So here’s my story, or testimony as I prefer to call it. Please feel free to stop after the basics, but God bless you if you have the patience to read it through!
My name is Donny Garrett. I’m a 42 year old California boy. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife Rebecca for 14 years now. We have a 5 year old boy and a little girl due in just two months. My wife and I have served as worship leaders for a few churches over the years and are now involved in administration and worship for a ministry called Lifequest Organic that plants churches in homes, coffee shops, or anywhere people want to meet and talk about Jesus. I also have an unofficial ministry I call the “green room ministry”. When invited to play at the larger churches in the area I always make a point to bring Jesus into the often jaded conversations that occur in those green rooms. I’ve had many divine appointments and encouraging conversations that way. I enjoy all aspects of ministry, whether it’s leading the masses, worshipping with friends in a home, or discipling someone one on one.
My dad’s a guitarist, so I grew up with a few guitars around the house. I took a strong interest at the age of twelve and spent much of my teenage years trying to emulate personal guitar heroes. My first amp was dad’s 1965 Deluxe Reverb, which I still own today. This amp along with a USA Strat taught me to appreciate great tone and started a gear quest that continues to this day. In hindsight it seems I spent more time pursuing tone than technique. I’ve spent countless hours studying the gear used by the guitar greats and reading articles by their guitar techs and the guys who built their equipment. I guess you could say I’m a geek for this stuff. I eventually became the guy that my fellow guitarists and their friends called when they had a problem with their tube amp or a gear related question. This also became a ministry for me. As other guitarists would approach me to talk about what guitar, amp, or pedal would bring them closer to the tone in their head, I would always make a point to remind them to keep their focus on the one in their heart, Jesus. Anyone who’s become involved in a PM conversation with me will tell you this :). I understand their inner struggle between their love for Jesus and their obsession for gear, which honestly has bordered on idolatry at times in my life. I began making a practice of laying it all on the altar regularly. That’s why I was so surprised when Jesus took the very thing that I felt consumed too much of my time and opened the door to make it a ministry in bigger green rooms!
In fall of 2011 I met Bad Cat president and co-owner John Thompson at a local Habitat for Humanity fundraiser where his cover band was playing. We hit it off immediately and he invited me out to the shop. From the first time I walked into the Bad Cat building God’s favor and providence was all over it. They quickly invited me to be their demo guy and the co-owner of Bad Cat, “BIg George”, followed me out to the parking lot with a request to make me their beta tester. “Honestly, I’m not that amazing of a guitarist! What’s going on here, God?” Upon my next visit John said, “You know way to much about tube amps to not be doing this for a living”. He offered me exclusive access to their overstock and artist used amps. That progressed to me setting up an official dealership and ending up their #1 US dealer for 2012.
In the midst of this growing relationship with the owners of Bad Cat I began telling them about how gear crazy all of the P&W guys are and how none of the other amp companies even want to bat an eyelash at any of the Christian artists. Again God’s favor came through as they offered to support the artists that write the songs we worship to. God opened doors with these artists so fast it made my head spin! Before I knew it I was working with the guitarist from every major P&W band in the US.
Fastforward to December of 2012. I dropped a short email to Taylor McGrath of PlayaPlaya Music to encourage him in his support of the worship scene in Australia. He called me the next morning and within moments we both knew God was connecting us for a reason. He offered to make me his first US dealer for TMG guitars, and at his request I encouraged Bad Cat to make him an authorized dealer. Taylor is one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. He offered to support every artist I was working with and to build me the “guitar of my dreams” over the course of a few conversations. After spending NAMM week together and hosting him and two of his coworkers in our home, I can undoubtedly say this is yet another God thing.
God is doing something that is much bigger than gear, tone, or money. He is blessing the P&W artists who have dedicated themselves to the bride of Christ and have been selected by Him to be the conduit for the songs of heaven. He not only wants to bless the minstrels that are serving his church at large, but also the local church musicians who are worshipping him with a pure heart and leading his people to do the same. I am extremely blessed to have been chosen to play this small part in God’s kingdom and look for every opportunity to exchange this earthly gear into eternal riches and to share the message of pure tone and true worship.