|“A refined player from Toronto, Galen Weston straddles a myriad of styles on his auspicious debut as a leader. From his singing six-string work on the urgently funky "Bensonite" to his mellow lyricism on the melodic anthem "The Yellow Guitar,"his soulful expression on "Song for Daphne" or his unapologetic chops showcase on the fusiony "Tasteless," Weston wails with conviction and rare facility. Definitely a talent deserving of wider recognition.”
- Bill Milkowski
Contributor to Down Beat and Jazziz. He is also the author of “JACO: The Extraordinaryand Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius” and co-author of “Here And Now: The Autobiography of Pat Martino” (both on Backbeat Books)
|Galen first picked up a guitar at age 11, a Sears acoustic guitar - the consolation to the electric guitar he had actually wanted for his birthday. There was only one thing to do, save his own money for the next two years to purchase an electric guitar. The new guitar in hand, Galen started experimenting by plugging it into an amplifier and boom box, to less than ideal results at first! But he was hooked, and happily gave up academic ambition to focus on the guitar, which he would play up to 10 hours a day.
Without a television at home, and parents who didn’t approve of rock ‘n roll, Galen’s musical education began with the clandestine ACDC and KISS records he snuck home. He joined his first band at age 15, playing backyard parties in his hometown of Freelton: population 500.
With high school drawing to a close, Galen was wondering what to do next. He had heard of something called “jazz” that one could study in college. He asked an older musician friend, who generously gave Galen two boxes of jazz records, and from that treasure box, Galen rediscovered music: Mike Stern, Weather Report, and Pat Metheny became instant favourites, and remain so to this day.
Now a jazz enthusiast, Galen attended Humber’s jazz program, one of the most respected programs in North America. There, his musical tastes and abilities matured, but after 4 years in school, and needing to earn a living, Galen pursued various jobs from construction to finance, before building his own Internet based company.
Fifteen years after graduating from Humber, on a trip with his wife, Sousie, and their newborn daughter, Rose, the musical drive still gnawing at him, a passing remark by Sousie to a musician in a local bar in a small Greek village would change Galen’s life. The musician, despite Galen’s protests, compelled Galen to join him around the table and play the guitar. Hours passed without notice as they played, and Galen knew then that he couldn’t go back to running his business. He bought himself a bouzouki and a classical guitar during that trip
When he returned, he hired someone else to manage his company, and built the state of the art Rose Room Recording Studio , and re-dedicated his life to making the music he loved. It’s been three years since that trip to Greece, and Galen is happier than ever just like when he was 13 years old, he’s again spending 10 hours a day playing his guitar. And yeah, he’s replaced that Sears guitar, with a yellow Strat and other fine instruments, which are featured on his latest CD Plugged In, on the BluJazz label.
The debut CD features 12 tracks including 10 originals and arrangements of Keith Jarrett's "Country"and Jimmy Van Huesen's "Like Someone in Love". Weston is joined by veteran Toronto session players David Woodhead on fretless electric bass, Al Cross on drums, keyboardist Matt Horner, Richard Underhill on alto sax and Rick Lazar on percussion.
As Weston states, "Plugged In represents a sonic exploration with my Yellow Stratocaster, ES-335 and other instruments on a two-year journey of writing and recording across a vast musical territory. Fueled by the inspiration of my favorite jazz and instrumental rock influences, this album is the culmination of many hours spent together with my guitars taming the howling of vintage Big Muff’s, cleaning tape heads on old echo machines, and tweaking the tone knobs on my classic Marshall and Fender amps in the simple yet enduring search of great tones."