Brittany Ann
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Brittany Ann

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Meet an up-and-coming Philadelphia Musician!"

If you’ve heard the folklore about this wonderful folk talent, I’ll tell ya the rumors are all true! Meet the sensational up and coming singer/songwriter Brittany Ann Tranbaugh!

Who is she? Originally from Easton, PA, Tranbaugh is currently a student here in the city, where she has found a “real and supportive community” of other artists. She says that the songs she’s now working on reflect the eye-opening experience of her move to the city. She started writing songs when she was around 12 or 13-years-old, and started playing when she was 14.

What type of music does she play? “I’d say my music is very heartfelt and sincere; rooted in the folk music tradition but not necessarily bound by it”, said Tranbaugh. I’ve seen her play live, and her voice carries a sweet sentimentality about it, heightened more so through her lyrics, which are deep and emotionally raw. Tranbaugh exhibits a poetic maturity far beyond her years that makes you know she understands the tribulations of everyday highs and lows amidst finger picked-guitar music in the majority of her songs. Her gentle timbre and empathy exuding in the moments where her voice peaks tugs at the heart, hearkening to the ease and effortlessness of past female folk singers. And the confidence with which she plays her more upbeat songs is enough to bind you and a crowd in solidarity; with a catharsis always waiting at the finish line.

Where can I see her perform? She will be playing two house concerts in Philly in March, as well as a show at the Tin Angel on April 10th. For more details, check out www.brittanyannmusic.com. I assure you’ll leave feeling inspired!
- Philly Broadcaster


"Brittany Ann"

Home grown not too far from Nazareth, PA, singer/songwriter Brittany Ann, age 19, has been crafting intricate folk songs since she was ten. Armed with poetic prowess and her love-worn Martin 000C-16RGTE Aura, Brittany offers this ten-song album debut with tenderness and sophistication. She’s a fresh new face that is sure to make her musical mark. She has an impressive website at: brittanyannmusic.com
- The Sounding Board, CF Martin & Co.


"Album Review: The Good in That by Brittany Ann"

I can’t think of a better way to close out the year than to conclude my coverage of the artists I heard at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. I had reviewed Pesky J Nixon the week before the festival, but I first saw them perform the first day I got there. Not long into their set, they invited Brittany Ann to join them on stage. She strummed her guitar and she sang. It was her voice that impressed me. I don’t know if I even heard her do any of her own songs, but she could really sing. I have now listened to her album several times for this review, and I still feel that way. But now I can also comment on her playing, arranging, and writing.

Brittany Ann sings in a rich alto voice. She has a bit of vibrato in her voice, and she sometimes adds syllables to words by adding notes. These are some of the signs of over singing in some artists, but not here. Yes, Brittany Ann wrings extra emotion out of her words this way, but she makes it sound true. She is a passionate woman, singing a set of songs of longing, but there is not a false note anywhere. Her only instrument is the acoustic guitar. She plays it as the lead instrument, and she has a way of picking single notes that causes the notes to cascade like the rippling notes of a harp. There is a Celtic harp playing with her on four songs, and the dialog of the two instruments is one of the great pleasures of this album. Elsewhere, a cello lends a haunting quality to October, and the percussion parts on some songs give the album as a whole a rich and varied texture.

The album opens with the song Astounding. Brittany Ann promises to dare to be her own person, and sings, “If somebody’s lived it before, then I’m doing it wrong.” I could go on about how I felt that way when I was younger, but I don’t need to. Much more briefly and eloquently than I could, Brittany Ann describes it perfectly. The title track comes next; here is a picture of a woman who loves without being loved back, a typical enough situation in song. She sums up her situation in the chorus. But the last verse takes the song someplace new; here, the narrator decides to keep her feelings inside as much as possible, and accept the friendship that does not deepen. The chorus does not return; rather, the song is left dangling in this new position. It makes the whole thing work beautifully. But the next song is October, and here is where Brittany Ann really started to knock me out with her writing. She takes the beauty of the leaves changing color and the fact that they will all be off the trees by the end of the month, and uses it as a metaphor for the final end of a summer romance. She uses the metaphor with light touch, and it is all the more powerful for it. This is the level of intelligence and sensitivity in the songs on this album. Most are in the first person, and tell of relationship woes. There is more wonderful writing throughout. And then, Brittany Ann starts to step back a bit. Sister Blue Eyes, is one of the best examples of the interplay between the guitar and harp. It is also a nurturing song, with words of encouragement to a sister who has been unlucky in love. Song For Freedom follows, and it is a folk anthem and a plea for love in the world. This one will get stuck in your head if you listen to it too often, which is exactly what a song like this should do. Then comes Our Way, where love finally works out. This one lets the listener finish the album on a high note. There is one more song however. The only cover on the album is Don’t Know How I Got Here by Taylor Mitchell. This is the kind of enigmatic song that can spur endless discussion. I will leave the interpretation to the listener, and just say that Brittany Ann delivers the song in a way that preserves the flow of the album.

