Braiden Sunshine
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Braiden Sunshine

New London, CT | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

New London, CT | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Local Youth Band to Perform at Veteran's Day Ceremony in DC"

Local youth band Silver Hammer (pictured left), comprised of talented Ledyard and Lyme students ages 11 to 17, has been selected to provide the music for the Veteran's Day Ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC November 11.

Eleven-year-old Braiden Sunshine, the youngest member in the band, will sing the National Anthem to the expected 10,000 men and women coming to pay their respects to the nation's fallen heroes at the Wall this Veteran's Day.

Silver Hammer has made it a priority to honor Veterans by volunteering to perform at many Connecticut VFW events, and this commitment has led to the opportunity to provide the music for the ceremonies at the Nation’s Capital.

The band will be playing patriotic favorites and original compositions, including; the song “In the Shadow of Her Wing,” a Silver Hammer original, sung by 15-year-old Sierra Sunshine, which was written to honor the U.S. military and their families. Click to listen to this tribute song

The group is fast becoming a staple on the Connecticut band scene. They have established their reputation through more than 100 performances in less than two years. Lyme residents, curly haired boy soprano Braiden Sunshine and his 15-year-old sister Sierra Sunshine provide the vocals that allow the band to perform the harmonies that complement original compositions, as well as songs that range from 50s era classics to present day rock music. Nolan Smyth, 15, also of Lyme, plays the acoustic and electric guitars.

"We feel honored to be asked to perform for those who have served our country and fought for our freedom," said Ian Maxwell, the 17-year-old singer, keyboardist and band leader. Fifteen-year-old bassist Duncan, and 13-year-old drummer Aidan round out the Maxwell brothers from Ledyard.

Seventeen year old Elliot Pillsbury, also of Ledyard is the band’s wind instrument wizard, playing the alto and soprano sax, flute and ocarina.

The band is seeking sponsors to help defray the costs of their trip to Washington DC, which are expected to be around $4,000. If any readers would like to help the band with financial or other contributions, for example, sandwiches for the journey, contact their manager Elizabeth Sunshine at 860.434.1434 or mail checks payable to Silver Hammer to 121-2 Blood Street, Lyme CT 06371.

For more information, visit - Lyme Line

"Ledyard, Lyme-based youth band to play Veterans Day event"

Ledyard, Conn. — Silver Hammer, a local band comprised of Ledyard and Lyme students ages 11 to 17, is scheduled to play a Veterans Day event on Nov. 11 at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Braiden Sunshine, a Lyme resident who is the band’s youngest member, is scheduled to sing the national anthem.

Silver Hammer includes three brothers from the Maxwell family, of Ledyard — 17-year-old singer/keyboardist/band leader, Ian; 15-year-old bassist, Duncan; and 13-year-old drummer, Aidan. Braiden’s 15-year-old sister, Sierra, is a singer in the band.

For more about Silver Hammer, visit

Read more: Ledyard, Lyme-based youth band to play Veterans Day event - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin - Norwich Bulletin

"Lyme youth, 11, to sing national anthem at Vietnam wall"

Eleven-year-old Braiden Sunshine of Lyme will be singing the national anthem to an expected crowd of 10,000 people at the upcoming Veterans Day ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

Sunshine, a soprano, and his sister Sierra, are members of the Silver Hammer youth band, comprising Ledyard and Lyme students aged 11 to 17. Silver Hammer has made it a priority to honor veterans by volunteering at Connecticut VFW events, a commitment that led to the opportunity to provide music for the national Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The band will be playing patriotic favorites and original compositions, including "In the Shadow of Her Wing," a Silver Hammer original, sung by 15-year-old Sierra Sunshine, which was written to honor the military and their families. The song can be heard at

Other band members are Ian, Duncan and Aidan Maxwell along with Elliot Pillsbury, all of Ledyard and Nolan Smyth of Lyme. - New London Day

"Silver Hammer collects money for town fire department"

On the last day of the Ledyard Fair, members of the Silver Hammer band paid a special tribute to the members of the Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Department in honor of the 343 New York City firefighters who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

A fireman's boot was placed on the stage to collect donations for the fire department and the band ended up playing for two hours on Sunday and collected $106
- The Day

"Ledyard Students Rock Out for a Good Cause at Jamnesty"

"Silver Hammer wowed the crowd with vocals to give you chills and instrumentals that set the crowd on fire!" - Ledyard Patch

"Silver Hammer drops in on 'Better Connecticut'."

