Brandon James Whyde
Gig Seeker Pro

Brandon James Whyde

Beech Grove, Indiana, United States | SELF

Beech Grove, Indiana, United States | SELF
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


It’s a seasonal October evening when Brandon Whyde wordlessly takes the stage at the revamped Royal Theater in Danville, Ind.

The Beech Grove-based singer/songwriter has been hired to open for Boston’s archetypal roots artist Eilen Jewell. He’s warming up a crowd that, other than his mom, sister and co-worker, doesn’t seem to know who he is. His only weapons are an acoustic guitar, mouth harp and singing voice lauded by seemingly everyone who has ever heard it.

After a few strums, Whyde launches into the spare original “Paper Ghosts.” Suddenly, it’s as if the shy man in the black suit and hat with piercing blue eyes and curly locks is experiencing an exorcism within himself. The meaning of each word can be traced on his face, felt in a soulful, roughhewn voice than can break under an impassioned roar one moment, melt into a gentle falsetto the next.

Bob Dylan’s “You Belong to Me” is slowed to the point that every note resonates. Whyde’s enchanting busker side shines on. He prefaces his song “Little Town” with childhood memories many Hoosiers can identify. “It’s a love note really,” Whyde says, then pauses. “More like hate mail.”

By the time he dispatches his quirky, ardent rendering of “All Along the Watchtower,” the audience that didn’t come to see him is all his. After Whyde plays his composition “Tit for Tat,” ending with a beat-box riff on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” he asks no one in particular how he’s doing on time.

“Who cares?” someone yells.

“Play,” another insists simply.

It’s the opening act equivalent of an encore — something in effect Whyde (pronounced “wide”) has been getting a lot lately.

A rising star
“He carries himself like a rising star,” says Joe DeMore, who co-owns the Southside Gaslight Inn with Dan Albers, where Whyde has taken up something of a residency. “He has entertainment, charisma, star power. I have to sit down when I watch him. It’s almost overwhelming sometimes.”

Josh Kelley, a rising star in the national singer-songwriter scene, was so impressed with Whyde’s music he’s made it his mission to effectively break him into the industry.

“I’m going to get this kid a record deal,” Kelley says. “He’s like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits got stuck in a blender, and out came Brandon Whyde.”

Whyde, 22, was filed in his high school yearbook under “most popular.” He’s got a vintage mien that seems modern by Midwestern standards, yet pays the bills by working as a carpenter at the University of Indianapolis. At Beech Grove High School he wrestled on a team that was perennially state-ranked. As running back he was captain of the football team. Whyde also played baseball and ran track.

That must explain his standing. By his own admission, Whyde was a shy youth who didn’t talk to many people. He was the storybook bohemian athlete, entranced by poetry as much as play. Whyde still remembers memorizing a Langston Hughes poem in the third grade, not so much understanding its meaning as being taken by its sounds and rhythms.

“It was an odd balance,” he says of his youth. “I still don’t get it to this day. I still act the same way, but a lot of people know me and know of me, for one reason or another.”

Going after what he wants
As introverted as Whyde still is, he’s never been afraid to go after what he wants. Especially music. That seed was planted from the beginning by his father, James “Kevin” Whyde. He remembers him chiefly as being a hard worker. Kevin always held three steady jobs, his main one as a welder for Ford. And there was his voice. A beautiful one.

“If he had been afforded the proper opportunities growing up, he really could’ve done something great with that,” Whyde says.

As it was, karaoke and church were his primary spotlights. He often won singing competitions. To this day, Whyde’s father is still his primary inspiration.

“He was always singing around the house,” Whyde says. “We just did that naturally; I thought that’s how all families operated until I was older.”

Music was Whyde’s saving grace when Kevin was killed by a drunk driver. His cousin’s husband, who studied music in college, was staying in the Whyde residence with other relatives following the tragedy. He introduced Whyde to a world beyond the Top 40. As with so many of today’s musicians, Dylan was chief among them.

