Brian McKinney
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Brian McKinney

Band Country Blues


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The best kept secret in music


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I am primarily a songwriter looking for established recording artists who would like to record the songs I write. I have been a professional writer most of my life and am a proficient lyricist. If you have a song that needs its lyrics polished or written from scratch - Please contact me.



Brian McKinney has been playing acoustic guitar and writing songs for more than forty years. Since starting his first band at the age of 13, his love of music and his ability to write, perform, and produce musical events has taken him on musical odysseys all over the United States and Canada.

After graduating from Kansas University in the early seventies, Brian did a full apprenticeship as a luthier (guitar maker) at the S.L. Mossman Guitar Company in Winfield, Kansas. In 1972 Mossman Guitars founder Stuart Mossman had organized the Walnut Valley Festival & National Flatpicking Championship with financial support from local businessmen. It was there, in Winfield, that Brian met and got to know some of the greatest bluegrass musicians in the country. Doc and Merle Watson, Sam Bush, and Norman Blake were regular performers at the event. Their influence forever changed his musical style.

In 1974, he ventured out on his own moving back to Lawrence. Kansas where he and a fellow Mossman employee, Steve Mason, opened a 500-seat music venue and guitar repair shop (McKinney-Mason Stringed instruments / Off-The-Wall Hall). This venue gave Brian the opportunity to book and perform with all sorts of musicians from many musical genres. Alligator Records' founder Bruce Iglauer made artists like Koko Taylor, Son Seals, and Fenton Robinson regulars at McKinney's club.

To save on expenses, the bands often stayed overnight at his house swapping licks, drinking whiskey, and playing cards. When show time came around Brian was often asked to sit in on a song or two with these great blues performers.

In 1975 The Kansas Arts Commission asked him to help organize and produce the first Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championship which will celebrate its 25th year in 2006. Shortly thereafter Brian found himself managing sound and lighting assignments for country music stars like Dolly Parton, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Reed, Tonya Tucker, Pure Prairie League, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces. They too had profound influence on his musical development.

He moved to Texas in 1982 and began a twenty-year career as a Dallas based writer, director, and media producer -- working as a weekend musician all the while.

Over the years Brian has developed a solid reputation as a Texas based singer / songwriter and has played numerous venues including The Gypsy Tea Room, Trees, The Red Blood Club, and Blue Cat Blues. “I’m not a native Texan,” he says. “But I got here just as soon as I could.”

He worked as a new media marketing and technology consultant for Gilley’s Dallas for three years and, in 2003 was was recognized as one of the top 10 amatuer honky tonk singer / songwriters in the State of Texas by the judges at the First Annual Coors Light / Billy Bob’s Texas Honky Tonk Hero Contest in Fort Worth.

“People always ask me if I have a CD out,” says McKinney. “I’m working on one now but it’s far from done. Till then I’ll be working at The Austin Radio Ranch, writing new songs, and playing the way I always have -- live."

"It’s a big part of who I am. Its what I love to do.
It's why I moved to Austin."

“When it comes to authentic Texas style singer / songwriters, you can’t find anyone better than Brian McKinney”
-- Hurdie Burk Executive Director,Deep Ellum Association.
(2000 - 2003)