Multi-instrumentalist.  Cross-pollinator.  Producer.

REcent

Music

Playlist includes the music of :  Algernon • Andreas Kapsalis Trio • Buddy Nuisance • Canyon Spells • Cameron McGill & What Army • Chicago Farmer • Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons • Daniel and the Lion • Daniel Rodriguez • Darren Garvey • Ernie Hendrickson feat. Howard Levy • Highscraper • L’Altra • Like Pioneers • Michaela Thomas • Mike Maimone • Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts • Paper Arrows • The New Folk  Thunder and Snow feat. Adriel Denae • W.W. Lowman

solo releases

Heart Attack Sleeves

2018

Miss Liberty

2017

Under A Common Ceiling

2010

Video

2018 Song Share

Various Projects

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Tour

Date Event Location
Daniel Rodriguez Cervantes Other Side, Denver, CO Cervantes Other Side, Denver, CO
Daniel Rodriguez Wildflower Pavilion, Lyons, CO Wildflower Pavilion, Lyons, CO
Bonnie Paine Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
Daniel Rodriguez Mishawaka, Bellvue, CO Mishawaka, Bellvue, CO
Daniel Rodriguez MeadowGrass Music Festival, Colorado Springs, CO MeadowGrass Music Festival, Colorado Springs, CO
 —  — Daniel Rodriguez Campout for the Cause, Buena Vista, CO Campout for the Cause, Buena Vista, CO
Shook Twins Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival, Palisade, CO Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival, Palisade, CO
Bonnie Paine Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, CO Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, CO
 —  — Shook Twins High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy, CA High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy, CA
Darren Garvey Strings & Stories, Longmont, CO Strings & Stories, Longmont, CO
 —  — Daniel Rodriguez Northwest String Summit, North Plains, OR Northwest String Summit, North Plains, OR
 —  — Shook Twins Northwest String Summit, North Plains, OR Northwest String Summit, North Plains, OR
Daniel Rodriguez Sawtooth Valley Gathering, Stanley, ID Sawtooth Valley Gathering, Stanley, ID
Shook Twins The Festival at Sandpoint, Sandpoint, ID The Festival at Sandpoint, Sandpoint, ID
Shook Twins Summer Meltdown, Darrington, WA Summer Meltdown, Darrington, WA
Daniel Rodriguez YarmonyGrass, Bond, CO YarmonyGrass, Bond, CO
Daniel Rodriguez Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Lyons, CO Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Lyons, CO

Darren is/was with:

Cameron McGill & What army

Daniel Rodriguez

Shook Twins

Daniel and the lion

Paper Arrows

Ernie Hendrickson

elephant revival

sandra Bernhard

we dream dawn

Bonnie Paine

Dick Prall

Everyone Orchestra

Andreas Kapsalis trio

miles Nielsen & the rusted hearts

Cory chisel & the wandering sons

chicago farmer

Buddy Nuisance

Danny Burns

Bio

Currently on tour with Daniel Rodriguez, Shook Twins, and Bonnie Paine.

As a seasoned drummer and percussionist out of Chicago with an obsession for writing and crafting songs, Darren Garvey continues to establish himself as a musical polymath, producer, and idiosyncratic songwriter with heavy-hearted lyrics and clever arrangements.  In his ambitious 2018 Song Share, Darren posted 38 unreleased songs in just as many weeks.  With his band Elephant Revival exploring new paths on their hiatus, he recently produced bandmate Daniel Rodriguez's debut solo EP Your Heart, The Stars, The Milky Way (Feb 2019) and released a brand new single that Daniel and Darren cowrote called Colorado (premiered on Colorado Public Radio).

As a multi-instrumentalist Darren writes, arranges, produces, and performs virtually every instrument on his solo recordings.  No stranger to the recording studio, Darren appears on 100+ records and has worked on a dozen films including Black Gold, a documentary about the coffee trade that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and convinced Starbucks to change their Fair Trade practices as well as the 2011 Academy Award winning documentary Undefeated.  In addition to his 2010 debut Under A Common Ceiling and the 2018 release Heart Attack Sleeves, Darren produces records for select bands and has released dozens of compositions as the Music Director for a Chicago commercial music house.  Upon hearing his production on Daniel and the Lion's album Death Head, Adam Duritz invited Darren and the band out on tour with Counting Crows in 2014.