So I can recommend this album highly. And here is the scary thought of the day: as good as this album is, Brittany Ann is only 19, and she is just going to get better. I’ll be looking forward to it.
- Oliver di Place


"We are all just Puzzle Pieces..."

In my four years at Temple University, I met some absolutely terrific musicians, who became even better friends. A group of us put together a few open mics at a campus performance space we rented out called The Underground, where we met even more talented musicians.

I had gotten so used to meeting new great performers that I didn’t think anything of it when Brittany Ann took the stage with her acoustic guitar at an open mic last fall. She introduced “Puzzle Pieces” and began finger-picking a delicate ballad in C major. Then she started singing.

I was floored, along with every other person in the room. Her voice was delicate at places, fiery at others and altogether captivating as she guided the audience through her purest emotions and words.

“To love somebody is to feel their pain/ It’s to go insane when they’re not OK,” she professed on her chorus.

Her second verse even further explained strands of wisdom well ahead of her age.

And I take you just the way you are
‘Cause that’s how you came to me
I think when love becomes conditional,
It turns to currency
And that’s not the way it’s supposed to be
You know, if it’s real,
It will defy our every insecurity

As I later learned, Brittany wrote that song, and many of her other songs, as a high school student.

In my final year at Temple, we became good friends. I dueted with her on “Puzzle Pieces” a number of times. Brittany was a frequent performer at house performances in my apartment’s basement, turning every one into a massive, all-night singalong. It’s those kinds of memories I already miss most about my time at Temple.

This fall Brittany Ann released her debut album, The Good in That, a ten-song, tightly-wound folk tapestry. The record winds like a river through an array of moods, set by the songwriter’s precise acoustic playing and dynamic, daring voice. There’s the elegant “Kings and Saturdays” and the mystical “October.” There’s the hopeful “Song for Freedom,” on which she urges the world to simply, “Try out love.”

So profound, yet pure and simple, are the resounding truths in Brittany Ann’s lyrics that they remain suspended in midair, leaving the listener feeling warmly enlightened, long after she sings the album’s final word.

o that was the point of this somewhat unfocused blog post: an album review. A completely conflicted, biased album review.

And I, Kevin Brosky (the music fan), do not care much about conflicts of interest, at this juncture.

Buy Brittany’s record. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for a young songwriter who has much, much more on the horizon.

You can stream The Good in That for free at brittanyann.bandcamp.com and buy the record at cdbaby.com.
- Kevin Brosky, Rhythm and Melody


"The Richter Scale 12/3/10"

Shown in publicity photos with wavy blond hair and brandishing an acoustic guitar, Easton native Brittany Ann could easily be confused for country superstar Taylor Swift. It's an unfair comparison: Ann is a much stronger songwriter with a more mature voice.

"The Good in That" is a promising debut from the 19-year-old Temple University student. Ann has a voice that sounds similar to that of Natalie Maines, the lead singer of The Dixie Chicks. The spare production on her album plays to Ann's main strength, putting her voice front and center.

But she also has a knack for lyrics that take off in unexpected directions. On the album's opener, "Astounding," Ann starts by noting how "they take down everything that's real and turn it into a subdivision." But this isn't a lament about sprawl; it's about the narrator's existential longing to make something more of her life.

The somewhat rousing "Song for Freedom" calls not for freedom from oppression, but freedom from hatred. It's a surprising and refreshing take on a familiar theme.

What I like most about "The Good in That" is the promise it holds for Ann's future work. The entire album didn't capture my interest, but there's enough here to show that Ann has the songwriting chops to go far.

Maybe one day she will get dissed by Kanye West. If only.

Rating: 6.2 on the Richter Scale. There goes the good china.
- The Express-Times


"Meet the Artist: Brittany Ann"

Hometown: Easton.
Web site: myspace.com/brittanyannmusic.

Influences: "I was really raised on Harry Chapin and singer-songwriters my parents listened to. I really got into Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan." She also lists current artists Damien Rice, Brandi Carlile, Emmaus Mitchell and established artists Sheryl Crow and Tracy Chapman.

Sounds like: Ann says she's her voice has been compared to other singer-songwriters such as Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Joan Baez and Sarah McLachlan. "But sometimes I dip into soul or rock," she adds.

Set list: Armed with just an acoustic guitar, Ann mixes covers and originals into her one-woman show -- touching on everything from Bob Dylan to Death Cab for Cutie.

