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Teddy Geiger

Live in Peoria, IL, 2005

Review by Gary Hill

With the current state of pop music it's often difficult to sort out the talented artists from those bulk of those who are simply manufactured products of the "music" industry. It would be easy to assume that anyone caught up in the massive image-making machine is a talent-less image driven entity. In this case you would be very wrong. Teddy Geiger's talent is real, and while his sound is not Earth-shatteringly new, he hasn't had time to fully develop it yet. His first full album isn't out yet - although it will be in February, and until now he only has one six song EP released - and he's only 16 years old. Obviously any artist at this early point in their career would be a bit derivative, so that's no sin. The truth of the matter is that Geiger's blend of modern pop rock really works.

Of the three artists who were on show that night (the other two will remain nameless for the sake of this review) Geiger was the only one who legitimately played without augmentation. The second group on the bill had "phantom instruments" - they showed up in the mix yet no one on stage was responsible for those instruments. The headliner was doing a very good job of lip synching - I suppose that's a talent in itself, but one not to be addressed here. There was none of that type of trickery in this show - only honest playing and singing. Geiger and his band presented a stripped down approach - the only musicians were himself, a bassist and a guitarist. That sort of live grouping doesn't leave a lot of room for covering up mistakes or inadequacies. The thing is, there were no mistakes or inadequacies. These guys pulled it off with class.

Geiger started on piano for the first cut, and then moved to guitar for the other two. Yes, he only got three songs - about fifteen minutes - that from my point of view was the biggest crime of the night. The most talented artist on the bill only gets 15 minutes, while the biggest media packaging creation gets a full headlining set - someone should be arrested for that one. In any event, Geiger presented a very strong pop rock approach that combined elements of John Mayer, Ben Folds, Dave Matthews and other in a heartfelt performance. His voice was very strong - and very real. From where I was sitting it was obvious Geiger was not one of those lip synching farces - this guy is 100 % legit. I am waiting for him to come around again - and play more than 15 minutes. I was impressed and intend to follow his career. If you get the chance to see him, do so - the guy is good - very good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 4 at
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