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Homegrown

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By Kevil Tice ~

HOMEGROWN = native … domestic … local … Alvin Garrett

HEEEEEEY JEROME!!!!

I tried to call him “Alvin” when he answered the phone, but it just didn’t come out.  It couldn’t come out.  He chuckled and I could visualize that wide and bright smile as he said, “I love hearing Jerome.  It lets me know family or a friend is near. If I hear that name, they know me from the crib.”

Today, I was honored to interview one of Tuscaloosa’s own…the talented, humble, GRAMMY NOMINATED, Alvin Garrett.

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Alvin’s love for music started well before the 20 plus years that I have known him.  He has been a musician since he was a kid.  His greatest inspiration, however, began when he was in college.  Alvin obtained a degree in Business Management and was instrumental in forming the band “Just A Few Cats.”

**How did Just A Few Cats come about?

“Man, we were some college kids that got together at UAB at a talent show…after we won, people started wanting us to perform.  The name was simple as just a few cats trying to win this money…we were like, that’s it, that’s the name!”

Alvin has accomplished so many things since that talent show.  He has written and produced music for various artists (Joe, Deitrick Haddon, Kelly Rowland, Johnny Gill, and Trin-I-Tee, to name a few) and toured with American Idol winner, Ruben Studdard.  Did I say this guy is talented?  Well, In case I didn’t, THIS GUY IS TALENTED!!  His capabilities include, not only R&B, but also Jazz and Gospel music.

**How did you meet Ruben?

“I met Rube in college…we became friends and he was a member of the band…then, my friend won American Idol…Crazy!  Him winning created some great opportunities.”

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Currently, as a solo artist, Alvin has an amazing single, “By Myself,” in heavy rotation on the radio.  If you haven’t heard it, you should really check it out.  It will have you singing along to the top of your lungs.  Not only will the lyrics move you, but Alvin’s smooth, captivating voice will pierce your soul.  By far, one of the most inspirational songs I have heard.

Being the humble guy that he is, Alvin managed to back off of talking about himself briefly to brag on his family and beautiful wife.  We joked about how as adults we are responsible for these “little people” that look like us.  Typical Jerome…try to make it all about him and he will graciously remind you that it isn’t JUST about him.  Again, very humble…he always has been.

**So, this week, you will be in Tuscaloosa performing live on Government Plaza along with Just a Few Cats and Ruben.  We can’t wait! How do you feel when you get to come home?

“I’m glad my career is an inspiration at home in Tuscaloosa…When I run into someone and they’re like hey I heard you on the radio…MAN…It’s rewarding to know your hometown still loves you.”

Yes, Jerome!  Your hometown still loves you and is very proud!  Keep climbing!

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For upcoming shows and booking info, visit www.alvingarrett.com

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