Know her roots: While most 16-year-olds spend their off-time catching up with friends or practicing their driving skills, Ann is hard at work crafting original songs and playing to packed crowds inside smoky bars and clubs. "Music it's just, it's my life," Ann says.
Inspired by her folk singer father, Ann says she was "entranced" by his Yamaha guitar at an early age. "I picked up and started playing when I was nine," she adds.

Catch her if you can: Brittany Ann will be performing tonight at 8 p.m. at Java Lounge in Nazareth; Saturday night at the Wildflower Cafe in Bethlehem; and June 8 at the Wired Gallery in Bethlehem.

- Easton Express-Times


Discography

The Good in That- October 23rd, 2010

Photos

Bio

Brittany Ann (of Easton, PA) could sing before she could talk, or so says her mother. Growing up, when her father wasn’t serenading her and her sisters, she would sometimes pick up his guitar and teach herself some chords.

She eventually attended the Lehigh Valley Charter School for the Performing Arts in Bethlehem, PA with a concentration in vocal music. Around this same time, she became enamored with legendary song crafters like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and continued building on her growing musical prowess. Brittany began penning one heartfelt song after another, weaving the sophisticated folk tapestry that would come full circle in 2010 on The Good in That, her first full-length studio recording, a collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Glenn Barratt.

That recording process, which began in the summer of 2009 at Morningstar Studios in Spring House, PA, allowed Brittany’s songs to take full shape and evolve before her. With the help of some well-established local musicians and friends, she emerged from the experience with a collection of ten beautifully polished and eloquent tracks, which together peer into her widely imaginative, sagacious mind. The Good in That was released in the fall of 2010, and has since received much critical acclaim.

Now a 19-year-old Temple University sophomore, Brittany Ann has bloomed into one of the Northeast’s most inspiring, ambitious young songwriters, winning over listeners with her trademark ethereal melodies, intricate finger-picking, and "wise beyond her years" lyrics. She has a genuine and endearing stage presence, and a rare knack for connecting with her audiences. Brittany Ann is an artist who is rooted in the folk tradition but not necessarily bound to it, a refreshing and enchanting new voice with much, much more on the horizon. -Kevin Brosky

"This young lady is the future of folk music" -Gene Shay, WXPN and the Philadelphia Folk Song Society

"One part Joni Mitchell and one part Natalie Merchant-- the perfect combination of acoustic soul and ethereal melodies" —Amy Stetts and Dustin Schoof, The Express Times

AWARDS, SHOWCASES, FESTIVALS:
Tricentric Showcase Artist, North East Regional Folk Alliance Conference ‘10...Musikfest ’07-'11...Winnipeg Folk Festival Young Performer’s Program ’09...Formal Showcase Artist, International Folk Alliance Conference ’09...Spring Gulch Folk Festival ’08...First Place, “Voices of the Future” Songwriting Contest ’08...Winner, “The Best of Godfrey Daniel’s” Competition ’07...C.F. Martin & Co’s Martin Guitar Owner’s Day Festival ’07.

LISTENING ROOMS, COFFEE HOUSES:
Pennsylvania: Godfrey Daniels, World Cafe Live, Steel City Coffee, The Tin Angel, Chaplin’s Music Cafe, Listen Live Music, The Burlap and Bean, The Fire, Landhaven, The Wildflower Cafe, Nazareth Center for the Arts, Connexions Gallery, Milkboy Coffee, Green Line Cafe, City of York’s “Box Lunch Revue” Concert Series, Easton Riverside Amphitheater, Crossroads Coffeehouse, The Clubhouse, Mt. Airy House Concert, Creekside Cultural Center. New Jersey: Grounds for Sculpture, Concerts at the Crossing, Indie Music Night. Massachusetts: Club Passim, Me & Thee Coffeehouse. New York: Postcrypt Coffeehouse, American Folk Art Museum,The Bitter End, Cin-M-Art Space. New Hampshire: Boynton’s Tap Room. Canada: Hugh’s Room (Toronto), Gordie’s Coffeehouse (Winnipeg).

OPENED FOR/PLAYED WITH:
Tom Paxton, Dala, Liz Longley, Anthony da Costa, Reed Waddle, Carsie Blanton, Blame Sally, Ellis, Layah Jane, Amelia Curran, Rebecca Loebe, Michael Logan, Pesky J. Nixon, Raina Rose, Brad Yoder, Sisters 3, Ryan Tennis, Hezekiah Jones, Chris Kasper, Lizanne Knott, Birdie Busch, Joe Iadanza, Amy Petty, Connor Garvey, Putnam Smith, Dina Hall, Prairie Jewel, The Flying Buttresses of Treebark County, Suzie Brown, Amanda Penecale, Byron Zanos, David Glaser, Kyle Swartzwelder, The Lucas Joseph Collective, Meng Tian, Phil Minissale, Dave Fry, and more...