Brian Hudson
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Brian Hudson

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Band Folk Adult Contemporary

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"Brian Hudson's Into the Black: Four Stars"

Brian Hudson's Into the Black: Four Stars
Nov 9, 2010 | Everything but Urban | Album Reviews | Share

The first lyrics sung on Brian Hudson’s new solo album, Into The Black, are “I just want a little distance” although you’ll later learn he is talking to alover he could just as easily be talking to his former folk power-group The Hudsons. Brian Hudson takes a break to bring his first solo performance; showcasing strongly his ability to deliver a story not unlike his own influential heroes, John Lennon and Bob Dylan.

The Hudsons have been performing while building a loyal fan base for the last 8 years whilst headlining folk festivals around the US and Canada. After winning the premier Songwriter Award from the University of Texas, the mayor of their hometown, Austin, cordially bestowed the honor of the “key to the city” and proclaimed officially a “Hudson’s Day” in November 2007.

Into the Black has many highlights but its obvious single is “I was a Fool”. This song could easily be a cross-format radio hit and is reminiscent of John Mayer’s “your body is a wonderland” with its catchy and emotional sensitivity. It tells the time-tried-and-true story of the heartbreak of a young man who loses the girl he loves thoroughly, through no fault but his own. Songs like “Walking Shoes” and “The Shield” make good use of multi-layered vocal harmonies; all the while Brian’s acoustic guitar easily melds hooks made from folk and classical styling that will surely have you hitting the repeat song key on your itunes more than once.

The title track “Into the Black” is reminiscent of Elliot Smith in its simplicity and conjures up Morrisseywhen he pines “what’s wrong with me…what can I do if I can’t be with you?” The song “Working for a Woman” seems to be the only song one could find any serious liability for being a tad cliché. Yet it still seems to be a favorite among the strong fan base of this artist. Maybe it’s his strong use of melody which allows his fans to forgive its well-worn lyrical content.

From start to finish Brian Hudson brings together many influences that many lesser men could have miserably failed and been easily forgotten ever-after. Fans of folk and acoustic tunes will instantly become spellbound. What caught me were the mordant and often brooding lyrics conveyed in pitch perfect incongruous up-beat melodies. We humble music fans have not heard the last of this intriguing artist, so stop what you’re doing and jump on the embryonic Brian Hudson tidal wave that is sure to follow and buy this album.

Conclusion: Brian Hudson has created something new from the scraps of his pop-folk influences that are sure to be contagious. Bottom line is, keep an eye out for this up and coming Texas artist.

- Everything but Urban


"CD review: Hudson is a master songwriter"

CD review: Hudson is a master songwriter

Brian Hudson’s new release, “Into The Black,” came to fruition in a kind of meandering way.

The writing started almost two years ago with songs meant for his former group The Hudsons. When that ensemble went kaput after eight years of togetherness, he kept writing and recording, not really sure where the results would end up.

Pecking away, recording alone in an Austin, Texas, studio after hours, he developed 20 songs. He would work on one until he got tired of it, then move on to another one. He continually felt the songs were not complete and still needed work. Only when the studio became unavailable did he put a wrap on the project.

Without the necessary capital to fund the mastering, manufacturing and distribution, Hudson went to Kickstarter.com, and with the help of 36 investors/backers he acquired online, he received the $4,000 needed to get the project down the road and into listeners’ hands.

The results are well worth the circuitous development.

Nobody, but nobody, writes songs of relationship disillusionment better than Hudson.

If you’ve ever been in a relationship in which you were uncomfortable, felt trapped, even stifled, but couldn’t bring yourself to cut the cord, then “Into The Black” is a record you will cherish.

“A Little Distance” has a hushed quality, in a song about a pairing that started out well but is now a charade. Like a duo who perform together but can’t stand each other (Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin or Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee) and when the curtain goes down, each partner can’t wait to go his separate way: “I hear you talking, saying things, and I sit and clench my teeth.”

“Working For A Woman” is a hen-pecked guy who has some serenity and is OK with his lot.

“Walking Shoes” is someone who’s been used by a woman who got her education at his expense and in the process gave him an education of her own.

“The Shield” is a relationship going nowhere with one half of the parties simply too guarded to allow the other half in: “And all the kindness in the world could never be enough, ’cause you’ve got a shield between yourself and everyone you love.”

“I’ll Thank You” is a plea to cut the tie that binds and please move on, because we’ll both be happier: “Anger only lasted ’til I learned to fake the smile, while waiting on an everlasting trial.”

“The American Dream” is seductive in its fragility with the realization that though the narrator doesn’t desire it, flying solo is his fate: “Every garden I have sown and showered with my love has gone to weed.”

