Garrison Starr (born Julia Garrison Starr on April 29, 1975) is a singer-songwriter who originally hails from Hernando, Mississippi, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. As a solo artist, she has recorded seven full-length albums, as well as two EPs and one live album. She is also a founding member of Among The Oak & Ash.
Starr's first album, Pinwheels, was recorded in 1993, shortly after her high school graduation. During a 1½ year stint as a student at Ole Miss, Starr played drums for a local band, This Living Hand, in which she met and forged a friendship with fellow artist and producer Neilson Hubbard, and Clay Jones, who would produce her first major-label album. To this day, Starr and Hubbard frequently collaborate. Her second release, the 1995 seven-track EP Stupid Girl, references her experiences at Ole Miss, which were not always pleasant.
Starr was signed to Geffen Records, which released her first major label album featuring Bob Rupe of Cracker and The Silos, Eighteen Over Me, in 1997. Eighteen Over Me includes the song "Superhero," which is her most well-known song to date.
On the moderate success of Eighteen Over Me, Starr was invited to play on the highly successful all-female festival tour Lilith Fair, created by Sarah McLachlan.
Starr left the deep south for Los Angeles in the mid-1990s. While working on her next album, Starr took issue with the label's request that she submit acoustic demos of her songs for approval. Starr (along with many other artists) was dropped from the Geffen roster.
It was five years after the release of Eighteen Over Me before Starr released her next full-length album, 2002's Songs From Take-Off To Landing. In those years, the songs that she had begun working on at Geffen evolved and changed significantly before reaching the final versions that appear on the album.
Between these releases, Starr released two EPs. The first, 24/7, was released by Geffen and included live and acoustic versions of songs from Eighteen Over Me, as well as a cover of The Beatles' "Taxman" and a previously unreleased song, "Simple Theme." The second EP, 2000's Somethin' To Hold You Over, was self-released for fans and included several original tracks, as well as a reworking of "Molly" from Eighteen and "5 Minutes," which would appear in a different form on her next album.
In Los Angeles she gained inspiration for two albums, Songs From Take-Off To Landing and Airstreams and Satellites, which was released in October 2004. The former album was released by Virgin Records' Back Porch Records label. The latter was released by Vanguard Records.
Starr re-recorded "Superhero" for Airstreams, which also includes a hidden track, "Inside Out," in which she makes her first definitive reference to being a lesbian. In promoting the album, Starr toured with the likes of Melissa Etheridge, Steve Earle, Melissa Ferrick and Mary Chapin Carpenter. She has been out since then.
In 2005, Starr appeared with other artists in a series of performances at L.A.'s Room 5 as the North La Brea All Star Conquistadors. These performances were later released in a series of live albums by KUFALA Recordings. The group, consisting of Starr, Gabriel Mann, Jay Nash, and Adrianne, toured the eastern United States in spring 2007.
Also in 2005, Starr returned to the south to Nashville, Tennessee, where she completed The Sound of You and Me, which was released in March 2006. Released by Vanguard Records, it includes a fellow Vanguard artist Mindy Smith on background vocals for the track "We Were Just Boys and Girls."
Starr recently completed a new collection of songs, Fans' Greatest Hits, Volume One (Live) for which she asked fans to vote for their top 10 favorite songs. She then recorded new acoustic studio versions of those songs. As of February 2007, the self-released album could be purchased through her web site.
Starr released The Girl That Killed September on October 18, 2007 in association with Media Creature Music.
In 2008, Starr formed a new band with Josh Joplin called Among The Oak & Ash. Their self-titled debut album was released on June 16, 2009 on Verve Records.
In 2009, Starr formed a new band with Glen Phillips, former singer for '90s alt-rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket. They call themselves Plover and released a self-titled album in 2009.
In 2010, Starr released ReLive, a live album featuring fan favorites as well as some new tracks. The album was recorded at Nashville's 12th and Porter during one take and released via Brite Revolution.
In 2012, Starr embarked on her first attempt at a self release. Amateur, featuring all original songs with a guest appearances including Mary Chapin Carpenter and a co-write with Kevin Devine was entirely fan funded via the crowd funding site PledgeMusic, and released May 1, 2012.
In September 2013, Starr formed a new project called This, the Silent War. The first single "Setting Sun" was released on October 1, 2013.
She is currently touring small clubs and house shows around the US.
Other media appearances:
Starr's song "Superhero" has appeared on several compilations, including Live at World Cafe and CMJ magazine's sampler. It was featured during ABC-TV's coverage of the Women's World Cup Soccer in 1999.
Her cover of Steve Forbert's song "It Isn't Going to Be That Way" appeared on the compilation The I-10 Chronicles, Vol. 2: One More for the Road.
Starr's "Beautiful in Los Angeles" was the featured song on the season one finale of MTV's original program The Hills.
Starr has performed back-up vocals for artists including Michelle Malone and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Starr appeared on CBS News' Saturday Early Show, performing in the "Second Cup Cafe" on June 22, 2007.
Starr's song "Stay With Me Tonight" from her 2007 album The Girl That Killed September appeared on season one, episode eight of Life Unexpected called "Bride Unbridled." During the scene, Lux talks with Tasha after arriving there on a date with Jones, and Ryan helps Kate with her wedding dress, though the two are broken up.
Starr's song "Upside Down" was featured in the Pretty Little Liars episode "Careful What U Wish 4".
Starr's song "We Are Broken" from her project This, the Silent War was featured in The Fosters episode "House And Home".
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license