Instruments: Guitar, Vocals, Composition/Songwriting, Mandolin, Dobro
He's a full-time resident of the West Coast now, a devotee of bicycle trails, fly-fishing and ocean kayaking but you won't find many references to oceans, mountains and old-growth forests in Gary Brewer's music - at least not yet.
Born and raised in Alberta, Brewer's folk, country, blues and roots influenced sound reveals an artist with a deep affection for big skies and wide-open spaces. An archeologist by trade, Brewer spent countless hours in the last decade traversing the highways and byways of Saskatchewan as part of his day job.
"I was on the road all the time and Saskatchewan is one of the few places where you can just get in the car and drive," Gary says. "There's a real sense of freedom in that." Brewer, who moved to Victoria from Regina in 2004, says his first musical influence was a set of scratched up Gene Autrey 78 rpm records that his father owned. "I guess mom and dad decided that I couldn't do any damage to those old Gene Autry records that hadn't already been done," he recalls.
Since then the road of life has given Gary the opportunity to travel and live all across Canada and the United States, including stints in New Orleans and South Carolina. "I haven't been to the Territories, Alaska or Newfoundland yet, but I plan to fill in those gaps soon," he says.
A life-long guitar player, Gary began writing songs in earnest in his mid-30s, drawing on influences gathered from his travels - from blues legends Ry Cooder, Steve Earle, Stevie Ray Vaughn to 70s folk icons like James Taylor , John Denver and Jim Croce. Gary penned most of the material for his first album, World of Possibilities, while hanging around Regina's vibrant folk music scene, where he was a fixture in the coffee houses and festivals prior to his move to Vancouver Island.
Chock full of dirty Mississippi slide, lap-steel guitar, mandolin and good, old-fashioned acoustic picking, Gary delivers songs about the simple life in a husky mournful voice that evokes tumbleweeds, windswept plains and endless horizons. It's music that reflects the diversity of people he's met and places that he's seen along the way, sometimes dark, sometimes beautiful but always full of life
Gary lives in Langford with his wife Kasey, daughters Riki & Sydney and faithful canine sidekick Jasper.