Every band has a secret weapon. For Silver Hammer, that weapon would be lead guitarist Tom Bora, 12, of Gales Ferry.

His young age isn’t unusual for the band — the youngest is 10-year-old Braiden Sunshine, of Lyme, and the oldest is Ian Maxwell, 16, of Gales Ferry.

Recently, the band performed on the TV show “Better Connecticut” on WFSB as the house band after a summer playing 47 gigs along the shoreline.

“Ian, Duncan and I are good players, but a lot of bands don’t have a good weapon,” explained 12-year-old drummer Aidan Maxwell, whose brother, Duncan, plays bass (and anything with strings), and brother Ian sings and plays keyboards.

“Tom is an insane guitarist,” added Aidan, clicking his drumsticks together while sitting in the basement of the Sunshine family room where the band of six rehearsed before their TV gig. “We can genuinely say that we opened for Oprah, joked Duncan Maxwell, 15, alluding to the fact the TV show appeared before the queen of talk shows came on.

But if Silver Hammer keeps on its trajectory, winding up on a talk show may not be so far fetched. Liz Sunshine, Braiden’s mom, has sent promotional videos to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who is searching for new bands to spotlight on her record label, eleven eleven, as well as Disney.

Strong harmony

Another one of the band’s strengths is the harmony in song, with Braiden joining sister Sierra, 14, and Ian and Duncan for four-part harmony, said Liz, who serves as the band’s agent.

The group recognizes that when people might first see them, they might dismiss them as a “kid band.” “Our goal isn’t just to be good for a kid band, but to be a great band,” Duncan said.

The band plays a mix of tunes, from Elvis to the Beatles, as well as classics from Kansas and Jimmy Hendrix. New songs include Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” as well as Green Day covers.

The older members, Ian and Duncan, have begun to write their own songs, and the band’s goal this year is to produce a CD, Braiden said.

Each member has their own taste in music. And when they get in the process of compromising, Ian said, they pick what they all like. “And we all like classic rock,” he said.

Silver Hammer has been a formed band since February, and their repertoire consists of about five hours worth of songs.

One of the bands key to success, Sierra said, is they know each other very well. “We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and it helps the creative process,” Sierra said. Ian added that when they played bigger gigs this summer they learned to play off each other and the audience. “It’s a great experience to learn how to perform well, not just play well,” Ian added.

Ron Gletherow, of Gales Ferry, has taught guitar to Tom and the Maxwell brothers, and he is currently teaching Braiden. All, he said, are talented individuals in their own right.

But the likes of Tom, he said, he has never seen. “What Tom’s got is verging on genius,” Gletherow said.

- Norwich Bulletin

"Voice Finalist Braiden Sunshine aims for the big time"

Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine aims for the big time

Old Lyme singer-songwriter and “Voice” finalist Braiden Sunshine at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford. (Peter Huoppi/The Day)
475 7 Published February 04. 2016 6:13PM | Updated February 06. 2016 6:55PM
By Rick Koster Day staff writer rickkoster
Since making the finals last season on “The Voice,” 15-year-old Braiden Sunshine has absorbed career advice from some of the biggest entertainers in the galaxy. That would include his “Voice” team coach Gwen Stefani and show judges Pharrell Williams, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine; numerous celebrity mentors — Rhianna, Missy Elliot, John Fogerty, Brad Paisley — who appeared on one episode or another; and input from flattered artists like Styx and Blues Traveler, whose tunes were covered by Sunshine during his run to the finals.
But nothing resonated quite as much as a bit of wisdom from Blues Traveler frontman John Popper. Fans might remember that Sunshine successfully auditioned for the top-rated NBC talent program by singing the band’s “The Mountains Win Again” — a rendition so impressive that the band flew the young singer to one of their Las Vegas concerts and got him on stage to perform.

