Bracken Hale
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Bracken Hale

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Country Americana


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2011 self titled album,



As a songwriter, musician and bandleader, Hale has been working out of Austin professionally for over a decade. In addition to his time behind the mic, he's put in time as a sideman, playing bass for Texas and national acts like Gary P. Nunn, Chris Wall, Chapparal, Danni Leigh, Mike Graham, Shawn Pittman and many more. Now on the Shiftone Records roster with an arsenal of original songs and all star band behind him, Bracken Hale is quickly earning respect as a powerful new wave of alt country.
Inspired as a child by the albums of Waylon Jennings, the hymns of the church and by his mother’s piano and folk-style guitar, Bracken Hale began at an early age playing, writing and developing the style and a sound that he now calls his own. Based out of Austin since 1997, Bracken has covered a whole lot of highway and probably played every dancehall and honky-tonk in the State. Contributions as a songwriter have produced a number of cuts by independent artists, spanning across the country, rock, blues genres.
Born in Oklahoma, the son of a Texas and Native American historian, Hale grew breathing in the folklore of the plains and drawing inspiration from the landscape and the people who belong to it. His earliest memories are of the Navajo reservation in Tsaile, Arizona where his father took his first collegiate teaching job. “We lived in a brick house, but for religious reasons it was eight-sided like the Navajo hogans, with a living room in the middle and pie-shaped bedrooms. The whole neighborhood was like that.” The Hales moved from Arizona to Minnesota, before settling in Norman, Oklahoma, where Bracken spent the majority of his childhood. He credits author J. Frank Dobie as an early motivator: “Coronado’s Children had a big impact on me as a kid. There are some universal truths about human nature that those stories seem to tap into. That little adventurous what if causes you to wonder what part is truth and what part is tale. Then there’s the classic situation: I had it once and lost it. That’s the part that really makes the story. There’s a formula to it and it works every time.”
Bracken’s first chords came on his mother’s classical guitar and were reinforced when an older cousin with a steel string came to visit and stayed on as a permanent guest. Texas-based blues artist, Shawn Pittman was also influential. “I knew Shawn since I was thirteen. We played together and talked a lot. He knew an older guy named Bernard Bigby who was a great blues guitarist and singer. He had played professionally for a lot of years and was real supportive and open to talking to us and giving advice.” Several years later, as a teenager in the early 1990s, Bracken was writing, singing and playing for an original folk-rock/country band around central Oklahoma. From Oklahoma to Tennessee and back, and on down to Texas, Bracken honed his craft, making Austin his permanent home in 1997.
A long time friendship with Reckless Kelly bassist Chris Schelske landed him support from the emerging independent Shiftone Records in 2011. The self-titled 2011 album presents him well as a seasoned musician and craftsman of original honkytonk music.