song can be purchased at Amazon, iTunes, Google Play Music, Pandora and Spotify, according to Garrett.