During that visit, Popper pulled Sunshine aside and told him with forthright honesty that, to ensure longtime success in the music biz, it’s almost essential to write one’s own material — that to do so not only ensures creative control of the career but also provides financial security through royalties.
On Wednesday, with the independent release of his debut, self-penned single, “Reality,” Sunshine has taken Popper’s wisdom in literal fashion. And “Reality,” a slice of wistful and yearning folk-pop released in both video and audio download formats, is in fact the first step in a conscious decision by Sunshine, his family — including mother Elizabeth and father David Sunshine — and a newly hired management group to pursue writing and performing exclusively.
Obviously, such a choice means sacrificing conventional teenage experiences, at least to a significant degree.
Seated in a drawing room at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Sunshine has just performed “Reality” for The Day’s “Song Spinner” series. He chose the location because of a fond, longtime association with the O’Neill’s Cabaret Junior Fellows program. Sipping tea and nibbling from a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, he talks about plans for the future.
“(When ‘The Voice’ ended), I was real concerned about how I was going to juggle everything — school, social life and having a fulltime career,” he says. “We decided that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With this much exposure and everything that is coming out of it, we might be able to make something of this. I mean, it’s a one-in-a-million chance — but it was a one-in-a-million chance that I’d make it as far as I did on the show. So why not give it a shot?”
The career choice was made easier by the concept of online education. “This way,” he smiles, “we can take school wherever we go. We can travel all over the country and don’t have to worry about being back on Monday for a geometry test.”
Sunshine acknowledges that it’s a bit of a change.
“It’s weird not being in school,” he says. “I get home and all my friends are on (PlayStation 4) or something, and we might play games every once in a while, but that’s the only time I get to talk to them anymore. It’s a bit disorienting to not have that social aspect. But I get more time to work on what I need to learn to go forward.”
The Sunshines have entered into a management agreement with a group that includes representatives in Los Angeles as well as Middletown resident Jeff Franklin — who not only produced “Reality” at his Jam Studios but is also a production manager for the Live Nation concerts conglomerate.
In conversation, Sunshine is a charming blend of shy, youthful introspection, musical passion and wide-eyed enthusiasm. And any skeptical self-doubt — he had to be tricked into the “Voice” audition by his mother — has been somewhat quelled by his achievements and exposure to stardom.
In fact, after this conversation, Braiden and Elizabeth would take a ride to Meriden in a provided limo, where the community had proclaimed “Braiden Sunshine Day.” And, Thursday, the Sunshines were back on a plane to Los Angeles. On Saturday, Sunshine and fellow Season Nine “Voicers” Zack Seabaugh, Chance Pena and Cole Criske will perform together at a Charity for Charity event — an organization that raises funds to fulfill the wishes of local residents with life-threatening illnesses or traumatic injuries. Sunshine says it’s a great event and something he’s proud to do — plus he’s looking forward to seeing the new friends he made on the show.
“I’m actually in touch with a lot of people from ‘The Voice,’” he says. “When I’m in California, we get together and hang out and write songs. Those people are good friends of mine. We didn’t just work together and we’re done now that the show’s over. We actually made legitimate connections.”
Sunshine also says he’s frequently asked about whether he’s in touch with the established superstars who serve as judges on “The Voice” — which is something he’s somewhat self-effacing about. Yes, he admits, he does have Stefani’s email address — “But she could always change it” — and Levine has reached out regarding a possible meeting the next time his band, Maroon 5, swings through the Northeast. Styx also invited Sunshine to hang out when they hit town for a Mohegan Sun Arena show in a few weeks — but the tour was canceled due to an illness in headliner Def Leppard’s camp.
“Obviously, I’ve never had options like this before, and they’re all new and amazing experiences,” Sunshine says. “It’s wonderful to make new friends who are trying to do the same things we are, and whatever happens, it’s opened a whole new world and it’s a lot of fun.”
While specific plans aren’t finalized, Sunshine is scheduled to head out on his debut national tour in April. He might perform solo, although possible package dates with “Voice” alums and/or other artists are definite possibilities.
At present, he’s focusing on the stripped-down, singer-songwriter aspect typified by “Reality." He says, “I grew up around campfires, singing with friends — that’s where I learned to play guitar — so doing acoustic music would come easier to me, just from a songwriter’s perspective.”
And while he’s diligently writing more tunes in that style, Sunshine vows to keep his aesthetic options open. “But I draw a little inspiration from someone like John Mayer.” Sunshine gestures emphatically: “I am nowhere NEAR the guitar player that guy is. Compared to him, I can’t play guitar at all. But in his career, he started with a poppy thing and went to blues and now he’s doing Grateful Dead. He’s gone all over the map but what he’s done, he’s done well. He not only changes genres, he masters them. And I want to try to explore other genres and have the freedom to do what feels right.”
Sunshine takes a deep breath and smiles. “A lot of people know who I am now and they want to see what I can do. I really hope they enjoy it.”
Twitter: @rickkoster

