Garrett Kato steps out of the shadows with own national headline tour

CLOSE UP: Byron Bay singer-songwriter Garret Kato is coming back tot he Border, this time with his own show, at the Albury Entertainment Centre's Theatrette on September 21.
CLOSE UP: Byron Bay singer-songwriter Garret Kato is coming back tot he Border, this time with his own show, at the Albury Entertainment Centre's Theatrette on September 21.

Border Bernard Fanning and Kasey Chambers fans were given a taste of the indie folk sound of Garrett Kato when he opened for the pair’s sold-out Sooner or Later concert in Albury in February.

Now the Canadian born self-confessed Byron Bay busker is on the road with his own show and will perform at the Theatrette alongside the Albury Entertainment Centre’s on Thursday, September 21.

“My music career hasn’t really been planned, I just liked playing music and people found me and decided they wanted to help me out,” Kato tells The Border Mail.

“I got my start busking on the streets of Byron and that’s kinda how I met Kasey and Bernie and Pete Murray, all these acts that decided to take me on tour with them.

“I’ve just come back from a seven week tour with Kasey in America. It was a bit surreal, we were playing these big venues. It was incredible.”

With a likely career in fashion retail looming, Kato came to Australia a handful of years ago to visit his brother.

​He met a local girl in Byron Bay, fell in love and now has a family. 

To help pay the bills he took to busking.

Now, half a dozen years and two albums later, he’s still surprised by his growing fan base, as people warm to his soft, emotional voice.

His new nine-stop capital city tour, with a limited run of tickets and just two regional shows including Albury, looked to intimate venues to create the most beautiful atmosphere possible for his impressive musical storytelling.

“In the rural areas its a bit trickier to build a name for yourself unless you're playing with big acts, like Kasey and Bernard, but it is definitely in the major cities that I’m noticing a bit of change,” he says.

“I was having lunch with my friend, who’s in the band Wolfmother, just this week and a lady came up to the table and asked if I was Garrett Kato and wanted know where I was playing and wanted a photo.

“The irony of it is that I was sitting with a guy that’s much more famous than me.”

In 2015 Kato released his second LP, That Low and Lonesome Sound, which was recorded over two years in Kato’s home studio, to much critical acclaim.

At times, That Low and Lonesome Sound evokes subtle images of a younger, darker Springsteen with the moments of lush beautiful instrumentation from the likes of Bon Iver and The War on Drugs.

The Lowdown

What: Garrett Kato – Take It Slowly Tour

When: September 21, Albury Entertainment Centre Theatrette, 7pm

Tickets: $16