briz
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briz

Bayville, New Jersey, United States | SELF

Bayville, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Solo Americana Acoustic

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Remember when I was talking about Mumford and his preppy psuedo-Americana? Yeah, well this isn’t it, because Hard Times is a breath of fresh air. No, it’s such a relief, it’s more like getting a suck on an oxygen tank from 17,000 ft in the Andes. The biggest problem I have with these groups like Mumford is that it is just too serious. Actually, let me rephrase that. It’s all too precocious, because nothing is wrong with being serious now and again, but when you take yourself so seriously, completely severing yourself from any semblance of levity, then I start to have a problem with you. What’s magical about this album is that Briz, like Springsteen, gets that a bit of humility and humour never hurt anyone before.

Hard Times is Briz’s second album, and like Springsteen’s Nebraska, it was recorded all at home, hisses and bare instrumentals included. Though his first effort was recorded in a professional studio, as well as being more polished, that’s not to say the seeds of Hard Times weren’t already planted in those recordings. Unlike the punks who couldn’t earn a living screaming into a microphone so they traded their acoustic for an electric, this sound has always been in Briz’s blood, he just finally came into his own here.

Perhaps, what draws me so much to these songs are the lyrics. Although I am usually more about the melody, the stories and characters here are so strong that they boldly command your attention, and it’s clear that Briz isn’t sorry if he crushes you with depression as you hear the lives of these poor unfortunate characters; as if Briz never learned the meaning of a happy ending, but it’s great because too much today is sugar-coated.

The lyrics and stories on here are so clear and true that it’s not hard to imagine them being works of the great social commentator Charles Dickens, but whereas Dickens was the master of mood and setting up landscape, Briz’s real strength lies in the characters, whom are so real and whose stories are so melancholic that you can’t help but think they were culled from real life. Even with the more villainous of characters such as the voice of “Life of Crime” you still feel for them, even root for them. It’s a stroke of genius to leave the album as raw as he did, because crowded instrumentals would have left the lyrics lost in the mix, and it’s quite humble in what it asks: just listen.

The stories and ideas are so well thought out that it needs to be called a concept album, and it’s as if they aren’t really songs but a series of really catchy vignettes. As I said before, yes, parts of it are heavily somber in tone, but Briz does throw in a ray of light now and again in the form of “I Don’t Care” and “Heart Be Still,” showing that life ain’t all that bad, or in my case bad grammar. But since I have first heard these songs, I have stood by my word when I said “I Don’t Care” will be a hit; it is so perfect and touching of a song it’s impossible for it not to be.

Perhaps, this album can be compared to the Dickens work that shares it’s title: it’s purposely ragged and straight to the point at parts, amazingly depressing, but not without lighter bits supplied by Mr. Sleary, or in the album’s case “Hobo Wine,” and “Not That Kind of Man,” and like the book, this album is a classic. -Cody

You can buy the album here:

http://bit.ly/iMXukN
- Neotomic Webzine-06/17/11


‘Briz’ brings Black History Month to Lawrence Library next week
By: Lea Kahn, Staff Writer 01/25/2007