Sitting on a hillside
Watching the sun go down
She is right beside you
Dressed up in her summer gown
Time starts to move slowly
And you stare right into her eyes
You seem to be frozen
In love on a summer night
But everything passes and life carries on
The ones that you love somehow always are gone,
but never forget how they always make you feel
The love that's between you is what makes life real

Welcome to reality
Where everything moves in space
Everything is changing
And nothing ever stays in place
You go out to find her
To see that she's all but gone
Moved across an ocean
A place you'll never set foot on
Keep holding on to the past
Realizing that frozen time doesn't ever last
You want them to come back
You want them to be
The one who never changes
The one who's close to me
Sitting in a hotel
Waiting for time to fly
You see them on a laptop screen
And don't want to say good bye
REPEAT CHORUS - The New London Day

"Old Lyme Teen takes talent to the Voice"

Old Lyme Teen Takes Talents to 'The Voice'

Braiden Sunshine, 15, hopes to take "The Voice" title and join the ranks of two other contestants with Connecticut ties who have won the popular singing competition. (Published Monday, Sept. 21, 2015)
A 15-year-old Old Lyme High School student hopes to follow in the footsteps of Connecticut natives Javier Colon and Sawyer Fredericks by winning this season of NBC's "The Voice."
Singer and guitarist Braiden Sunshine began his journey on "The Voice" during Monday night's series premiere.
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The teen joined a band for the first time when he was 9 years old and has taken his talents to stages across the state.
"I've been doing music ever since I can ever really remember," he told "The Voice" prior to his performance Monday. "This kind of an opportunity could definitely change my life."
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Guitar in hand, he crooned Blues Traveler's "The Mountains Win Again," winning over judges Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani, who fought playfully to count Braiden among their team members.
"I've been in a band since I was 17, and I'm also the mother of three boys, so I know how to fight for someone who I really care about and find out who you want to be," Stefani told him.
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After much deliberation, Braiden went with Gwen, who hugged him and gifted him a "Team Gwen" T-shirt.
"It was just shocking that somebody that young could have so much tone," Stefani explained. "I can't wait to see what else he can do."
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Braiden, for his part, is just getting his feet wet. He looks to last season's winner Sawyer Fredericks, a Newtown native, as his inspiration.
"Watching Pharrell help Sawyer win the competition was really cool, and he was just this small-town kid, so I thought if he can do it, I can at least give it a shot," Braiden said. "Being the youngest here, I want to prove that I'm a real competitor."
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There's no shortage of support for Braiden back home. He joined friends and family members to watch his pre-taped audition Monday night back home at Lymes' Youth Service Bureau.
"The first time I met him, he was in third grade and I could just tell he had such great talent," said Connecticut resident and longtime fan Missy Garvin. "I have just seen him grow up through town, seen him come to talent shows that we've done here at the Youth Service Bureau, and every year he just keeps getting better and better and I think he's the perfect person for 'The Voice.'"
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Published at 6:10 PM EDT on Sep 21, 2015 - NBC Connecticut News

"Braiden Sunshine, 15, Delivers Knockout Performance On 'The Voice'"

5-year-old Braiden Sunshine of Old Lyme, Connecticut set the bar pretty high on "The Voice" last week with his breathtaking performance of the 1964 standard "Feeling Good," as sung by Michael Bublé.

Under the coaching of pop superstars Gwen Stefani and Rihanna, Braiden won the 'Knockout' round, eliciting wows and a standing ovation from judges Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani and Adam Levine as well as an electrified studio audience.

His stage presence was relaxed, evoking the casual poise of a young Tony Bennett, while his vocal stylings were redolent of Harry Connick Jr. coupled with the bombast of Old Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra.
According to his Facebook bio, Braiden was voted "Most Promising Male Vocalist" in the 13-16 age range in North American Country Music Association International's"New Country" category last year. He also sings and plays guitar in not one, but three different bands: Silver Hammer, Madison Red, and Stone Creek.

