brian birdwell
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brian birdwell

Band Folk Acoustic


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"Indisputable Sincerity"

Given the sudden superstar re-emergence of Jack Johnson, it's not surprising to discover a new contingent of mellow-minded balladeers surfing in his wake. Though locally landlocked, Brian Birdwell's debut breezily pops with beach bonfire bon mots. The lawn-chair philosophy of "Jesus & Buddha" and "Free Ride" lap expectedly playful but ultimately shallow, complemented by the carpe-diem meanderings of "Life Is Short" and Shawn Mullins-styled "California Girl." Birdwell's acoustic strum-and-thump strikes best on the tender "Certain Things," his voice carrying a soft tremble, as well as the melodic picking of closer "Soulful Lovin' Man," though unimaginative lines, like "I want to thank you for listening to my songs, thank you for sharing your touch," on "Thank You," undermine his indisputable sincerity. Volume 1 is refreshingly light and catchy but dips below the surface. - Austin Chronicle

"Remarkable and Memorable"

Brian Birdwell delivers irony and attitude along with some sweet folk sounds on his debut, Volume 1. The Austin singer/songwriter has been making the coffee house/café circuit for a while now, and in that time, he has put together a strong collection of acoustic folk material that’s more diverse than most. While sometimes his spirit can overshoot his material, it’s a remarkable and memorable record.

Volume 1 isn’t the first folk record with that title (see the slightly more high-profile She & Him), and while opener “Free Ride� does invite comparisons to another song by that name, this catchy alt-folk is miles away from classic rock. Birdwell takes it up another notch with the following “Thank You�; an even catchier piece, “Thank You� really displays a sly guitar-man style that the likes of John Mayer or Dave Matthews would kill for (note: that compliment is meant to be of the regular, and not back-handed, style…). Guitar-folk has long been a genre that curiously repels and invites fame, and while Birdwell certainly is stuck on the less well-known side of the equation, he’s also clearly of the better breed, musically.

However, sometimes Birdwell can go overboard in his attitude. The lyrics to “Life Is Short� can be as trite as the title, but the piece still moves well. Most obvious is “Jesus & Buddha�, which envisions them “K-I-S-S-I-N-G�… While that line is certainly funny the first time you hear it (and doubly so live & in-person), it doesn’t hold up so well on repeated listens. Luckily, the rest of “Jesus� does.

And that’s a relatively minor quibble on a record that’s also more diverse than most alt-folk. Birdwell is able to go from the catchiness at the outset to the softer and more touching “Certain Things� midway through, and then hit up a well-executed (if a bit over-long) storytelling mode in “California Girl�. And Volume 1 certainly ends on a high note, with the winning, straight-up strum “Laugh Out Loud� and the country-groove finisher, “Soulful Lovin’ Man�. Birdwell spins and wins on Volume 1; here’s hoping for many more Volumes to come… - QRO Magazine

"8.5 out of 10"

Can't get to the Kerrville Folk Festival? Mr. Birdwell and his guitar give you that fine feeling of hearing songs around a campfire. - Austin Daze


volume 1 2008
Demo 2005
Demo 2004



"Brian Birdwell's debut breezily pops with beach bonfire bon mots [and] indisputable sincerity...Volume 1 is refreshingly light and catchy yet dips below the surface."
-- Austin Chronicle

Brian Birdwell was born in the smallest town in Texas, where the cotton fields meet the Piney Woods. He grew up on farmwork and a steady diet of Texas blues.

He's picked watermelons, drilled water-wells, made documentary films, and taught English. Now honing his craft alongside songwriting greats in Austin, Birdwell's personal style is truly taking shape.

With a genuine and soulful stage presence, Birdwell's performances leave audiences smiling and singing along every time. His first paid gig as a solo artist was on an island off the coast of Thailand! He's come a long way from East Texas and judging from his first release, "volume 1" (2008) Brian Birdwell will be on his way to ipods everywhere in no time. Keep your eye on this one!

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