Brent Mitchell
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Brent Mitchell

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Brent Mitchell"

A NEW BRENT MITCHELL CD is always a treat. Even moreso this self-titled offering, becasue it's his first since 1999's Fallen Angel Palace and 1997's Reciting Whitman to the Cows. Newcomers should be intrigued by anyone who, in the liner notes, thanks the likes of Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, William Blake, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Ira Glass.

Mitchell is an edgy, poetic writer and singer in the best Texas tradition, more rural than urban, modern but with a real respect for the past, olk with touches of the blues and other influences. He's also a former winner of the B.W. Stevenson singer-songwriter competition at Poor David's Pub.

Sometimes Mitchell tells stories here; sometimes he just sets and sustains moods. Among many highlights, "Blackbirds Hangin' from the Noonday Sun" is a prayer for the quality of memories; "The We''" is a chilling tale of human indifference that eventually haunts; "Prodigal Son," among its sad themes, is a reminder that Jesus drank wine with the sinners; and "Cemetery Angels" is a love and longing song that walks the line between reality and dream.

"The Wind" enchants with its bass groove, jazzy keyboards, and harmonica. "High John de Conquer" parts I and II are joyful blues praise for perseverance, faith, song, and laughter.

Seldom do Mitchell and Eric Fritsch, who provided much of the musical support, stray form the simple and necessary. Only on "Tiger, Tiger," with lyrics from William Blake's "Songs of Experience," might they go a little too far. I've heard the song with just vocals and guitar; here, the undercurrent of sounds may go just a little too far. That's a small quibble, and one easy to disagree with on this contemplative joy of a CD for the literate listener or for anybody, literate or not, who's willing to listen. Surely to remain one of the year's best.
- Tom Geddie, Buddy Magazine

"Stairway to Heaven"

Riding the line between straight-up country, shuffle--beat rock and adult-contemporary, radio-ready rock, Brent Mitchell and his band will soon release their sophomore effort, "Fallen Angel Palace."

Mitchell hopes the strongly produced album will win the favor of the national music public.

The new CD, which officially hits the streets Saturday, will bring hte already-popular local musician his deserved recognition and is quite possibly a strong enough release to win Mitchell and his crew the admiration of the majors.

"Fallen Angel Palace" is marketable enough to have already been played its fair share on local radio and if Mitchell is able to secure the national distribution he is hoping for, it should be able to catch like wildfire on the national stations.

If you are yet to be familiar with Mitchell, his story includes an early departure from high school, thumbing across the country with a friend in hopes of meeting Brooke Shields and gut-wrenching relationships with women. Mitchell's is a story that is reflected in his music, intertwined with his personal poetry, creating a unique outlet for his well-crafted Texas vocal stylings. The songs on "Fallen Angel Palace" range in topics from a metaphor of the love-torn heart being like a coal miner's lung to the comedic stance on a cow's love affair.

The album, which was recorded ina double-wide trailer, manages to successfully capture a pure sound on a budget that Mitchell and his cohorts could afford solely based on sales of his debut, "Recited Whitman to the Cows."

"We've been getting killer feedback off the bat," Mitchell said. "In a word, I like this album better than the last one. ... The only thing I know is that people seem to dig the music and keep showing up to shows."
... - Chad Huffman, Entertainment Chronicle

"Big Country: You can't stop the Brent Mitchell Band..."

Take the voice of Eddie Vedder (please) and the eloquent lyrics of the best of Hootie and the Blowfish. Borrow Allison Krause's fiddle and Ricky Skaggs' mandolin. Put a ptopulsive, slippery rock beat bejind it, and add sparkling three-part harmonies.

Mmmm, tasty. But what in the heck do you call it? The Brent Mitchell Band's press relsease puts it this way: "Hungarian Celtic Jamican Tex0-Mex cowboy blues alternative rock and country." Call it what you like, but hte stuff sticks to your ears like musical mucilage.

... - Buzz McClain, The Met

"Hunky Tonk"

Brent Mitchell has wandered through the dark alleys and beaten paths that provide the backdrop for most of his songs.

On Reciting Whitman to the Cows...Mr. Mitchell weaves autobiographical tales of loneliness, redemption, murder and romantic longing. Rooted in an organic blend of country and folk, Mr. Mitchell's sound skirts a variety of American styles--from blues to bluegrass, rock to reggae.

His rugged baritone and rhythmic acoustic guitar open "Child of God," a song that takes the listener through a seedy trek from Dallas to Mexico. The narrator's trip, derailed by stops at a Mexican whorehouse and a fatal encounter with an underage thief, set the tone for the entire album... - Mario Tarradell, The Dallas Morning News

"Past tribulations fuel Brent Mitchell's desire to succeed"

Traveling from hell and back, Brent Mitchell has accumulated the high hopes as well as the desperation of any great Texas songwriter.

