Brent Kirby

Brent Kirby

 Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Brent Kirby is a singer/songwriter from Cleveland, OH. Called "One of Cleveland's finest singer songwriters" by the Cleveland Scene, and the "the real deal" by, Brent keeps busy playing, writing, and performing his unique take on americana music in his solo band and five other bands.


Brent Kirby is a night's stroll with a rock n' roll romantic. This does not mean Kirby's merely a smitten troubadour, or a bard for the wayward but colorful life of musicians. Though his own songs bring up those immortal topics, Kirby's romanticism is much bigger than that. His songs start with the introspective stir of strum and voice, but just like his performances, quickly move outward and embrace the listener. Kirby, who grew up in Wisconsin and has lived playing music in places as varied as Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cleveland, has acquired a keen narrator's eye. Playing bars and clubs since his early teens, his lyrics dictate life in the moment, not as nightly grinds, but as places where dreams really come to life in gritty color.

Hes been called by many one of Clevelands hardest working musicians and his actions prove that. When he is not playing solo or with his band, the Shapeshifters, he writes the tunes and fronts the Jack Fords (2007, 2009 Best Rock Band Cleveland Scene), plays drums for celebrated singer/songwriter Chris Allen and the holiday band, the Ohio City Singers. He is the founder and leader of The New Soft Shoe, a band put together to specifically perform the material of Gram Parsons. He can also be found during the day teaching songwriting to kids of all ages in the Cleveland Municipal School District.

In addition to all of the awards garnered by all the other groups Kirby has been a part of, he has been individually nominated multiple times by the Free Times and Cleveland Scene for Best Male Singer/Songwriter and Best Male Vocalist. This has led to sharing the stage with Edwin McCain, Jorma Kakounen, Ellis Paul, Michael Stanley, Will Hoge, John Eddie, Southside Johnny, Bottlerockets, Augustana, Devon Allman, The Yayhoos, James Gang, Marah, The Trews, Dave Alvin, Band of Heathens, Elizabeth Cook, among many others.

Fueled by an arsenal of songs in the spirit of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, to the more recent Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne, and Wilco, Kirby delivers a charismatic performance with a heartfelt sincerity that's been honed by countless gigs and a sheer desire for perfection. He will be touring regionally and nationally in support of his 2010 release with his band, The Lost Fortunes, called Coming Back to Life.
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Silently Stepping Out Surreal

Written By: Brent Kirby

silently stepping out surreal
jester’s playing for applause ain’t no changing in the laws
make em laugh or die don’t even stop to wonder why
queen is getting drunk again she’s been known to now and then
busted jewels on a crooked crown somedays she feel just like a clown
when you feel like you just don’t belong
hard to tell sometimes whether you are right or wrong
what you need what you want
what you have what you don’t
what’s your dream what you feel
what’s the truth truth for real
silently stepping out surreal
prince pretends that he don’t care he’s got down the james dean stare
knows that he’s the one sometimes wishes he could run
king he seems the restless soul maintains complete control
lies that don’t seem true always come back to haunt you
when you feel like you just don’t belong
hard to tell sometimes whether you are right or wrong
first knight doesn’t speak a word suit of armor looks absurd
not a single spot that’s bare can you tell me why he looks so scared
princess floats among the crowd all the passing suitors bowed
hides her face away she’s more beautiful that way
when you feel like you just don’t belong
hard to tell sometimes whether you are right or wrong

Don't You Cry For me

Written By: Brent Kirby

don’t cry for me
you can’t say i didn’t miss you
not a day goes by that I didn’t cry
i remember one night when I kissed you
you were a stranger to the touch
you said goodbye
night shows up and I miss the sunset
day goes by and I miss the moon
it seems you always want what you can’t get
it will all come to your local theatres soon
don’t you cry for me
or sing some song of joy
i’m trying to grow up
but I’m just a boy
sometimes i’ve been told
i seem slightly shy
it aint’ no act
just trying to get by
said that you’ll be mine forever
til the sun don’t set and this world stop to spin
scene plays out just like a movie
as soon as it’s done it rolls again
everybody talks about my drinking
it’s not they never toast a shot
but when I think of you and sunshine shining
these memories only thing that I’ve got