According to The Hartford Courant, the young crooner didn't plan on trying out for "The Voice:" his audition was plotted by his mother, who told her son that she was taking him to a car show in New Jersey.

"I was like, 'Where are the cars, Mom? She said, 'This is an audition for The Voice,' " he told the Courant. "I'm glad she did it. I mean, look at where it got me." He made his way onto the show with a blind audition of "Mountains Win Again" by Blues Traveler, who later flew him and his family out to Las Vegas to perform with the band.

He reported his success with a humble touch of bittersweetness on his website:

"... while I am thrilled to have advanced, it's really sad for me to have had to do it at the expense of my amazing battle partner, Lyndsey Elm. You didn't see it on the show, but we spent weeks together practicing for this battle and helping each other be the best we could be! We sang it in each others rooms, with the staff and coaches, in the common rooms, everywhere! There was also A LOT of down time and we got to hang out and really get to know each other and she is so nice and so kind and so beautiful and sings so awesome and shes so much FUN! … she deserved to win as much as I did. When we practiced together, it was never to beat each other, it was always for one person to win and the other to get stolen, but by the time we went on there was no steals left and it was win or lose." - A PLUS

"CT's Braiden Sunshine's Surprise Journey To 'The Voice'"

Until a few months ago, Lyme resident Braiden Sunshine was your average classic rock-loving teenager.

Now, as a contestant on Season 9 of the NBC reality talent show "The Voice," the baby-faced Braiden, 15, a freshman at the Lyme/Old Lyme High School, hobnobs with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Selena Gomez.

Braiden passed his blind audition in Episode 1. He advanced in battle in Episode 9. On Monday, Oct. 26, he competes again: not bad for someone who never planned to audition in the first place.

Growing up, the Sunshines watched "American Idol," "back when Simon Cowell was on," he says, and eventually discovered "The Voice." "It's a whole different dynamic, how they run the show."

By the time he was 9, Braiden was fronting rock bands: Silver Hammer, then Madison Red, and now Stone Creek. His bandmates keep leaving for college.

Braiden's mother, Elizabeth, though Braiden should audition for "The Voice." He convinced her it would be a waste of time. One day she offered to drive him to a car show in New Jersey — or so he thought.

"I was like, 'Where are the cars, Mom? She said, 'This is an audition for 'The Voice.' I'm glad she did it. I mean, look at where it got me."

For his blind audition, Braiden sang "The Mountains Win Again," an acoustic ballad-rocker by Blues Traveler. At the very last second, Stefani and Williams, two of the four judges, pressed their "I Want You" buttons and spun around in their chairs.

"What ran through my head was 'the chairs are broken. Something's wrong with the chairs,'" Braiden says. "It was that close… There are a lot of feelings that we can describe with words, but that particular feeling isn't one."

Back home, Braiden watched the blind audition episode on Sept. 21 at the Lyme Youth Service Bureau, with friends and family. He was sworn to secrecy.

"Everybody was asking [if I passed], and I usually try to tell people stuff in general. I had to learn how to dodge around the question."

The room fell silent during his performance, "a room full of high school students nonetheless," Braiden says. "I thought they'd be going off." The tension increased, then exploded. "They honestly thought I didn't make it."

For his battle round Oct. 19, Braiden sang "No One Is To Blame," by Howard Jones, with teammate Lyndsey Elm. The disconnect between harmony and competition was hard to ignore, but he blocked it out.

"Music isn't supposed to tear people apart," Braiden says. "It's supposed to bring people together... We were going to make the best duet we could make, and the after-part is just what happens."

Stefani, the team leader, chose Braiden. The victory surprised him: "You can see it. I almost fall back on stage. I was stunned."

As for Elm, "I still talk to her all the time," Braiden says. "I felt really bad, because she's a sister to me, and to have to send someone like that home... The battles are definitely the toughest part of the show... You create a bond with these people, and to have to see them go is completely devastating."

Next up are the knockout rounds, when the artists perform individually and coaches decide whether they stay or go. The top 20 then go on to the live playoff rounds, when the audience votes on their fate.