“At that time in my life, what he was doing lyrically made sense to me,” Whyde says, noting “Like a Rolling Stone” was his first. “It was really abstract, different from the pop tunes and country music and old R&B tunes I had been listening to before. It had a depth to it that resonated more like poetry with me.”

It rekindled in Whyde the desire to pick up the guitar he got at age 7 again at age 15. He never performed publicly while still in high school, though. Occasionally, if goaded enough, Whyde would bring out his guitar and play for a small circle of friends if they were just hanging out.

Jamming every night
After earning a Lily Endowmen - Wade Coggeshall, Nuvo


It’s a seasonal October evening when Brandon Whyde wordlessly takes the stage at the revamped Royal Theater in Danville, Ind.

The Beech Grove-based singer/songwriter has been hired to open for Boston’s archetypal roots artist Eilen Jewell. He’s warming up a crowd that, other than his mom, sister and co-worker, doesn’t seem to know who he is. His only weapons are an acoustic guitar, mouth harp and singing voice lauded by seemingly everyone who has ever heard it.

After a few strums, Whyde launches into the spare original “Paper Ghosts.” Suddenly, it’s as if the shy man in the black suit and hat with piercing blue eyes and curly locks is experiencing an exorcism within himself. The meaning of each word can be traced on his face, felt in a soulful, roughhewn voice than can break under an impassioned roar one moment, melt into a gentle falsetto the next.

Bob Dylan’s “You Belong to Me” is slowed to the point that every note resonates. Whyde’s enchanting busker side shines on. He prefaces his song “Little Town” with childhood memories many Hoosiers can identify. “It’s a love note really,” Whyde says, then pauses. “More like hate mail.”

By the time he dispatches his quirky, ardent rendering of “All Along the Watchtower,” the audience that didn’t come to see him is all his. After Whyde plays his composition “Tit for Tat,” ending with a beat-box riff on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On,” he asks no one in particular how he’s doing on time.

“Who cares?” someone yells.

“Play,” another insists simply.

It’s the opening act equivalent of an encore — something in effect Whyde (pronounced “wide”) has been getting a lot lately.

A rising star
“He carries himself like a rising star,” says Joe DeMore, who co-owns the Southside Gaslight Inn with Dan Albers, where Whyde has taken up something of a residency. “He has entertainment, charisma, star power. I have to sit down when I watch him. It’s almost overwhelming sometimes.”

Josh Kelley, a rising star in the national singer-songwriter scene, was so impressed with Whyde’s music he’s made it his mission to effectively break him into the industry.

“I’m going to get this kid a record deal,” Kelley says. “He’s like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits got stuck in a blender, and out came Brandon Whyde.”

Whyde, 22, was filed in his high school yearbook under “most popular.” He’s got a vintage mien that seems modern by Midwestern standards, yet pays the bills by working as a carpenter at the University of Indianapolis. At Beech Grove High School he wrestled on a team that was perennially state-ranked. As running back he was captain of the football team. Whyde also played baseball and ran track.

That must explain his standing. By his own admission, Whyde was a shy youth who didn’t talk to many people. He was the storybook bohemian athlete, entranced by poetry as much as play. Whyde still remembers memorizing a Langston Hughes poem in the third grade, not so much understanding its meaning as being taken by its sounds and rhythms.

“It was an odd balance,” he says of his youth. “I still don’t get it to this day. I still act the same way, but a lot of people know me and know of me, for one reason or another.”

Going after what he wants
As introverted as Whyde still is, he’s never been afraid to go after what he wants. Especially music. That seed was planted from the beginning by his father, James “Kevin” Whyde. He remembers him chiefly as being a hard worker. Kevin always held three steady jobs, his main one as a welder for Ford. And there was his voice. A beautiful one.

“If he had been afforded the proper opportunities growing up, he really could’ve done something great with that,” Whyde says.

