Brian Wheat
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Brian Wheat

Buffalo, New York, United States | SELF

Buffalo, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Brian Wheat brings impassioned performance with stirring melodies to Eye Level Art, Charleston, SC"

Presenting a well balanced acoustic performance with thought evoking lyrics blended with ardent musical foundations, Wheat's work and fervent notion for exploration of connections shines with every note. -

"Brian Wheat"

Brian Wheat plays rootsy numbers with a soft croon that's better than most. Bring your lady tonight and you'll probably luck out. - TimeoutNY

"Looking Alive"

translated to English from Italian:

Where once dominated dusty landscapes rustic tones are now looking to relieve some sort of classical folk-pop, somewhere between M. Ward and Sondre Lerche. Although the songs are not always able to make inroads with the same force as those of "Where You Have Been", the dedication of Wheat enriches the texture detail. "I decided to create an album that can levitate a little 'more than before," says Wheat. "At the same time, also my outlook on life has changed and I feel that this is the new disk".
Thus, the spices of the initial country-folk "A Stone" leave the place immediately to the dreamy distraction of "Perfect Disguise". The songs demand more space, try embroidery round electric guitar and arrangements -

"Brian Wheat is back again with “Looking Alive”"

Western New York native Brian Wheat is leaving the area for Minnesota, but not before he presents us with his second album, “Looking Alive” – 10 carefully crafted tracks that chronicle both his exploration of Buffalo and his yearning to leave.
The album is well-constructed and precisely executed, a compilation of songs that mark Wheat’s transition from Buffalo to Minneapolis and from relative unknown to established artist.

Many of the songs on the record do have a distinct, summertime feel to them. The album features tracks such as “Looking Alive,” a ballad that showcases Wheat’s poetic and heartfelt – never sappy – lyrics combined with his effortless guitar playing. The song has an Iron and Wine meets Willie Nelson vibe, two artists that have influenced Wheat’s sound. -

"Brian Wheat Album Release"

[His] latest offering has that breezy early morning acoustic sound of pacific coast bands Veviter or Band of Horses, but with the occasional touch of strings & organs that while subtle, give the album a very garmented & polished sound. It's upper class folk rock that's dressed to kill. -

"Brian Wheat Celebrates Release of New Album"

Fans of M. Ward, Bright Eyes or Colin Meloy of the Decemberists should rush to Wheat’s website. Wheat showed Friday he has a unique voice to be thought of as their equal. His winsome looks and tailor-made name don’t hurt either. - Buffalo News


The band's debut, Where You Have Been, is being released on March 12. It's a very independent, diy release. In fact it'll be a limited edition run of 500 hand-assembled, hand numbered copies.

The [near] title track, "Where [Have] You Been" features many of the stringed instruments you'd expect from a modern day blue/newgrass song including violin, banjo, mandolin, upright bass and drums. But thankfully there is this new category of music called "indie folk" where an artist can take the musical acoutremonts of the past and update them with modern lyrics and also more personal, emotional delivery. "

On Underneath Your Breath" you get a more straight ahead new-folk number with acoustic guitar and harmonica plus backing vocals by the ever so lovely Rachel Ries.
- Craig Bonnell

"KDHX (St. Louis; 88.1 FM)"

Of the near-title track "Where Have You Been":

"From Buffalo NY: Mr. Wheat describes his band as "Rod Stewart and Iron and Wine, together in bed on a sunday morning." That's not hot, but this homage to Joyce Carol Oates' masterpiece is pretty great."
- Roy Kasten (Program: Feel Like Going Home)


Recorded in Orchard Park at Harvest Sum Studios, Wheat and company deliver a collection of songs that are lyrically rich and musically mature, and the CD itself has cool packaging - Artvoice Magazine (Author Unknown)

"Niagara Gazette/Night and Day"

Brian Wheat has one of those names that's perfect for the kind of music he's making.

When one listens to the debut CD from Wheat and his band Groggy Darlin', "Where Have You Been," thoughts turn naturally to rural pastures, organic music and gray upstate afternoons.
--Kevin Purdy (Night and Day) - Kevin Purdy, Night and Day

"University at Buffalo-Spectrum Magazine (Review)"

Buffalo has a tendency to secretly pump out unknown artists and catapult them into the big time behind the back of the local scene. Case in point: Brian Wheat. [...]

The creative, earthy album jacket perfectly resembles his music and his vibe. The 12 tracks of smooth melodious rhythms unite to tell a single, distinct story. [...]

Track one is titled "If Memory Serves," and the lyrics — coupled with easily accessible, melodic chords — are compatible with almost any listener. [...]The singer's gentle voice comforts the listener like a lullaby on songs like "Restlessness," and "Setting Soon," sags and sways like an indie sea chantey.

Wheat's creative personality shines through his album artwork and into his lyrics. The lyrics are even printed on what looks like an off-white, recycled paper, augmenting the album's earthy feel. [...]

Brian Wheat's music far surpasses the homefront and his good value of knowing his roots will shine through and make him a modest singer throughout his career. True talent starts at the heart and never runs dry; Brian Wheat will never fall short of this virtue.
- Laura Bacelli, The Spectrum

"Buffalo News/Gusto"

Wheat sings of the need for community, a sense of place, understanding of "home" and all the comfort and stability these things can offer. Yet, the seasoned, well-traveled troubadour cops to an insatiable wanderlust and a need for the open road in the same breath. [...]

There's plenty of that wistful, near-stoic acceptance of sadness in the grooves of "Where You Have Been", [...]

