Garth Hewitt has been writing and recording songs for over 35 years, releasing more than 30 albums. It is an insight into the spirituality that drives Garth – reflecting the inspiration of silence, his love of the beauty of nature and of prayer, yet his constant commitment to the ways of justice and peace. Garth’s rootsy storytelling songs are influenced by country, folk and blues and in 1988 Garth received the International Artist Award from the Gospel Music Association in Nashville.
Garth’s commitment to telling the stories of those around the world that he meets in situations of poverty and injustice led him to found the Amos Trust in 1985. A human rights organization, based in the City of London, Amos supports projects involved in issues of poverty and injustice around the world and seeks to find creative ways to raise awareness of the needs in these places. In 2012 Garth will step aside as Director of Amos Trust, taking the title Founder, to allow him more time for song and book writing, and touring with concerts and speaking appointments to continue his passion for awareness raising.
Garth is the Guild Vicar of All Hallows on the Wall in the City of London – a centre for organizations involved in issues of justice and art. He is also an honorary Canon of St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem. In 2006 he was given special accreditation by the House of Poets in Ramallah, West Bank for his ‘positive attitude towards the Palestinian people and their struggle towards freedom and justice’. He is a Patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Martin Smith from Delirious? recently spoke warmly of the influence of Garth and his music:
“I remember being at Greenbelt Festival when I was a kid and seeing Garth Hewitt on stage. He was banging on about Christians having a heart for the poor and saving the world and frankly I didn’t get any of it. Garth has always been ahead of his time and we are all catching up with what God has been saying through Garth for the last 30 years. I wish I had listened closer standing in that field, but it sometimes takes a lifetime to recognise a true prophet. It is people like Garth who make us look at the world differently and realise what it is to be a true Christian.”
At Greenbelt this year an album of covers of Garth’s songs called Under the Influence was released as a tribute to Garth’s songwriting over the years. Various artists covered songs of Garth’s from different stages of his career; among them, Paul Field, who covered ‘Under the Influence’, Martyn Joseph ‘When Johnny Cash sang Man in Black’, Joy Brigade ‘May you live to dance on your own grave’ and Reem Kelani who sang ‘O Palestine’. Under the Influence comes with a beautifully produced cover designed by Amos Trust’s designer Wilf Whitty which includes a booklet in which Beki Bateson, Chair of Amos Trust, said, “In 2010 Amos Trust celebrated 25 years of commitment to justice and hope for the forgotten, alongside 40 years of its Director Garth Hewitt as an ordained priest. At the heart of Amos has been Garth’s music and at the heart of his music has been a theology shaped and inspired by the many people he has met and listened to across the world throughout his ministry. Various artists contributed generously of their time to create a fresh version of the Amos message of justice and hope through their take on Garth’s music.”
Garth has also written nine books, the most recent being Bethlehem Speaks: Voices from the Little Town Cry Out, which is a series of interviews with Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem (SPCK 2008). His books of prayers, Making Holy Dreams Come True (SPCK 2006) and Holy Dreams to feed the Soul (SPCK 2007) are illustrated with photographs by Wilf Whitty, offering vividly illustrated meditations that draw our attention to particular situations overseas.
His latest album Moonrise is joyful yet peaceful, a burst of happiness showing Garth at his best – relaxed, poetic, humourous and prayerful. Garden House is delighted to be working with Garth to release nine of his most influential albums in digital format ove rthe next twelve months. The first of these, Lonesome Troubadour, Scars and Walk the Talk are released in November 2011.
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