As it was, karaoke and church were his primary spotlights. He often won singing competitions. To this day, Whyde’s father is still his primary inspiration.

“He was always singing around the house,” Whyde says. “We just did that naturally; I thought that’s how all families operated until I was older.”

Music was Whyde’s saving grace when Kevin was killed by a drunk driver. His cousin’s husband, who studied music in college, was staying in the Whyde residence with other relatives following the tragedy. He introduced Whyde to a world beyond the Top 40. As with so many of today’s musicians, Dylan was chief among them.

“At that time in my life, what he was doing lyrically made sense to me,” Whyde says, noting “Like a Rolling Stone” was his first. “It was really abstract, different from the pop tunes and country music and old R&B tunes I had been listening to before. It had a depth to it that resonated more like poetry with me.”

It rekindled in Whyde the desire to pick up the guitar he got at age 7 again at age 15. He never performed publicly while still in high school, though. Occasionally, if goaded enough, Whyde would bring out his guitar and play for a small circle of friends if they were just hanging out.

Jamming every night
After earning a Lily Endowmen - Wade Coggeshall, Nuvo


Here are some extra tidbits about Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley‘s wedding day via OK! magazine:

What was the most moving moment of the day?
Katherine: When Brandon Whyde sang as a tribute to my brother [Jason, who passed away in 1986] and Josh’s sister who died as a baby. They are two people who should’ve been there and weren’t. We wanted to honor them in some way.

Whose idea was it to have T.R. Knight as a groomsman?
Josh: It was my idea because he’s become such a good friend. He’s a really solid, smart guy. [The bridesmaid rumor] was never the case. People just make things up. It starts to get really weird.

How did you choose your rings?
Katherine: Mine is a diamond-and-sapphire eternity band. I designed both with my jeweler Ryan Ryan, who also did the engagement ring and does all my red carpet jewelry. For Josh, since he’s a rocker,I wanted him to have a funky band, so it’s wide platinum.
Josh: It looks like it’s been woven; it twinkles a bit, like it has tiny diamonds. I was kind of nervous about what she would have me wear, but I thought, “This girl’s cool; she’ll do something cool for me.”

Earlier this morning, I posted pictures from Katherine Heigl‘s wedding but be sure to pick up the hard copy of the issue for the full interview and full photo spread, on newsstands now! - Katherine Heigl, OK! Magazine


Here are some extra tidbits about Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley‘s wedding day via OK! magazine:

What was the most moving moment of the day?
Katherine: When Brandon Whyde sang as a tribute to my brother [Jason, who passed away in 1986] and Josh’s sister who died as a baby. They are two people who should’ve been there and weren’t. We wanted to honor them in some way.

Whose idea was it to have T.R. Knight as a groomsman?
Josh: It was my idea because he’s become such a good friend. He’s a really solid, smart guy. [The bridesmaid rumor] was never the case. People just make things up. It starts to get really weird.

How did you choose your rings?
Katherine: Mine is a diamond-and-sapphire eternity band. I designed both with my jeweler Ryan Ryan, who also did the engagement ring and does all my red carpet jewelry. For Josh, since he’s a rocker,I wanted him to have a funky band, so it’s wide platinum.
Josh: It looks like it’s been woven; it twinkles a bit, like it has tiny diamonds. I was kind of nervous about what she would have me wear, but I thought, “This girl’s cool; she’ll do something cool for me.”

Earlier this morning, I posted pictures from Katherine Heigl‘s wedding but be sure to pick up the hard copy of the issue for the full interview and full photo spread, on newsstands now! - Katherine Heigl, OK! Magazine


Brandon Whyde is a singer/songwriter/guitarist based out of Indianapolis who is believed to be one of the best available acoustic acts in the Circle City. Classified under folk rock and soul genres, Brandon performs alone, creating a very intimate musical experience at his shows. He is one of the many musicians that make up the thriving Indianapolis music scene. - Bryan Johnson, Fun City Finder