Born in Milwaukee in the late-70s Darren was raised outside of Chicago where he played piano and guitar from an early age and led a handful of bands.  After graduating from high school, his band won VH1's Best Unsigned Band competition and opened for John Fogerty at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Gravitating towards the drums in the mid-90s, Darren studied with Glenn Kotche (Wilco) whose musicality and percussive approach to the trap set inspired Darren to further his education.  While attending The University of Illinois, he formed an experimental jazz/funk/bluegrass project with Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and ultimately earned a degree in Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies.

Darren has been on tour for two decades with performances at venues such as the Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Hearst Greek Theatre, and Germany's Rockpalast.  Other unique performances include his role as house drummer at Marc Smith's world renowned Green Mill Poetry Slam, the birthplace of slam poetry; drums behind well-respected indie banjo virtuoso Danny Barnes; drums with comedienne Sandra Bernhard on Feel the Bernhard, Sandra Bernhard is #blessed, Sandyland, and I Love Being Me, Don’t You?; and live photoplay experiments across the country with Andreas Kapsalis Trio who were commissioned by Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, and University of Massachusetts Lowell to perform both a preconceived and improvised soundtrack to a variety of classic silent films in front of a live audience.

Darren Garvey is a member of Colorado's transcendental folk darlings Elephant Revival and lives with his wife and two daughters in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  Much of Darren's legacy can be found in the huge fingerprint that he left on the Midwest independent music scene with bands like Cameron McGill & What Army, Andreas Kapsalis Trio, Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts, Daniel and the Lion, Cory Chisel and The Wandering SonsErnie HendricksonChicago Farmer, and Paper Arrows among others.


 

Selected Discography

Algernon  Charlie Changed His Mind
Andreas Kapsalis Trio  Original Scores / Self-titled / Bubblegum Enlightenment
Buddy Nuisance  Messy Lives of All Shapes and Sizes
Cameron McGill & What Army  Is A Beast / Madeline Every Girl / Deserters /  Two Hits and A Miss / Warm Songs For Cold Shoulders
Canyon Spells  Now That We're Gone
Chicago Farmer  Midwest Side Stories / Backenforth, IL
Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons  Minnesota Beatle Project Vol 2
Daniel and the Lion  East / Borrowed Air / Death Head / Sweet Teeth
Daniel Rodriguez  Your Heart, The Stars, The Milky Way / Colorado
Darren Garvey  Heart Attack Sleeves / Miss Liberty / Under A Common Ceiling
Dickie  Dickie
Ernie Hendrickson  Down The Road
Head for the Hills  Say Your Mind
Highscraper  No Better No Better
L'Altra  Telepathic / Favorite Flavor
Like Pioneers  Piecemeal / English Garden
Mike Maimone  Open Mic Nights, Empty Bottle Mornings
Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts  Heavy Metal / Presents The Rusted Hearts
Paper Arrows  Good News For Love / Days of Getting By / In The Morning  / Things We Would Rather Lose  / Look Alive
Same Waves  Algorithm of Desire
Thunder and Snow  Solve
Todd Kessler and The New Folk  Sea Fever
W.W. Lowman  Plain Songs

Photos

words

Heart Attack Sleeves review:  "Out of the ashes of Elephant [Revival], comes the first solo release from any of the members...from the Bon Iver-esque presentation of First of the Year to the soft finger-picking of The Reason, to the dark, industrial synth of Detour Garvey puts forth a diverse and raw collection of highly personal tracks...and finally places his art out in front."
-Brian F. Johnson  
Marquee Magazine

"He's one of my favorite percussionists!  His ability to play with a band acoustically and just invent, use a million percussion instruments to recreate a drum sound in an acoustic setting; he's an absolute artist with that...I love his percussion, but I love Darren's harmonies.  He's such a good harmony singer as well, just really complimentary."
-Adam Duritz  
Counting Crows