Half of me empathizes with the plight of the characters in Hudson’s songs. Half of me thinks they need to grow a pair and move on.

Know that Hudson writes great songs. His ability to match lyrics and music is exemplary, and his lyrics seem disarmingly insightful in that uncomfortable way of someone who doesn’t know you, but seems to really get you.

The stripped down, understated, acoustic style here (though probably a function of economics as much as arrangement choices) is perfect for the disillusionment of the text. There is an uninhibited solemnity that pervades each song and makes even the made-up parts seem very real, while the real parts seem to “pop” in high def.

If you happen to be madly in love, try Rachael Kilgour’s “Will You Marry Me?” If you’re not, then “Into The Black” gets my highest recommendation.

John Ziegler has worked in the music industry for 36 years as a radio host, interviewer, record producer and professional musician.

- Duluth News Tribune


"Into the Black - Minireview"

Brian Hudson (Austin, TX)
Into the Black (Strong Woman Records)
Unlike rock music, folk tunes have the burden of captivating the listener with words and not musical bombast. Given the limited room for lyrical error, it's understandable that many artists dabbling in forms of folk today tend to lean towards a more rocking sonic direction. Perhaps the idea of thoughtful, vulnerable lyrics being laid out into the open to handle the heavy lifting is one that sends many an acoustic-guitar wielding performer running away. Brian Hudson doesn't seem to suffer from any such anxiety, however. At times throughout the first several tunes, the breezy vibe shuffles dangerously close to the beachy-keen sun splashes of Jack Johnson, but it never quite slathers on the SPF-30. Instead, it follows a reliably solid course of steady folk artistry.

Kelly Dearmore - Dallas Observer (Blog)


"Best Concept Album/Disc"

Best Concept Album/Disc: Brian Hudson writes songs of relationship disillusionment better than anybody. His new release “Into The Black” is a beacon in the fog of fluffy, cuddly love songs. - Duluth News Tribune


""Love is a Burden" by Brian Hudson named best Original Song of 2009"

The best music of 2009
John Ziegler - 12/31/2009

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I try to avoid end-of-the-year “best of” lists because they are expected; they are often clichéd and usually boring. That’s all it took for many readers to let me know that they look forward to end-of-the-year “best of” lists … and why don’t I do one. So I will.

Best Disc of 2009 Heather Masse’s “Bird Song.” If you don’t know her name, imagine the late Eva Cassidy with an even more angelic voice.

Best Original Song on Disc “Love Is a Burden” by the Hudsons from the disc “Before I Sleep.” Score one for Brian Hudson from Austin, Texas. This is one outstanding song, combining all the elements that make a song great.

Best Cover Version on Disc “Take Me Home Tonight” from Jamestown Story’s “Love vs. Life.” Dane Schmidt stripped down Eddie Money’s ’80s AOR classic and made it new again.

Best Instrumentalist in Concert Yang Ying at the Mitchell Auditorium. Bridging continents and cultures, Ying’s touch on her chosen instrument, the erhu (the Chinese violin) was otherworldly.

Best Male Vocalist on Disc Cliff Eberhardt from “500 Miles: The Blue Rock Sessions.” His powerful retake of “The Long Road” is exceptional. Best Female Vocalist on Disc Heather Masse (see above)

Best Concert B.B. King in Carlton at the Otter Creek Event Center. Eighty-four years old, a legend, the most important ambassador in blues history, and someone who obviously thoroughly enjoys bringing his music to people everywhere.

Best Ensemble on Disc Lamont Cranston Band from the disc “Lamont Live!” In their 40th year, this blues-based ensemble rolls on. They are tight and their music is right on.

Best Outdoor Concert Sugar Blue at the Bayfront Blues Festival. The weather was freezing (August in Duluth, what can you say?), but Blue was red-hot. I kept wondering if his lips were going to freeze to the metal edges of the harmonica.


Best Moment in a Variety Concert The Rivulets at Sacred Heart during the 40th anniversary of Woodstock concert. Nathan Amundson’s brief take on “I Put a Spell on You” put a spell on me. It was mesmerizing.

Best Instrumentalist on Disc Sam Miltich from the Clearwater Hot Club and their release “Just You, Just Me.” Sammo’s blending of his major influences (Django Reinhardt and Lester Young) produces an exciting sound that combines the exciting energy of Django with the relaxed swing of Lester.

Best Male Vocalist in Concert Garnet Rogers at the Duluth Congregational Church. A big man with a huge voice.

Best Female Vocalist in Concert Keri Noble at Sacred Heart. Just the right amount of rasp in her voice brings out the soul in her lyrics.

Best Ensemble in Concert Yang Ying Ensemble from the Mitchell Auditorium. From all over the country they backed and melded with the erhu beautifully.