"Voice" winners receive $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group. Connecticut contestants, it seems, do well on the show; Javier Colon, the Season 1 winner, was a Stratford resident and a graduate of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.

For now, Braiden's tutor helps him to stay current on schoolwork. He hopes "The Voice" will launch his music career, and he's aware that he needs to act quickly.

"I want to write some songs and keep them in my back pocket," Braiden says, "so once this is all over, I have something to put out, to use some of the momentum that this show has given me. I'd like to keep the interest up by putting out material. Hopefully people will keep listening to it, and I can do this for a living." - Hartford Courant

"Song Spinner: Braiden Sunshine’s ‘Reality’"

This edition of our Song Spinner series, which takes you into the hearts, minds and hands of local musicians and their creative process, reveals the story behind “Reality” by Braiden Sunshine.
Bio: Sunshine is a 15-year-old singer-songwriter from Old Lyme — and if you don’t know that and are reading this, congrats on emerging from what must have been a coma. Sunshine, you see, was a finalist last fall on NBC’s top-rated “The Voice.” A member of team Gwen (Stefani), Sunshine charmed millions with his talent, his stylistic curiosity and his earnest and genuine smile.

Seizing on the opportunities presented by “The Voice” experiences, Sunshine independently released his first single, “Reality,” on Wednesday.
Insomnia does strange things: “Reality” is the first song Sunshine has ever written, though he has contributed to material in Madison Red, a longtime local band with whom Sunshine still performs.
Interestingly, Sunshine didn’t set out to write the song. It just happened.
He explains, “I couldn’t fall asleep one night. I was stressed out and all jittery. I finally started to drift off about 1 in the morning and suddenly this song starts playing in my head.”
Sunshine thought the song was familiar but couldn’t place it. As he focused on the lyrics, it occurred to him that, in fact, he’d never heard the tune. He laughs: “And I thought, ‘Oh, I’m making this up as I go along.’”
Stealth songcraft: Because it was late at night, Sunshine wrote the lyrics down on his cellphone, then crept into the hallway with his guitar to flesh out the chords and melody without waking anyone up. “The whole thing came to me in about half an hour,” Sunshine says. “I thought it was really cool because it showed me that I have the ability to actually write songs.”
The heart of "Reality”: Sunshine thinks the subconscious genesis of the tune was a cumulative result of his fun but admittedly arduous run on “The Voice” — a months-long period during which he traveled back and forth to Los Angeles and underwent the anxiety of the show’s week-to-week survival format.
“The song’s about having people you really care for far away, whether across the country or the world,” he says. “It’s hard to have people you care for so far away, but you figure out a way.”
Art as therapy: In addition to the swirling excitement and energy of “The Voice,” Sunshine says he also was “going through a lot of tough times at that point, with a lot of different things going on emotionally ... and in my head. But I felt a lot better after I wrote it. I think a lot of things built up and had to come out some way — and did so in the most constructive way.”
Blueprint innocence: At first listen, “Reality” is a fairly straightforward pop-rock tune with a verse/chorus/bridge structure. But, following the dictates of his sleep-crusted Muse, Sunshine tossed out some interesting chord twists in the second verse, even though the vocal melody stays the same. It’s a pretty unusual — but very effective — variation.
“The structure just happened like that,” Sunshine says. “I never thought about it. That’s just the way it came out. My music teacher, when I showed it to him for a project, said he thought it was interesting that I changed chords in the second verse.”
Getting it all down: “Reality” was recorded at Jam Studios in Middletown with longtime Madison Red producer Jeff Franklin — now Sunshine’s co-manager — and with help from longtime musical pals Dave Reed and Ian Maxwell. Synthetic Dream Studio and director Matt Weston produced the accompanying video.
Ignition, liftoff: “Reality,” which officially kick’s off Sunshine’s solo career, was launched Wednesday on video and virtually every online streaming platform available, including YouTube. You can download the track from iTunes.
For more information: Still dealing with the realities of fame, Sunshine is pretty shy about self-promotion. But feel free to investigate his Twitter and Facebook pages.