David Conard has been writing and singing about politics, love and other topics for most of his life, but he never thought he would write songs about slavery.
All that changed after Mr. Conard — known professionally as “Briz” — watched “Unchained Memories: Readings From the Slave Narratives,” a 2003 documentary on HBO based on interviews with former slaves that were conducted between 1936 and 1938.
Those interviews inspired Mr. Conard’s “Freedom Trilogy” of songs, written between 2004 and 2006, which examines slavery, the Civil War and the civil rights movement.
Next week, he will bring “Freedom’s Glory” to the Lawrence branch of the Mercer County Library on Darrah Lane. The program begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 and is in recognition of Black History Month.
“Freedom’s Glory,” which will be heard for the first time Feb. 1, is the final piece in the Freedom Trilogy, the Eldridge Avenue resident said. The first two pieces — “Freedom Stairway” and “Freedom’s Cry” — focus on slavery and the Civil War, respectively. “Freedom Stairway” was first performed in 2005; “Freedom’s Cry” has not yet been performed.
Mr. Conard said the “Freedom’s Glory” program includes several of his own compositions, plus 1960s-era classics such as “We Shall Overcome.” It also includes a PowerPoint presentation of black-and-white photographs of the era, which also had been shown in “Unchained Memories,” and were provided by the United States Library of Congress.
“At the end of ‘Unchained Memories,’ there is a picture of the ‘freedom stairway,’” Mr. Conard said. “It’s a black-and-white photograph of a stairway going up the banks of the Ohio River (which divided the slave state of Kentucky from the free state of Ohio).
“It’s the stairway to freedom,” he said. “That picture made an impression on me. I wanted to know more about that time, what it must be like looking at those stairs, and all I have to do is climb the stairs and I’ll be a free man.”
Inspired by the photograph, Mr. Conard went to the Lawrence Library to learn more about the slave narratives, which were the product of interviews conducted by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.
The first song in what was to become his Freedom Trilogy grew from the initial entry in the book that contained the slave narratives, an interview with a woman who said she grew up on “Old Man Foley’s plantation” — which became the title of one of the musician’s songs.
“I wrote some more songs, and my wife, Michele, said I should do a program around it,” he said. “I didn’t know I was going to do more than a concept album of songs, but seeing the interest that my two sons, Shawn and Cody, took in it, I thought it might be a good children’s program. I decided to develop a whole program around it.”
Soon after Mr. Conard created “Freedom’s Stairway,” he realized a 40-minute show could not cover all the information available. “Freedom’s Cry” was the next segment, which explored the horrors of the Civil War.
“Freedom’s Glory” was written to wrap up the trilogy, he said. The former slaves were promised the right to vote and the right to own land, but many of those promises were not fulfilled until the Civil Rights era in the mid-20th century, nearly a century later, he said.
Mr. Conard, who gained his nickname “Briz” from his sister while growing up in nearby Hopewell Township, said he has always been interested in history, politics “and, of course, music.”
“I listened to President John F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and, to a certain extent, Malcolm X,” he said. “I was taken by their words. I could see how they were able to move people with their words. It made me want to hear what they had to say. I was always taken in by the plight of the underprivileged, the unfortunate and the underdog. People were not treated equally.”
Though a self-described child of the ’60s, Mr. Conard eventually went on to what he called “adult things.” He married and started a family, held a series of jobs in the food industry and moved to Florida. The family returned to Mercer County and settled in Lawrence in 1994.
Mr. Conard turned to music after the lease expired on a former business five years ago. He has since taken his performances on the road to libraries, schools, museums and cultural centers throughout New Jersey and currently performs about six to eight shows per month throughout the year.
While he acknowledged it may be unusual for a white man to write and perform songs that deal with blacks and slavery, both he and the program are well received by audiences. Black audiences especially appreciate his efforts to convey the historical aspects, he said.
“An African American woman came up to me after a show and thanked me. People don’t care who puts it out or how. They just want their children to know about it,” Mr. Conard said. “The children can’t imagine what slavery was like, or what the civil rights movement was like.”

“Freedom’s Glory” will be presented at Lawrence branch
of the Mercer County Library on Darrah Lane at 7 p.m. Feb. 1.
- From The Lawrence Ledger


Black history recognized in concert at Sayreville library
BY MICHAEL ACKER Staff Writer 08/31/20110
Accompanied by his acoustic guitar and harmonica, David "Briz" Conard, of Lawrenceville, performed the program "Freedom Stairway," which he created after watching "Unchained Memories," a series of documentaries that recreated the slave narratives on HBO.

The documentaries aired several years ago and were based on the accounts collected by the federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, Briz told the Suburban.

Briz's 14-year-old son, Codey, assisted his father during the performance, displaying on a projector pre-Civil War-era photography from the Library of Congress.

Briz, who grew up in the area of Hopewell, has been playing music since his youth. He performs a variety of shows that include what he calls "The Freedom Trilogy."

"Freedom Stairway" is the first installment of the trilogy, retelling the hardship endured by slaves during the time of slavery. The next installment, "Freedom's Cry," recounts the events of the Civil War; the third installment involves the civil rights movement and is called "Freedom's Glory."

Briz, who also performs a program about the environment, takes his music to libraries, schools and other venues across the state.

He described most of his music as contemporary, listing his influences as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on his Web site. He was the lead singer of Green River Ordinance, a hard rock band, before moving toward acoustic folk and blues music.

"The Freedom Trilogy" is a departure for him, and was created, in part, at the suggestion of his wife, Michele. Saturday's performance included audience participation from several children, who Briz asked to re-enact the labor that slaves had to perform and the escape that some attempted along the Underground Railroad.

Twelve-year-old Sayreville resident Katelynn Gonzalez was among those who enjoyed the show.

"I learned a lot," Katelynn said, "and he was really good."

Karen Damoah, 12, also of Sayreville, agreed, saying she also learned from Briz's music.

"He is a great guitar player," Karen noted.

"Freedom's Stairway" is named after a pathway at the Ohio River, where those seeking freedom went to escape the slave state of Kentucky, Briz said. An abolitionist would use a lantern to signal to those seeking freedom, to let them know if bounty hunters were in the area looking for fugitive slaves.

"If slaves in Kentucky saw the lantern," Briz said, "they knew it was safe to cross the river."

The show includes "Ol' Man Foley's Plantation," a song that is included on Briz's album of the music from "Freedom Stairway."

Briz also performed "The Block," a song about the cruelty of slave owners who publicly inspected people and separated family members who were sold to various slave owners. He displayed historical images that advertised the dates and locations of the auction blocks where slaves were sold.

