Brian Kaplan Band
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Brian Kaplan Band

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Music

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The seven easy-going songs of the Brian Kaplan Band's debut EP/mini-album flicker along at a relaxed North Country pace, the barren trees and heavy-coated bandmembers on the back cover lending some authenticity to the band's radiator-warmed lethargy. There is care invested in them - the middle section of "Where It Lifts You," before it slips into jam mode, features a nice nylon-string guitar heavy composed section. There is nothing urgent about the band's songs, and they feel as if they poured forth from Kaplan and the band not for lack of anything better to do, but because this is what they're supposed to do as 20somethings: be in a band and write these songs.

-Jesse Jarnow - Jambands.com


The Brian Kaplan Band brings to their audience smart songwriting and solid chops. The BKB sound, with its rock, funk and Latin flavors, creates the perfect groove for Kaplan’s soulful tenor.

-Matt Sheehey - The Independant


Matthew Shapiro
Freelance Music Journalist
Resurface the debut EP from Albany's Brian Kaplan Band is a strong effort blending smart introspective lyrics, with layered musicianship. Kaplan, the former guitarist and trombone player for Conehead Buddha, walks a fine songwriting line of having songs that are dark in nature yet do not sound overly melancholy. While the band gets labeled a "Jamband", the album is more focused than most studio efforts delivered by artists of the genre. The band and producer Chris Fisher realize that their strength lay in Kaplan's intelligent lyrics, and at no point do they let the music meander and distract the listener from their heartfelt sentiments. In fact, much of the up-tempo album displays a keen pop sensibility.

The album's running theme is the struggle to leave behind a painful past and how to rediscover contentment. This theme is driven home from the get go on the album's opening verse contained in 'Blameless.' "Blamelessly blue today, I thought of taking off my winter coat, but I didn't. Got lost in Albany, jealous of the dogs loose in the park. Too late to run away…" Kaplan displays a sharp wit about his attempt to resurface, ironically noting in one song that dead men float, thus resurfacing, all be it too late, which might be Kaplan's greatest fear. He also seems frustrated at having to write songs for therapeutic reasons as he states in 'You've Missed the Point;' "This isn't what I thought I'd do, write another angry song aimed at you."

While the lyrics remain thematically constant, musically Kaplan and his band, Scott Fivel (lead guitar), Chad Mendrysa (bass), and Will Railton (Drums) are quite adventurous, and display a myriad of styles. The seven songs sonically exist independently from each other, despite their shared focus. The band's sound ranges from the hard pop of 'Blameless' to the wah-wah driven funk of 'Dead Man's Float' and the lovely Elvis Costelloesque 'Your Orchestra,' which closes the album. The album's most daring track is 'Where it Lifts You.' It opens with giant hooks and contains a fine Latin tinged bridge that propels the remainder of the track. While it is the longest song on the album at just over six minutes it never swells to overindulgence while showing off the bands musical chops. The song is also the album's black-sheep in the sense that it is the only one not wrestling with the struggle to resurface, and acknowledging that some times you should just go where life takes you.

The combination of revealing lyrics and vivid musicianship make the Brian Kaplan Band one of the most promising and varied bands currently on the Albany scene. It is also the latest display of the strong producing skills of former Conehead Buddha front man Chris Fisher, who is fast becoming one of the areas most accomplished producers.

-Matthew Shapiro
Freelance Music Journalist - State of Mind Magazine


Extraordinary... - WDST 100.1


Discography

"Brian Kaplan Band" 2001
Single: Rows of Feverfew

"Resurface" 2003
Singles: Blameless, Where It Lifts You, Fallen

"Hopeful (Kate Caves In)" 2005 - Single Release

"All My Best Days" 2008
Singles: All My Best Days, Stir

Photos

Bio

Brian Kaplan Band

With a recent series of high profile performances, including B.B. King's 80th Birthday Celebration and a standout set for the Rock2Rebuild Tsunami Benefit, the Brian Kaplan Band is finding favor as one of Albany's most promising original bands. Mixing Kaplan's affability and resonant tenor with a potent danceability, BKB is that rare darling of both modern rock/AC radio audiences and the jam band-prone tape-trading community.

Members:
Brian Kaplan (Songwriter, Vocals, Guitar, Trombone)
- 2004 Best Singer/Songwriter (Times Union's "Best of the Capital Region")
- Vocalist/guitarist/trombonist – Conehead Buddha
- Appeared with Blink 182, Guster, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, Ben Harper, Jimmy Cliff, Rusted Root & Jerry Garcia Band among others.
- Performed with Antigone Rising, Moe., Jupiter Sunrise & Leftover Salmon.

Chris Fisher (Drums, Vocals)
- Founder of Conehead Buddha
- Co-producer of BKB’s “Resurface” (2003) and “All My Best Days” (2008)

Pete Rocco (Keyboards)
- Founder of Funk Squad

Colin Almquist (Bass)
- Member of Lynch
- Co-founder of Voodelic

Erin Kaplan (Vocals, Percussion, Guitar)

BKB Appearances:
Performances
- B.B. King, Zox, Paranoid Social Club, The Samples, Common Rotation, The Push Stars, Lo Faber (God Street Wine), Seven Nations and more.
- Winner of the 2005 New York ‘Roots of Rock’ Band Battle.
- Main stage performer at Christopher Reeve Paralysis Benefit, Albany Larkfest, Bethelehem Riverfest, Saratoga Blues Festival, 2003 Relay for Life, Bikers Against Domestic Violence Music Festival, Twisted Groove Music and Arts Festival, Grateful Jam Music Festival, 2nd and 3rd Annual Springfling, Bethlehem Feestelijk, Bellstock X and XI, Think Global Act Local Tsunami Benefit

Radio
- Featured Artist on 102.7 WEQX Posure, Channel 103.1 Big Break, WDST 100.1 Sessions, 103.9 The Edge '15 Minutes of Fame', WAMC Northeast Public Radio 90.3, & college stations including 90.9 WCDB SUNY Albany, 91.5 WRPI, 90.9 WONY SUNY Oneonta, WRUC 89.7 Union College
Television
- Featured Artist on Fox 23 Big Break & Capital News 9

Print
- Featured Artist in Albany Times Union, Metroland, The Independent, State of Mind, Revolving Door, Kingston Daily Freeman, New Paltz Oracle, numerous college newspapers.

Web
- Featured Artist on Jambands.com, Rkstar.com, BUMrock.com, Jambase.com, Albanystage.com, Crumbs.net, Nycapmusic.com, Livemusicbeth.com

Reviews:

"Considerable skills and talent- a first-rate local band." - Greg Haymes, Albany Times Union

"One of the most promising and varied bands currently on the Albany sceneï¿1⁄2 revealing lyrics and vivid musicianship." - Matt Shapiro, Freelance Music Journal

"Extraordinary." - Eric Willens, WDST, 100.1 FM

**Independent distribution of 2004 EP, "Resurface," at 1,000+ units.

Myspace.com/BrianKaplanBand
(518) 928-3346
Bkaplan43@Gmail.com