"I have heard the future of San Francisco folk music, and its name is Garrin Benfield. Benfield is a treasure - amazingly gifted in so many areas that combine to be almost too good to be true."
"...a surprising effort, as much for its clean professionalism and fully realized production as for the warmth and honesty of this young artist who certainly deserves the critical acclaim that has launched him into the national indie touring circuit."
"Garrin Benfield's debut album displays a mature and full sense of musical style physically belied by this young and slender singer/songwriter."
The Boston Weekly Dig
"Benfield is fast on his way to the top of the pack of young balladeers nationwide who are attempting to keep acoustic-guitar-driven rock alive and relevant in the 21st century."
Bay Area Reporter
"Listening to the album from start to finish, you get the immediate sense that you're hearing the debut album of a potential rising star."
"Every musical move that Garrin Benfield makes is lean and clean. For a rocker, he is not indulgent. There are no histrionics in his production, his guitar playing or his singing."
"Equally adept at hard rockers and soft ballads, he has an appealing voice, solid guitar skills, and a command of language that sets his songs apart from the pack with literate lyricism."
"A fantastic singer songwriter. The melodies and harmony vocals send chills...shows off the kind of instrumental prowess that's rare these days."
Holy Tit Clamps
"All the pieces are comfortably in place for Benfield: a firm voice, a skilled hand on guitar, the probity of mind to write powerful lyrics. While most songwriters scratch at the door of their emotions, Benfield walks right in, catching them by surprise, discovering their secrets. He takes us closer to the mystery of life instead of just providing us with musical distraction."
"On this 2000 release, this singer/ songwriter/ guitar virtuoso proves that he is a talent to be reckoned with. Garrin could easily fill an entire album with his masterful guitar playing alone, but coupled with a strong voice and personal lyrics, this album is rich and full and bubbling over with promise. Highlights include What You're Hiding, an angry response to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard punctuated with Garrin's fast and furious guitar; We Don't Dance, rooted in the folk and blues tradition with an excellent guitar solo; and Theme From Calaveras which is a brilliant demonstration of Garrin's incredible playing skill. Highly recommended."
"Garrin carries an appearance seeming of a young pop star waiting to be discovered. His music, however, makes no bold pretensions upon nickel and dime lyrics, clichés of the moment, nor any politically motivated sound-bites."
"Garrin Benfield is a singer/songwriter who delivers a roots rock, poppish style of music. His songs have a great mainstream potential and appeal. The music is very good and is fronted by some very well written lyrics. Garrin is a singer that has the ability to pull the listener in and deliver the true emotion of the songs."
"Garrin's voice and guitar playing are clear and direct on this 13-song debut. Living a Dream is a very pleasant and thought-provoking collection of essays and sounds. Garrin Benfield is a find, and one wonders what he will come up with after he has five or six albums under his belt. This one shows that the artist has great potential"
All Music Guide