Brandon Whyde is a singer/songwriter/guitarist based out of Indianapolis who is believed to be one of the best available acoustic acts in the Circle City. Classified under folk rock and soul genres, Brandon performs alone, creating a very intimate musical experience at his shows. He is one of the many musicians that make up the thriving Indianapolis music scene. - Bryan Johnson, Fun City Finder


Brandon Whyde is one hell of a singer-songwriter. He puts me in mind of Ray Lamontagne or Amos Lee. He's got a raw truthfulness to each lyric that cuts right through and demands your full attention. He emits so much energy and raw emotion from each song he seems on the verge of exploding. His songs seemed deeply personal. He appeared visibly shaken after his show like we'd just witnessed his exorcism. Well worth a look-see. - Wayne Bertsch, Nuvo


Brandon Whyde is one hell of a singer-songwriter. He puts me in mind of Ray Lamontagne or Amos Lee. He's got a raw truthfulness to each lyric that cuts right through and demands your full attention. He emits so much energy and raw emotion from each song he seems on the verge of exploding. His songs seemed deeply personal. He appeared visibly shaken after his show like we'd just witnessed his exorcism. Well worth a look-see. - Wayne Bertsch, Nuvo


Discography

Brandon Whyde (EP)
Boxing Lessons (EP)

Photos

Bio

Brandon Whyde hails from Indianapolis, IN. The birthplace of one Steve McQueen. Much like The King of Cool, Whyde tends to leave an impression with everything he does.

In high school he was filed in the yearbook under most popular. He wrestled on a team that was perennially state-ranked. As running back he was captain of the football team. Whyde also played baseball and ran track.

Around the same time, he decided to play music. That seed was planted much earlier by his father, who was always singing around the house. Music was Whydes saving grace when his father was killed by drunk driver when Whyde was still a teen. Discovering aural poets like Bob Dylan soon introduced a new world to Whyde beyond the confining conventions of Midwestern youth. He picked up a guitar and never looked back.

A brief stint at Indiana University gave way to a self-described apprenticeship in Nashville, TN.

Every night you can go out to three different clubs, watch and talk with people, and learn so much, Whyde says of Music City, U.S.A. Everyone is so open there to lend a helping hand. I learned so much playing second fiddle to what they were doing. I tried to learn as much as I could.

Whyde didnt get his big break there. That came after he returned to Indiana. During a side-stage performance at an Indianapolis amphitheater, one of the featured performers guitarist liked what he heard from Whyde and invited him to his home to record some demos. A year later those recordings found their way to Josh Kelley, who also liked them enough to invite Whyde to record with him.

Hes like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits got stuck in a blender, and out came Brandon Whyde, Kelley says.

Subsequent sessions yielded a 10-song CD that showcases the soul-searing exorcism Whyde projects not just with an impassioned, roughhewn voice that both breaks and melts, but a vintage mien punctuated by dark, curly locks and piercing blue eyes where every emotion experienced can be traced.

Since recording with Kelley, Whyde has opened for the nationally-known singer-songwriter on a month-long tour. It was an opportunity for him to experience new things and learn some too.

Im a natural-born people-watcher, so its been neat to get around to these different places and notice the similarities between all people, he says. Getting out and moving around, you find out were pretty much the same all over.

Now living in Atlanta, Whyde continues to hone his craft. This year alone hes written two albums worth of new material.

I mainly draw on past experiences, Whyde says of his muses. Im moved more by the motors of people and telling a story that perhaps can be healing for another person. Its been neat to meet more people. Everything else is just coloration.

Whyde hopes for more such prospects to stay inspired.

Right now Id love the opportunity to just stay on the road and keep moving, he says. Theres nothing better than that for me. I dont what it is. Its just in my personality to wander somewhere new every night.

A restless soul. Just like McQueen.

Its that era that I really love, Whyde says of that bygone era. Theres a coolness to it all thats not around anymore.

Except in Whyde.

Wade Coggeshall

Band Members