He combines his life events with an indeniable grasp of the English language, creating and autobiographical story in his music.

A high school dropout fueled by his appreciation of music and his first guitar, Mitchell educated himself through the law of the land.

He and a friend headed for the big lights of Hollywood, chasing a dream, finding their existence.

The open-minded teenager returned home with a broad sense of life and a new direction for his future. His love for music and his strive to entertain soon surpassed his education focus and became his most important aspiration.


"I finally oing this top-40 band," Mitchell said. "It was a good band, but doing htat type of music was God awful."

Relentless about playing, but unpassionate about the music, Mitchell left the band, and headed to Nashville. I managed to get some deals but I just couldn't get into the scene in Nashville," Mitchell said. "They have a real restrictive hold on everything. They aren't imaginative or creative with the music;. I just didn't like it, so I packed up and headed home" ... - Jennifer Robertson, Arts and Entertainment

"Brent Mitchell Band"

Reciting Whitman to the Cows. What a great, utterly irresistible title! An object lesson to all you DIYers out there, this comes complete with a cover pic of a longhorn confronting hte Denton, TX mandolin, violin, bass and drums band gathered round their leader, who's holding it spellbound armed only iwht a copy of Leaves of Grass. While Mitchell and Co are, forays into acoustic rock, hip-hop/raggae and a bluegrass instrumental notwithstanding, basically a country band, they're clearly serving notice that there's rather more literacy on hand than found in your average boot scooters. "Nearest Far Away Place" is a fine, old-fashioned, hook heavy lovelorn honky tonker and Everything I know an unabashed Top 40 ballad wannabe both of which would go down just fine with the belt-buckly polishers, but if they registered the words of "Child of God," "Waiting For You," "Young,Unwed Mothers," "Trust," "Such Easy Prey" and especially, the title track, they might well be scratching their heads. The Nashville publisher's remark to Lyle Lovett, "It's easy to tell youre from Texas, son, there's too many words in your songs," often applies to Mitchell, who routinely employs techniques rather more common in poetry than country songwriting. Not so much country goes to college as autodidact Bohemian Redneck--wonder if he knows he spelled Kerouac wrong?--he manages to go from Broken Spoke country ("Nearest Faraway Place") to Cactus singer-songwriter (the intricately autobiographical "Michael") via, well, to be honest, I'm not sure where you find an appreciative audience for "Reading Whitman to the Cows," maybe a coffeehouse bar like Flipnotics. - John Conquest, Third Coast Music


Coyote Lullabies (self-produced, 1989)
Reciting Whitman to the Cows (WMP Records, 1997)
Fallen Angel Palace (WMP Records, 1998)
Brent Mitchell (DogTrot Records, 2005)

Radio Play:
"Angel of Flesh and Bone"
"Boy and Dog"
"Child of God"
"Reciting Whitman to the Cows"
"Take Me Back Home"
"Coal Miner's Lung"
"The Well"
"How Now Brown Cow"
"Ticket to Heaven"

Film Credits:
"Angel of Flesh and Bone"
"Take Me Back Home"
"Ticket to Heaven"

Grammy Listing:
"Hand of God" (performed by Bonnie Whitmore)



Says music critic Tom Geddie: “Just when I was beginning to lose faith in this music scene, somebody has to come along and do this to me - to make me care again. ...There is power in his words, and in his playing.” Brent Mitchell's music is steeped in his own experiences. He grew up a longhaired kid in a Texas town in the Vietnam War years. He lived in his poet father's bachelor pad, and accompanied him most every night from a very young age to jazz clubs, honky tonk dance halls and blues joints. He later dropped out of high school to travel the U.S. on foot. When he got home, he became a cowboy for several years before turning to music full time. He's played every kind of music venue from house concerts to dance halls, and from stage concerts to pubs in England where he played with blues bands and even a band which sometimes played cajun music, sometimes old English folk, and sometimes played as a Latvian folk band. This year his song, "Hand of God,"as sung by Austin's Bonnie Whitmore got a Grammy listing. He has recorded three CDs: Reciting Whitman to the Cows, Fallen Angel Palace, and a new CD that is self titled. He has shared the stage with many well known Texas Americana artists such as Robert Earl Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Slaid Cleeves, as well as a number of mainstream acts. He travels to Texas frequently, but currently lives between Wisconsin and Oxford, England. Kat Vikars of the Fort Worth radio station, "The Wolf" says it like this: “Brent is magic. His CD is the best representation of Texas music I have ever heard.”