Brian Holbrook
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Brian Holbrook

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

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"The Run Off Grooves On ATML"

Brian Holbrook could be one of this generation's most gifted and prolific singer/songwriters, and anyone who loves the music of Jeff Tweedy, Loudon Wainwright, or Gram Parsons will find some familiar territory on the ground Holbrook walks upon. His debut CD, A Thousand Miles Long (Bindlestiff), is an accurate description of the journey Holbrook has taken in his life and is about to take. Sometimes the pain of life becomes of value through the joys found within, and Holbrook is someone who is willing to share in his music each step he takes.

His approach is simple: voice and guitar, with minimal accompaniment. You get to hear him sing and move through each line, and they are very personal stories, almost coming off as diary entries. There's a bit of folk, of country, and all of those trendy hybrids and sub-genres, such as alt.country and No Depression. When you hear him in "Kansas", the longing is almost unbearable but you're with him every step of the way:

"So now you've ran way past me
Moved on, grown up, grown out and away from me
Thngs don't feel the same for me
And the wind calls out your name to me
You're in Kansas where I ought to be
And the wind calls out your name like me

What did you hear in the wind?
The soft caress of that old friend
Did those storms cloud your eyes
Underneath that Kansas sky?"

Holbrook's lyrics aren't so much bitter, as they are a slow shedding of bad experiences hoping new ones will make the future much brighter. The simple approach is what makes this great, and while I am sure he would like to record with other musicians in the future, hearing these songs in their raw form makes them more endearing.

Outside of him being a local artist, what makes these songs hit so close to home is because they are down home songs. A Thousand Miles Long is a travelogue for the downtrodden, looking for a spark of light in the darkness that exists.
- Music For America


Discography

A Thousand Miles Long - (Coming June 2006)

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Bio

Some people compare his sound to John Prine, others hear David Gray, still others cite Springsteen or Tom Petty. No matter which comparisons Brian Holbrook evokes the theme is clear: he's a storyteller.

Born and raised on the Northern edge of the New South, Brian soaked up that region's oral storytelling tradiotions along with its roots music and penchant for literature, and all of them combine to produce his peculiar brand of literate, roots inspired folk music. Whether in a traditional story-song like "Hands To Work", or the metaphor laced "Something Like A Star", Brian's lyrics are his primary instrument.

Brian's self-released debut, "A Thousand Miles Long" showcases Brian using this instrument, as well as a few others; banjo, bottleneck slide, harmonica, and mandolins all found their way into Brian's hands over the course of recording the album, though the the arrangements are anything but lavish.

"I really wanted a loose, spontaneous, live music feel, so I didn't really rehearse anyof the overdubs." says Brian, "I also decided to use the most energetic or inspired takes, --which are usually the first ones-- even at the cost of having a flub or two on the record. So, if the time was a little elastic, or if there was a little fret buzz, I decided to just run with it if the rest of the take was better for the overall song."

This preference for honesty over polish, for a real connection over perfection is the guiding philosophy of Brian's life, not just his music. "Ireally think that there is a large segment of people that are just really tired of fake. Everything today seems so calculated for effect. It's polled and tested and screened and tweaked until nobody has anything real to say any more."

Real is exactly what Brian's songs are. From the searing "She Wants To Feel Pretty" to the aching "Fingernails", his lyrics are long on raw emotion and short on fluff. These stories are raw and real and uncommon in their approach.

Much like their author.