Sparse in instrumentation, earthy in production, the record boasts much of the breathy intimacy displayed by the new vanguard in acoustic alternative music--Iron & Wine comes immediately to mind as a reference point. But in its detailed, subtly ornate arrangements, it avoids the sleepy, aloof, occasionally flat-out boring tendencies of some of the "nu-acoustic" artists.

Part of the reason for this is the onionlike layering of the entire presentation--the songs themselves, the savvy production ethic, the striking, stark artwork and album packaging. Most markedly, that multilayering of meaning can be found in Wheat's lyric-writing, which is provocative and poetic without being to precious about it. […]

Balancing such detailed, well-honed lyrics against musical arrangements that both support and elevate their sentiments is one of the great battles of record-making. Many a good record has one or the other. Only the great ones manage both. […]

Certainly, "Where You Have Been" comes across as serious music, but there is a loose, unstudied, celebratory aspect to the record as well. Much of that must be attributed to Wheat's musical compatriots in Groggy Darlin', great players Peter Williams on bass, Mark Longolucco on percussion and Peter Gerace on Gutar/banjo) who consistently managed to help make the music interesting without getting in the way of the strong narrative quality ever-present in Wheat's writing. […]
- Jeff Miers (Buffalo News Pop Music Critic)

"Righteous Babe Records: Emerging Artists Showcase"

Brian Wheat, our bearded hero, had an incredibly warm set. He opened the show with an acoustic set based loosely on interpretations of guitarists Devendra Banhart and Sondre Lerche and sang deliberately, sometimes whispering the words as his eyes darted around the crowd. Behind the hair and the drowsy complexion, he looked like he was hiding something—it was like he dared the audience to breathe. Wheat’s songs are literal and they sound like secrets—even when his songs sound stern or unsure, his voice is prominent in the foreground, even forgiving. The advent of Wheat’s band gave way for variety in performance, even if at times the arrangements didn’t warrant one. With a set of dramatic pieces, Wheat had already captivated his audience. Giving them a hook to look forward to halfway through the song wouldn’t hurt to counter his this-is-the-way-it-fuckin’-is voice.

- Peter Scheck, UB Generation

"Doc Wu's Blog"

I just found Brian Wheat's MySpace page and am listening to his music.

In my travels looking for local music, I hear a lot of musicians. I'm (still) always surprised by the quality of the music around Buffalo. I can honestly say, it's all been great. I haven't yet heard anyone who bored me, or even worse, made me say "they stink." (Well, there was that one cheesey country band a year ago...) Not that I'm such a great judge, either. If anything, I'm easy, I like almost any music within reason.

But once in a while, there is someone who just stands out above the rest. Someone whose music grabs me in some way and I can't get enough.

Brian Wheat is in that category.

A fairly new entry to the music scene and not well-known, I first heard of him from Dan Reitz at the Custer St. basement show. When other musicians are telling you about someone, they must be something special.

But, other than a few show listings, I hadn't thought much about him since. I found him again today on Myspace and now I can't wait to see him play somewhere. - Al Gritzmacher


LP/CD-Looking Alive (Half Little Hold Records, 2011)
LP/CD-Where You Have Been (Half Little Hold Records, 2007)
EP-Half Little Hold (Independent, 2006)-OUT OF PRINT



In casual conversation, Brian Wheat is a man who pauses occasionally, carefully pondering each exchanged word before responding. Similarly, his songwriting demonstrates fascinating detail that surpasses simple storytelling, and delves into patient studies of the emotional context surrounding a moment.

Wheat's recent transplanting to Minneapolis, MN seems a fitting extension of his formative years, which were spent in rural Western New York, surrounded by a close-knit network of musicians and family. He developed a deep admiration for the tradition and intimacy of rural life – school, homework, listening to classic rock radio, learning to hunt and farm.

As is typical for most growing up in a small town, he yearned for a broader scope and greater diversity; one found through his travels. Somewhere in between the corn fields and the rust belt, he performed at Moroccan festivals, busked in Spain, played for room and board at Australian hostels, shared folk songs with Fijian natives, and earned degrees in botany and education.

For his sophomore release, Looking Alive, released April 10, 2011, Wheat looked beyond the rural themes of his debut release to capture the energy of his current urban homestead. New songs were written slowly and old songs, written before his first release, sprang back to life. The result is an album of songs that stand strong either together or alone.

“I worked with engineer Marty Peters on this album – he’s done a lot of recording in Colorado – worked the Telluride Festivals, and done a lot of live work. He taught me a great deal about the things that I think matter: quality sounding music done the old fashioned way. We mixed and listened for days and mixed again, all before we tore down the board and set it up for another song. It was a long process, but an art - a creation each time.

Fortified with a dynamic, evocative voice and lyricism that floats with both a secular religion of home and the architecture of ghostly pasts, there is a refreshing reality to his music. Often being compared to the distinctive songwriting and ethereal moods of Sondre Lerche, M. Ward, and Bon Iver, Brian Wheat creates space and depth with his minimalistic sound while sliding in bits of country, folk and summer porch-swing rock and is known to bring a crowded room to a complete hush with the strum of a chord. His live performances have garnered him a diverse and expansive fan base, as well as support positions for some of today’s most exciting national and international acoustic artists, including Band of Horses (Sub Pop), Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters/Sun Kil Moon), Frontier Ruckus (Ramseur Records), Oakley Hall (Merge), David Dondero (Team Love), William Elliot Whitmore (Anti), Hamell on Trial (Righteous Babe Records), (Old Time Relijun (K Records), Rachel Ries (Waterbug), and Robert Blake (Same Room Records).