Session musician:  "Darren is one of the best drummers I've ever worked with.  He comes prepared and focused and always delivers.  He is a multi-instrumentalist that can add depth and understanding to your music.  A major asset to the production of any record."
-Manny Sanchez  
Umphrey's McGee, Patrick Stump, Zwan

"I remember really being blown away by the Nervous Center show...I think [Darren’s] playing was fantastic on that – real imaginative and musical."
-Glenn Kotche  
Wilco

"Fortunately for us, it didn’t take us too long to find Darren, and as you will see when you hear us play, the brother is in the pocket."
-Paul Murin  
DeadPhish Orchestra, Phix, Ralph's Kind

"The parts are extremely precise, [Darren's] moving back and forth from instrument to instrument at the right time in complex time signatures and different feels."
-Steve Edwards  
NPR - Eight-Forty-Eight

"Garvey is a life-long musician who studied jazz and percussion…and has been touring with bands since the late 90s.  He is a producer, a father, and plays a myriad of instruments.  He is inspired by his deep-rooted passion for music and the challenges of life.  Those experiences shape his songwriting."
-Cynthia Wilson  
Scene Magazine

"Our very own, the incomparable Darren Garvey, opened the show last night playing a solo set and proceeded to blow everyone away.  Luckily he’s on our side!  ...Darren's drumming reputation preceded him.  It is no wonder, now that I know him.  His feel and timing are effortless.  Not to mention, he always plays for the betterment of the song."
-Cameron McGill  
Cameron McGill & What Army, Margot & The Nuclear So and So's

"Ooh and ahh to the finest percussionist!"  
-Peggy Mathies  Taos Inn Adobe Bar

Music Director:  "Darren is the most talented musician I've ever worked with. The fact that he plays almost every instrument and plays them well is so valuable to our company (and humbling to see as a fellow musician)...Those things, coupled with the fact that he is a really solid guy (hard working, reliable, modest, detail oriented, easy to work with, etc etc) made it a no brainer to ask him to be our Music Director.  I feel super lucky to have him in our orbit, and can't recommend him highly enough."
-Josh Kahle  
I.V. Lab Studios, VTL Music

"Garvey is a bundle of creativity and passion packaged in a relaxed, soft spoken exterior...he is not a prisoner of old formulas.  His music expresses helplessness and vulnerability.  It is dark and introspective, while managing at the same time to express optimism."
-Hank Perritt  
Indie Music Chicago

Production on Your Heart The Stars The Milky Way:  "[Daniel Rodriguez] sent me a link to his EP a few months back and I've played the entire EP every day since...It's just got something that you want to hear again, something healing and good at its core...Do yourself a favor and play the whole EP, and do that again.  And again" 
-Wesley Schultz  The Lumineers

Commercial music composer:  "Darren is a rare breed of musician in today's world.  His ability to arrange a song and his attention to every detail within the arrangement makes such an impact on any song he is tasked with writing...Not only is Darren a powerhouse of a songwriter, he is also one of the easiest people with which I've had the pleasure of working.  He never lets his ego stand in the way of the ultimate goal/outcome of a particular song and is always focused on turning out the best composition or song...I couldn't be happier to be working with Darren."
-Jeff Leibovich 
Vintage King, River North Records

"Now when I play [cello] live, there's a solid drummer with us.  [Darren] plays a stripped down set and he's really sensitive to our dynamics, which is rare in a drummer...The best thing about playing with him is understanding.  I know where he is going...It's very natural to play with him.  He has a great groove and an open heart."  
-Bonnie Paine  Elephant Revival

"On the new EP Say Your Mind, we have Darren Garvey from Elephant Revival recording with us on drums and percussion.  He's an incredible musician.  We try to bring the best that we can to our sound."   
-Matt Loewen  Head for the Hills

"He's just the best drummer I've heard in a long time.  He's a real creative, very creative person."
-Shabda Noor  Stan Kenton, University of Illinois Jazz Director 