Bent Outta shape

Written By: Brent Kirby/Jack Fords

bent outta shape she lives right upstairs apartment 2b plays guitar in a band they call the chick pees purple died hair stiff mohawk burned green like the outer edge of some sci fi dream she’s a slave to fashion she’s all dressed to kill gothic rocket baby and she’s on the pill (thank god) last night in the bathroom with a disco ball woos ‘em in from the window with her feline call and she can’t see straight there’s no escape it’s way too late i’m bent outta shape her eyes light up as the sun goes down she blackens up her face and heads downtown marshall stack blowing back dance slam hard she’s a rave hopping pill popping ecstacy star you can handcuff me up and send me home straight jacket snaps pop just like a wishbone shimmy shackle salivator watch him go bone crashing to the stage at the rock and roll show tractor beam buzzing she draws you in ghoulie pachoulie you can smell downwind rattle shake snaking on a wet clothes wire tries to put it out but she sets it on fire and i can’t see straight it’s way too late i’m bent outta shape all manners of bangles buckles and spurs like the funniest thing you’ve ever heard (ha, ha) polyester naugahyde leather and chains she forgot her slicker just in case it rains and she can’t see straight there’s no escape it’s way too late i’m bent outta shape

The Way Things Should Be

Written By: Brent Kirby/Jack Fords

the way things should be broke down by the side of the road even my spare tires blowed got 3 quarters and a nickel too slid myself into some telephone booth when a light from up above shined through the trees i thought it was the timing to leave it be i wonder why felt something tingle in my feet as my body floated off the street i ain’t ever been able to fly glanced up to wonder why blinded all i could hear was this whirring sound and some smart looking lady staring me down she said i come in peace that’s what they said you’d say time traveled from a long long way did you know you’re not the only one as we skidded on past the sun it might seem kinda funny but i swear i always knew listen to these words i speak to you and listen to me good i’ll wait for you if you’ll wait for me it’s past possibility i’ll wait for you if you’ll wait for me this is the way things should be she took my hand led me down the hall, lines busy make another call, there i sat while she blew my mind just a stranger different kind with lights so bright she wound me up with ease i didn’t even have to say pretty please she told me secrets as i came to be changed the static on night tv broadcast me staring sides of stage we all gotta make our wage, as she stared me straight and simple in my eyes let me bless you make you wise beep beep beep i heard my alarm, slammed the bone on my funny arm, my baby said come back to bed with this thoughts still ringing through my head sitting silent, speechless sullen, sound, with this thought that i had found goes something like this

Funny Photos

Written By: Brent Kirby

funny photos

flash the features blonde the bleachers

we gotta find some way tonight

funny photos full of no shows

yea i still turned out right

i could steal the sun and make it want to hide inside of you

and you’d shine

sing the beatles sewn with needles

don’t let it get you down

funny photos that only she knows

so hard to keep around

i coulda stole the sun and made it want to hide inside of you

and you’d shine

you wait for something to believe in

you can’t take just because your heart’s bleeding

everybody still wants more yea, you’re just dreaming

wouldn’t have it any other way

i just stole the sun and made it wanna hide inside of you

and you’ll shine

funny photos

filled with no shows

Spot Where I Stand

Written By: Brent Kirby

Spot where I stand

It’s a long way to Cleveland
dead set in my plans
If I could just see you
I’d make my reprimands
Beg for you forgiveness
travel cross this land
I can see it all so clearly
from this spot where I stand

Started out on my journey
on early july morn
And I walked until my feet and confidence was worn
At night I slept beneath the stars
and stared into the sky
Feel like I’m so far away
wish that I could fly
As I got much closer
I began to rehearse
What it is I’d say to you
what I would say first
I pictured your steel blue eyes and shining hair of gold
So much there between us
secrets that we hold

Brighter lights were shining
the city came into view
Manicured gardens
all the buildings seemed brand new
Didn’t know where to find you
didn’t know where to start
Let me feet fall beneath me
and follow my heart


Mavis- Turn Around
2005 Brent Kirby & The Flashing 12's- The Mean Days
2007 Jack Fords- Bent Outta Shape
2010 Brent Kirby- Last Song On The Soundtrack
2010 Jack Fords- The Way Things Should Be
2011 Brent Kirby & The Lost Fortunes- Coming Back to Life

Set List

Club set for band, solo- 45 minutes to 2 hours- all original
Bar set for band, solo - hour and a half sets-usually 2, consisting of mostly originals, some well known and obscure covers thrown in for fan and crowd
Covers consist of mostly Americana rock- Dylan, Petty, Springsteen, The Band, Ryan Adams, Rolling Stones, Gram Parsons, etc.