Most Humorous Moment in Concert Kids on stage during the Lorie Line concert at the DECC. The costumes are ingenious and the Northland kids are adorable. When something happens spontaneously, it’s far more amusing than anything that could be scripted or rehearsed.

John Ziegler has worked in the music industry for 35 years as a radio host, interviewer, professional musician, record producer and guitar teacher. He reviews music for the News Tribune. - Deluth News Tribune


"Live music preview: Me & B"

Over a year ago Examiner had the pleasure of seeing a 3-man folk act called The Hudsons perform in, of all places, Austin Bergstrom Airport. Their folksy ways held us spellbound for a few magical minutes. Alas, that band is no longer; however, Me & B, a new project for The Hudsons' Brian Hudson, is slated to play Momo's at 8pm Monday night in the West Sixth Street entertainment district.

Brian Hudson teams up with The Belleville Outfit's Marshall Hood, Connor Forsyth, Jon Konya, and Nigel Frye, and if Me and B are anything like The Hudsons, the show should prove to be a good one. The 8pm set time allows for the fact that Monday some music fans may have to rise early for work and the $5 cover makes the show affordable.

Me & B seems like they might be a great way to wind down a long, holiday weekend in Austin. - www.examiner.com


Discography

Brian Hudson
Into the Black, 2010

The Nasty Clan
Self-titled EP, 2009
Nastier as F*ck, 2010

The Hudsons
Songs About People, 2003
Live Album, 2005
Before I Sleep, 2007

Photos

Bio

Brian Hudson is a singer-songwriter who very recently moved to New Orleans, LA.

He’s originally from Austin, TX and grew up enjoying the local flavors of music the city offered. Around 2001, he became a part of that sound when his band, The Hudsons, started gigging around town.

In 2009, after The Hudsons disbanded, Brian began performing under his own name. By 2010, he was once again a blue-collar working performer, playing 2-3 nights/week at venues around Texas and holding down a Sunday residency in Austin at Romeo’s.

Brian has shared stages with some excellent Texas-based performers and songwriters, including Adam Carroll, Owen Temple, Marshall Hood, Brian Keane, Dana Cooper, and Butch Morgan. He’s also been a featured guest at some of Texas's most revered temples of folk music, including Houston’s Anderson Fair (headlining), Galveston’s Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe (headlining), Gruene Hall (song-swapping), the Rice Festival (mainstage), Tomball’s Main Street Crossing (headlining), and KPFT (live set).

In October of 2010, he released his first solo album, Into the Black. It was an eight-song album that he recorded alone in his friend’s garage. That album earned high praise from the Duluth News Tribune’s John Ziegler who named it Best Concept Album of 2010 and lavished, “Hudson is a master songwriter.”

In the Summer of 2011, Brian went on a six-week, thirty-date tour around the middle of the country with Houston’s award-winning songsmith Matt Harlan. Matt and Brian are currently making plans to hit the road again in the Summer of 2013.

Brian is also about to drop another album… it should be available for listening around Christmas of 2012.

Past:
As half of the original folk band, The Hudsons, Brian had a productive eight years of music-making. He and his band mate, Hudson Mueller, played with some fine musicians like the Belleville Outfit’s Phoebe Hunt, Wall Street’s Jason Vopni, and Los Angeles’s Leah Zeger. They were named “Best Folk Band” by the Austin Chronicle Readers’ Poll in ‘07 and ‘09. They held a steady gig for most of their time as a band at Austin’s Waterloo Icehouse at 6th and Lamar. They won two-years-in-a-row (’02 and ‘03) the University of Texas/Kerrville Folk Festival college songwriting award during their tenure at UT-Austin. They were featured main-stage acts at a variety of festivals around the USA and Canada including Kerrville Folk Festival, Live from the Rock, and Cornstalk. They played some prestigious folk music venues including the Cactus Cafe, Gruene Hall, the M-Room, Anderson Fair, the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, the Mucky Duck, and Threadgill's. They released three full-length albums (which received spins from Austin’s KUT, KO-OP, and KVRX, Houston’s KPFT, Bryan’s KEOS, Duluth’s KUMD, and even CBC-Ontario) and produced a handful of music videos in New York and Austin with MTV’s the Sniper Twins. And in 2007, the City of Austin named a day in November “The Hudsons Day.”

In 2008, Brian co-founded a short-lived rock group with Hudson Mueller and Kivett Bednar called the Nasty Clan, which recorded two EPs.

In 2010, Brian co-founded a short-lived rock group called Me and B with Marshall Hood and members of Austin’s popular Belleville Outfit. Me and B played a handful of shows and recorded a version of Brian’s rap classic “Where’s My Wallet?”

Published October 2012.