Brent Malin

Brent Malin

 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Born on the Kansas plains, Malin's music tells stark stories drawn from his small town background, finding the pleasure and pain in the most mundane aspects of daily life. His well crafted lyrics and melodies make for bare sounding songs brimming with the folk wisdom of his prairie roots.


Brent Malin is a singer-songwriter centered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has performed his original country and folk songs for audiences throughout the country–from California to his native state of Kansas and beyond. Malin’s most recent recording effort, Two Trees, captures his travels from the plains to the coasts and back, telling stories of lost souls, small towns, and big cities–all inflected by the down-home wisdom and music of his prairie roots.

Malin performs his unique blend of folk, country, and blues music both solo and with his hard rocking alt-country backing band, The Railroaders. Over the years he has had the opportunity to play such exciting venues as New York City’s classic folk club the Bitter End, San Francisco’s Cafe du Nord, the Wheeling Jamboree (the second oldest country radio show in the US), and Pittsburgh’s Club Cafe. He has also opened for such national acts as Diana Jones, Ike Reilly, Hoots and Hellmouth, the Derailers and Shovels and Rope.

Brent came to music largely through his mother, a pianist, choir director, accountant, and jack-of-all-trades, as well as through growing up in the United Methodist Church where both his mother and father sang in the choir. On hymns like “Blest Be the Tie that Binds,” Brent learned to sing the tenor line between his mother’s alto and his father’s bass; eventually Brent graduated to the bass line himself. While Brent was a college student, his grandpa Malin died, leaving Brent–his youngest grandson–the nylon string guitar he had purchased from the Sears-Roebuck catalog a number of years before. Eventually, Brent took his guitar to Iowa City, Iowa, a vibrant folk and roots-rock music scene and home to such nationally known talents as Greg Brown, Dave Moore, and Bo Ramsey. From there, Brent moved to Minnesota, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and then to Pittsburgh, continuing to perform both solo and in a variety of rock, roots, and blues bands.

Brent’s first album Long, Long Way, was recorded in Oakland, California and released in 2007. Containing 12 original alt-country tunes, Long Long Way bears the marks of Brent’s years in the San Francisco music scene and features some of the finest bay area roots and rock musicians. His second album, Two Trees, to be released in October 2013, showcases Brent’s continuing development as a songwriter over the past six years, during which he has gained a variety of experiences, including getting married and becoming a father. Backed by musicians from both Pittsburgh and San Francisco, the ten original songs on Two Trees run the gamut from contemporary roots-rock to traditional country. Including simple vocal and acoustic guitar numbers and full band songs with drums, bass, dobro, fiddle, and pedal steel guitar, both Long Long Way and Two Trees capture the Kansas-bred sounds that have helped Brent charm so-many east and west coasters with his mid-western ways. In a style that some have called “Country and Mid-Western,” Brent continues to connect with audiences with his engaging, intimate performances and true-to-the-heart songwriting.


Bridge to Alameda

Written By: Brent Malin

Eleven at night on a Saturday
Ocean fog from the west
Coats us all in a thick cloud of mist
I’m a stranger to myself
The friends I’ve made since I moved out here
Have all gone a separate way
And the guys I hated in high school back home
Are a pain in my ass still today

I take the bridge to Alameda
That little town’s gonna free ya
From things that scare and tree ya
Strand you in mid-air
Take the bridge to Alameda
'Neath the lights of Cassiopeia
I really want to see ya
I need that love you’ve got to share

Sometimes a soul gets lonely
Pounding those old city streets
Lowering his eyes to the sidewalk
Ignoring the people he meets
But your eyes are like a blanket
Your arms are like a bed
And when I feel like crying
I just think of your sweet hands instead

Take the bridge to Alameda
Cause it’s really nice just to see ya
And I can guarantee ya
That one and one makes two
Take the bridge to Alameda
Taste your lips sweet as sangria
A tell-tale heart is gonna lead ya
To that thing you want to do



Long Long Way (LP)
Two Trees (LP)

Set List

Performing his original music (sprinkled with the occaisional traditional song, hymn, or cover tune), Brent can do up to three 45 minute sets.

Here is a typical set list of original songs:

Bridge to Alameda
Small town Boys
Elnora Sleeps
By and By
Rio Grande
No time Like the Present
Long Long Way
Two Trees
Sad Train
Salvation Army
Larissa Smiles
Winter Moon
Mona Lisa Smile
The Ballad of Darry Matts
I Don't Miss You When You're Gone
Hundred Miles of Sky
Shanty Town
Every Tear that You Cry
Blest Be the Tie that Binds
Alright Now
Circus Ride
I Swear
Small World
Circus Ride
Moon Over Santa Fe