Brian Mullins
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Brian Mullins


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The best kept secret in music


Bevin Caulfield's car broke down, Brian Mullins pitched a pants tent and Dante showed us he was well hung...all for no cover charge at Dawson's Street

Ever since Bevin Caulfield played at Studio Luloo (my second home) two weeks ago, my cohort and partner in crime, Emily, and I have been hooked (read: totally obsessed).

I even made her song, "Smile," my ringtone using MyxerTones, an awesome site where you can upload your .mp3s and send them directly to your phone. For free. You should check it out and start creating your own personalized ringtones. (No, I don't work for the company. And no, I am not receiving any monetary incentive for that endorsement. It's all for the joy of spreading knowledge.)

If you're not familiar with Bevin's music yet, check her out immediately. Her voice is a sultry, smooth melange of molasses and honey that oozes sinfully in syrupy sweet silhouettes across the room and ensconces you in her enchanting enigma.

Translation: she's good. Real good.

I was hypnotized from her first breath (and I think she was just checking the mic!). So, when I found out she was playing at Dawson's Street on Saturday (and by found out, I mean feverishly checked her tour schedule on MySpace for local dates) , I loaded up what has affectionately become known as "The Jemily Train" and made the trek to Manayunk -- Emily, Tom, John Shaughnessy, and Laura in tow.

So we ventured to "the Yunk," a quasi-suburb of Philly that I find a cross between an absolute wasteland and a pretentious mecca of Stepford-like chicks, all clad in the official Olde City wannabe uniform: tight jeans, skimpy black shirts and 3-inch heels, the smell of fresh bleach on laundry day wafting from their brittle tresses, as they travel in man-hungry packs to clubs along Main Street to sip $12 dollar martinis and shoot down the endless trail of "tools" and "losers" that will spend half the night trying to wedge their way into their designer (read: off the rack) denim.

Please stand by while I puke.

It sort of begs the question: Why dress like a trollop if you don't want to be hit on all night? But I'll save this rant for another blog, and chalk it up to one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Fortunately, Dawson Street is off the beaten path and devoid of the Barbie Doll bimbos that seem to multiply in droves along the strip. It might as well be in its own zip code. The vibe is totally chill, and Dave Wilby, the owner, has cultivated a group of loyal patrons that give the bar a down-home feel without being a dive. And even though the stage is just a 4-foot span of open floor in the center of the bar, it's an awesome place to see live music with an unmatched intimacy for experiencing the artist. Which is what we were counting on as we piled into the bar promptly at 9:55pm for Bevin's anticipated 10pm start.

As Murphy's Law -- or whoever that mischievous god is who likes to mess with your plans -- would have it, however, the bar was pretty sparse and there was no sign of Bevin anywhere. We just assumed that she'd be going on a bit later though, and scooped up the table directly adjacent to the "stage," to settle in for our Bevin-filled evening. As we made it through a couple rounds of drinks (I was already on my fourth Shirley Temple!), and several greasy plates of fried food that Tom ordered, I started to worry.

Had we gotten the date wrong?

The time?

Was Bevin only a figment of my twisted imagination? (Wouldn't be the first time.)

Finally, Dante (Mutlu's percussionist and all-around musical virtuoso) sauntered through the door and informed the crowd that Bevin's car had broken down somewhere between South Philly and the Tropic of Capricorn. Gah. It was already close to 11pm, and while our roundtable discussion about stomach enzymes and alcohol was riveting, I needed a Bevin fix.

But before my impatience could escalate into a full-blown fit, I was assuaged by a clean cut cutie in a navy sweater and khakis who looked like he had just come from a Gap shoot as he strapped on his guitar and approached the mic. It was Brian Mullins, a talented local singer/songwriter who had also recently performed at Studio Luloo.

He's also not too tough on the eyes so that alone kept me satiated (yes, I am that shallow) as he opened with his first song, an original tune that mirrored his own persona -- calm and tranquil with a lot of stormy passion and complexity smoldering beneath the surface. Brian somehow takes a vanilla singer/songwriter approach and smothers it in hot fudge. And rainbow sprinkles. Yummy. (And I'll happily volunteer to be the cherry on top! See aforementioned shallow reference above.)

Being that we appeared to be the only people in the bar who had actually come for the music, we instantly became the official Brian Mullins "fan club," hooting and hollering for him like a boisterous pack of starstruck teens -- including John, who appeared to have developed some sort of non-sexual crush on - The Music Barista


5 song EP, "2 Steps Out Your Door," is currently in progress.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Brian Mullins is a born drummer whose intensity behind the drums is only rivaled by his passion behind the mic. After years of rockin' the drums, bongos -- or anything he could get his hands on -- he finally decided to emerge from the drums and take center stage, where his soulful lyrics and powerful melodies found a home. With a versatile voice that can hit you with agonizing grit in one song and smooth melancholy with the next, this promising new artist is pouring every bit of emotion into his music, and the result is harmonious intensity juxtaposed with raw bite.