Sitting on a hillside
Watching the sun go down
She is right beside you
Dressed up in her summer gown
Time starts to move slowly
And you stare right into her eyes
You seem to be frozen
In love on a summer night
But everything passes and life carries on
The ones that you love somehow always are gone,
but never forget how they always make you feel
The love that's between you is what makes life real

Welcome to reality
Where everything moves in space
Everything is changing
And nothing ever stays in place
You go out to find her
To see that she's all but gone
Moved across an ocean
A place you'll never set foot on
Keep holding on to the past
Realizing that frozen time doesn't ever last
You want them to come back
You want them to be
The one who never changes
The one who's close to me
Sitting in a hotel
Waiting for time to fly
You see them on a laptop screen
And don't want to say good bye
REPEAT CHORUS - The New London Day

"Braiden Sunshine Favorite Local Musician 2016"

Look at the bottom of Page 16 - New London Day

"Old Lyme’s 15-year-old singer Braiden Sunshine awaits the next step on ‘The Voice’"

Published October 11. 2015 12:01AM
Rick Koster
Like most 14-year-old kids, Old Lyme’s Braiden Sunshine was focused on getting his first car. He was grateful and even a bit surprised, then, when his mother, Elizabeth Sunshine, suggested they take a day off from school to go to a car show in New Jersey.
But it was a bait and switch operation. There wasn’t any car show.
Instead, Mom had taken Braiden to a cattle call audition for Season Eight of “The Voice,” the hugely popular NBC network singing competition.
Since he was 9 years old, Braiden has been singing professionally with popular area bands Stone Creek, Silver Hammer and Madison Red, as well as in various school music groups and presentations. He’s appeared on The Day’s “Live Lunch Break” concert series and performed in a variety of local restaurants and fairs and at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. But he’d always spurned any suggestions to audition solo for shows like “The Voice.”
“Truthfully, I just thought I probably wouldn’t make the cut,” says Braiden, now 15. No, he wasn’t selected at that Jersey audition — but “The Voice” folks were so supportive and encouraging he decided to try again a year later. Now, speaking on the phone from the family’s Old Lyme home, Braiden is just back from quality time in Los Angeles, filming — yes — his episodes for Season Nine of “The Voice.”
This time, Braiden made it through the open calls and on to the nationally televised “Blind Audition” segment where the show’s four celebrity judges — Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine — each select eight competitors for their team. Facing away from the wannabe artists, the judges listen to the audition and, if interested, hit a button indicating they want that particular contestant for their squad. Then, over the course of the season, the judges nurture and coach their artists through elimination rounds with the help of weekly outside celebrity entertainers.
As the world saw during the Sept. 21 episode, when Braiden performed a version of Blues Traveler’s “The Mountains Win Again,” his work resonated with both Williams and Stefani — meaning he in turn had to choose which of the two famous musicians he wanted to work with.
Frankly, Braiden was so overwhelmed by the simple fact that he was on the show at all, he’d hadn’t given much thought to what would happen if a judge actually selected him.
“I was freaking out like you wouldn’t believe,” he says. “I thought, ‘This is a show that’s had 15 million viewers before — and that number to me is something I just can’t comprehend. There are only a few hundred in the studio audience, but I was just thinking of these cameras shooting the show out to millions of people. It’s crazy to think that many people are going to see you.”
That both Stefani and Williams chose him almost didn’t register. As part of the program’s routine, folks who aren’t chosen get to say a few words of farewell, and that’s what Braiden was concentrating on.
“I was trying to figure out what to say, that it had been a great experience. In my mind, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll go home and ride some dirt bikes and write some songs and I’ll go back and play the Bulkeley House and Hot Rods and Captain’s Pizza — those places have been so supportive — and I’ll get better and try again next year.’ And then ... that they both chose me was just unbelievable and flattering.”
After hearing each coach’s pitch, Braiden chose Stefani, which he says was something not even he expected to do. His initial inclination was to select Williams.
“If I’m perfectly honest, I didn’t know much about Gwen,” he says. “But I’d seen a few of her videos and I loved the way she moved. Pharrell is excellent, but he doesn’t move around as much. My stage performance is just really not good and Gwen is a tremendous performer, and I thought I could learn so much from her about being an entertainer as well as a singer.”
It also hit home with Braiden that, in her pitch, Stefani talked about family. Braiden’s older sister, Sierra Sunshine, and close friends (and siblings) Aidan, Duncan and Ian Maxwell, are his band mates in Silver Hammer and Madison Red. As such, he’s always been appreciative of the family component.
“Gwen mentions family all the time,” Braiden says. “Plus, she’s so genuinely and extremely nice and completely down to earth. It’s been easy to feel very comfortable.”
“The truth is, Braiden’s always been ‘the little one,’” says Elizabeth Sunshine, who has been active in and supportive of her children’s musical activities and ambitions. “Perhaps somewhat over-shadowed by the elder, more experienced band mates, Braiden never thought he had particular talent. But I told him over and over again that he has a special quality to his voice. It has something that elicits the involuntary goose bumps when you hear it.”
Both Braiden and Elizabeth are quick to describe the overall positive construct and attitude of the whole “Voice” team as making the idea of entering a competition — in the oft-brutal music industry — something they were comfortable with.
Braiden says, “When I didn’t make it in Season Eight, (‘The Voice’ people) said, ‘We’ll keep in touch.’ Even at my age, in this business, I’ve learned that, when people say that, they usually don’t. But they actually did. They were encouraging. It meant a lot, particularly when it came time to trying again.”
Elizabeth says she’d done research on “The Voice” before surprising Braiden with the original “fake car trip” audition.
“‘The Voice’ isn’t like other reality show competitions in that they don’t create drama and negativity and then film it. What I’d heard — and what I’ve come to know through his experience with the show — is that there is an atmosphere of kindness, encouragement and supportiveness from the show’s producers, staff and contestants. There’s a ‘we’re all in this together’ vibe, and if the show was any different, we would never have gotten in the car that day.”
For the Sept. 21 airing, Braiden watched with about 75 friends and family members at the Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau.
The next steps in the competition are the “Battles” episodes, where the coaches, with the help of guest celebrities — Team Gwen has the services of Selena Gomez — pit two of their own members against one another in a dueling duet. Each coach must choose the stronger performer, with options to steal losing artists from another coach.
The “Battles” tapings are done but, contractually, Braiden can’t divulge what happened. His duet will air either at 8 p.m. Monday or 9 p.m. Tuesday. Even he doesn’t know which day.
Maintaining secrecy, he says, hasn’t been easy.
“There have been so many food bribes,” he says. “‘I’ll get you a pizza. A large pizza. TWO pizzas!’ And I just have to say, ‘NOOOO!’”
One thing Braiden has indulged in? He bought a car. “You know, I figured I’d just get an old Camry or something, the sort of car kids my age get. I’ve been saving money for a long time. Then ‘The Voice’ happened and I thought, ‘Wow.’ So I went out and got my forever car, a cherry red 1959 Plymouth Belvedere. It just seemed like it was meant to be.” - The Day