Rockpalast Germany:  "Darren Garvey got on a plane with a day's notice back in March and he learned all of our songs!  We didn't sleep for three days, we explored the Reeperbahn, the Dom in Cologne, East Berlin and an Irish karaoke bar...three of my favorite days this year!"
-Adriel Denae  Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons

"Every time we come to Chicago, we go see an awesome show, and [Darren's] always a part of it...We would like to assume that [he] plays in every good band in Chicago." 
-Mike Maimone  The Mutts, Company of Thieves

"He's a frightening, worldly, musical power-genius, and I'm sure he's got some stories for you." 
-Packy Lundholm  I Fight Dragons

"I convinced the other members of Elephant Revival to add Darren to the band and in that process he ended up moving here...Colorado gained one of the best musicians and producers out there." 
-Daniel Rodriguez  Elephant Revival

Under A Common Ceiling review:  "The layered tones and collisions of sounds infuse [Under A Common Ceiling] with a satisfying richness. Quirky, upbeat pop tunes show Garvey’s deft arranging skills and his knack for writing gently energetic numbers." 
-Patrick Conlan  Illinois Entertainer 

"Multi-percussionist Darren Garvey is known to pick up rather scary looking yet ear pleasing metallic instruments [you] have never seen before..nothing short of mesmerizing." 
-Sharyn Goldyn  The Windish Agency

"Darren Garvey, has a freaking cello bow or something, and he draws it over the rim of his big cymbal, which he then sets wobbling in cosmic song...and shakers — how can you be brilliant at playing a shaker?  But there’s this one round cheese-grater doodad, I swear Darren gets it talking, chattering in Hindi…watching Darren picking up and putting down this and that — I’ve only mentioned about a tenth of what he deploys, he’s laying out great counter-rhythms with a shaker in each hand, banging one of them on the Chinese cymbal, leaning out to ding the triangle and then stroking a bow around the ocean harp." 
-Candace McNulty  Read It News Magazine

"I was captivated by...Darren Garvey's almost schizophrenic ability on a multitude of instruments." 
-Theresa Carter  The Local Tourist

"Our drummer Darren plays just about any instrument you put in front of him, which is very helpful in the studio." 
-Joe Goodkin  Paper Arrows

Under A Common Ceiling review:  "Deftly mixing jazz, folk, chamber pop, indie rock, and world music, Under A Common Ceiling is refreshingly varied in its restless, border-crossing musicality...A drummer by trade, Garvey is adept at incorporating sly grooves and rhythmic counterpoints into his songs, without distracting from melodic and chordal variations.  It’s seriously interesting and engaging music that never imitates, but sometimes calls to mind similarly restless artists as Andrew Bird or Kaki King. This is good, good stuff. " 
-CD Baby  Editor's Pick

"[Darren's] percussion style is as unique as that of Kapsalis's approach to guitar.  [He] pushes the boundaries of percussion to the limit- and sometimes further- by using unorthodox playing techniques in combination with traditional percussion instruments, such as a cello bow on the cymbals." 
-Jazz Novo  Review

Production on GNFL "Throughout Paper Arrows' existence, their songs have sounded like an identity crisis set to music.  The band struggled to determine its niche: plucky indie rock or hearty Americana roots music.  Finally, it seems they've settled.  The twang on Good News For Love is more defined, the tempo slowed and the songs are warmer and more full-bodied."
-Katie Karpowicz  CHICAGOIST

What Army and production on Is A Beast:  "Anyone who reads The Marquee regularly has listened to me drone on and on about Cameron McGill & What Army.  I've compared McGill's songwriting to the greats and I've called What Army as crucial as The Cardinals...McGill and What Army have spent a ton of time on the road in recent years, and that time together has allowed them to find their strengths and truly focus on them.  Is A Beast is a blast, from the Morrissey-esque "I Don't Believe In Magic" to the A.M. Gold-like saunter of "Counterfeit." 
-Brian F. Johnson  Marquee Magazine

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