Music: Bill McGarvey, Valentine Smith et al…


(…though his piano teacher tried valiantly to interest her young pupil in the great classical composers, the nine-year-old mcgarvey couldn’t be swayed from his devotion to mastering his beloved “marine corps hymn” … ) read more…

McGarvey is a superb songwriter. The album is filled with pop gems that manage to sound familiar and new. A song like ``That's What You Get`` may bring to mind the Jayhawks, but it has a flavor all its own.

Chicago Tribune

`{`Valentine Smith`}` are purveyors of one of the years most addictive pieces of jangle candy.

Washington Post

Describing their performances as “magical,” Valentine Smith’s first single “Katie’s a No-Show” was the only independent song on Billboard Magazine's year-end critics’ “Best of” list.


Bill McGarvey has crafted 13 tracks of pure pop pleasure...The exuberance emanating from this record is perfectly executed and irresistible ... From the Jayhawks-tinged opening tune ``Stay`` through the breathless ``Settle Down (Ballad of the Cornfed Beauty)`` to the heartbroken pop of the closing song ``I Hear Voices`` (and the following hidden track) this is first-class songwriter's pop on par with Freedy Johnston and Matthew Sweet.

Performing Songwriter Magazine (DIY Spotlight Pick)

McGarvey's album, ``Tell Your Mother,`` is a charming collection of smart pop songs.

Time Out New York

If there really are a million stories in the naked city, Hoboken-based/Philly ex-pat Bill McGarvey sounds like he's seen a bunch firsthand ... Girls who couldn't be bothered, girls who couldn't stay and girls who wouldn't go away get top billing in the pop mini suites on his Tell Your Mother album, which is a classy, well-arranged bouquet of winks and nods ... to composers like Harry Nilsson, Ben Folds and, yep, even those McCartney and Wilson fellas ... McGarvey uses jaunty chamber pop to examine dilemmas rarely addressed in the three-minute pop song ... Proceed if you have a love of literate pop music.

Philadelphia Weekly (Editor's Pick)

Tell Your Mother named one of the Best Albums of the year

Fish Records, U.K.

Tell Your Mother was the number one critical pick for 2003, beating out releases from Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams.

Mississipi Sun-Herald

‘Singing drummer’ Bill McGarvey (formerly of underrated indie pop band, Valentine Smith) led his Good Thieves ... Supporting recently released gem, ``Tell Your Mother,`` McGarvey’s troupe relied on honeyed melodic conviction, meaningful heartfelt lyrics, and gauzy textures. He wove tenderly engaging baritone inflections across salient guitar-bass-violin-flute arrangements with relative ease.

The Aquarian Weekly

McGarvey’s music is sunny and warm, featuring swirling sounds and buoyant melodies. Dig into his lyrics, however, and one is apt to find that things aren’t quite so amiable as he explores with a keenly observant eye topics of love, loss, regret, and the generally dysfunctional nature of human relationships. Over the past few years, McGarvey has made a name for himself in the mid-Atlantic fronting Valentine Smith, but given its radio-friendly disposition, Tell Your Mother should make it possible for him to reach national acclaim.

The Music Box

Singer/songwriter/drummer McGarvey turns in a fine collection of power pop tracks including the lead track ``Stay`` and a catchy tune called ``Now.``

Westwood One Radio

Unbelievably refreshing, intelligent, optimistic, demanding, highly musical, yet comes across as sensitive, subtle, and amazingly sublime. A totally great debut album with 13 absolutely and equally high-value songs that exude a very special power and grow and thrive each time you hear them again... music that brims with clever refrains, jingle-jangle guitars, soulful harmony vocals, feather-light rhythms (McGarvey plays cocktail drums on the entire album, standing up), and brilliant hooks.

Glitterhouse, Germany

Bill McGarvey's Tell Your Mother is a soulful, rich folk-pop record, keeping the intimacy and simplistic nature of folk music while fleshing the songs out with a smart pop know-how. From his subtle voice to the lush melodies he creates, Tell Your Mother is an album abundant with hooks, but never once does it shove one down your throat.

In Music We Trust

Bill McGarvey singles & videos

(because who makes albums anymore anyways? watch short films of new songs and listen to new songs that don’t have short films yet.)

Bill McGarvey & the Good Thieves

(solo studio albums, live album and videos with the good thieves)

Valentine Smith

(featuring lead singer & co-songwriter bill mcgarvey)


(metalamericana from a remote, secure, undisclosed location in nj.)

Merry Christmas

(every artist needs a christmas song, right?)

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