Through the Voice TV Show Braiden has recorded and released on iTunes covers of each song he performed on the show. They include:  The Mountains Win Again by Blues Traveler, - No One is to Blame by Howard Jones , Feeling Good by Michael Bubble,-  Everything I Own by Bread - True by Spandau Ballet, - Renegade by Styx, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, and Amazing Grace.. One note is that his versions of these covers of three of these songs shot to the  #1 slot in their genre  upon release on i-tunes.

In 2016 Braiden has also released his solo original songs "Reality" and "A Place for me"

"Madison Red" - self titled debut LP ( (**The song 'Brand New Day' was performed by the band on a nationally syndicated TV Show in February, 2013 and their second album came out in January 2014



Braiden Sunshine is best known as a semi-finalist on Season 9 of NBC's 'The Voice', but there is so much more to this young performer! As part of Team Gwen, Braiden used his personality, stage presence and incredible vocal ability to advance through 8 of the 9 rounds of competition, gaining a nationwide following of tens of thousands of fans in the process. Braiden impressed a variety of famous musicians with his performances, which led to the opportunity to play with such notable acts as Blues Traveler and Huey Lewis and the News.

Since the show, Braiden, at the ripe old age of 16, has turned his attention to writing and recording original music as a solo artist and playing high energy shows with his band. Despite his age, he's no stranger to the studio, having recorded two albums with his band Madison Red and a solo EP of some of his original songs last year. A full length solo album is due out this year. Braiden's true passion is performing, and he is looking forward to playing out and introducing fans old and new to his new music this summer with his band. You can link to Braiden's social media through, which has information on all things Braiden, including upcoming gigs and events, or just Google his name!

Band Members