New Jersey was the site of several safe houses along the Underground Railroad, Briz said, adding that the Raritan River was considered to be one of the last stops for those seeking freedom.

At the end of the performance, Briz noted that the efforts and sacrifices of African Americans should be recognized all year long, not just during Black History Month in February.

"We should be celebrating Black history all year-round," Briz told the audience. "It is a part of our American history and it should be one and the same."

For more information, visit the Web site at www.brizsongs.com.
- THE SUBURBAN


Okay, so I mostly do CD reviews of local, south Florida musicians, but one day I get an email from a Jersey guy asking me to review his CD. So, I say sure and he sends it to me in the mail. When the CD arrives, I’m busy so I just do a quick, fifteen second preview of each song, then tag it as gothic country (yes, there is such a thing) similar to Mark Sinnis’ cemetery-western genre. But about a week later I finally had time to sit down and thoroughly listen to all the tracks and I was blown away. It ain’t gothic, country, cemetery or western. No, it’s more like Johnnie Cash and Tom Waits ran head-on into each other on the highway doing 90 only to have one, whole, new person emerge. And that person is Briz (a.k.a. David Conard – www.brizsongs.com).

Now Briz’s CD of all original songs is called HARD TIMES, and just by the cover artwork you can tell this ain’t no Carpenter’s walk through the sunny side of life. The front cover sleeve displays a rainy day, steering-wheel view out a wiperless window staring down an endless tree-lined country road, while the back sleeve shows a hardened figure (Briz?) standing amongst giant truck tires discarded in the woods. No, it may not be a pretty ride, but any reflection of the economically destroyed, hard-time world we live in today is by its very nature going to be a bit uneasy. Yet Briz can take all that pain and still turn it into a heartfelt song of beauty and recognition.

The CD starts off with BROKE DOWN TRUCK, a memoriam to a four wheeled family heirloom. Track two, I DON’T CARE, is a devotional to the better, supportive qualities of family in tough times. This is followed by LIFE OF CRIME where even death might be a welcome respite for those caught up in the transgressions of economic hardships. Then comes HARD TIMES, the CD’s title track which is a testimonial and tribute to perseverance when everything else fails. Finally, CLEAN BREAK ends the first half of this compilation with an almost Meat Loaf (singer Michael Lee Aday) like yearning for freedom from life’s every day drudgery.

The CD’s back half starts off with MADE IN AMERICA, a dark side of the coin tribute to Bruce Springstein’s Born In The USA (1984, Columbia Records). Things turn a bit cheerier with track seven, HOBO WINE which is made from a little bit of yours and a little bit of mine. Track eight, HEART BE STILL, is about the heart’s longing not to be longing, which is then followed by DON’T TEMPT ME FRIEND where longing for the bottle replaces the longing of the heart. And it all ends with NOT THAT KIND OF MAN, where even desperate times can’t justify indefensible acts.

So it might be raining and the wipers might be broke, but just put down those rose-tinged glasses and take a good look at the world around you. Then turn on Briz’s HARD TIMES and know that there’s life still to live, even in hard times.

Dr. Bob - GotFolk-09/10/20110


The Perfect Blend Of Ice Cream and Music
Annie Gonzalez

Warm temperatures filled the Princeton University streets with people wearing shorts and flip-flops this past October Saturday night. And what better way to enjoy the oddly warm weather but to enjoy it at Thomas Sweets Ice Cream & Chocolate. As usual, there was a line outside the door as always right up until winter. But one of the great things about the line is that it moves rather quickly…it’s just scooping ice cream after all, isn’t it? Well…no, it’s not just about scooping ice cream. There’s more to it than that. Thomas Sweet offers perfect scoops of indulgence blending family and friends together and topping it all off with another delicious treat – music.

Right outside the side entrance to Thomas Sweet there’s a space reserved for musicians to play. One of Thomas Sweet’s regular musicians, BRIZ, played Saturday evening as he usually does on weekends. I happened to catch his performance while enjoying time with the family and a lip smacking “Blend-In” with vanilla ice cream, heath bar, m&ms, and kit kat (try it, it’s a MUST). We caught a good portion of Briz’s set, taking in every beat. He soulfully sang a string of rock covers, with just the right gravely touch in his voice and had laid-back edge. He paid homage to popular musicians by slightly changing his voice to sound like the artist he was playing. Strumming his guitar, sounding his harmonica, and keeping the rhythm with his left foot, Briz didn’t miss a beat with the audience who couldn’t help themselves but join in and sing with him. On this cozy October Saturday night, the air echoed with the blissful sounds of people singing together “..bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry…”

You’ll find Briz is a lot more than just a one-man band. Check out his websites at www.brizsongs.com and www.myspace.com/brizsongs.

And of course, spoil yourself before winter spoils you! Visit Thomas Sweet today - GreaterPrinceton.com


" reminds me of neil young singing roy orbison. he really is that good" -steve o'donahue-stereo graffitti radio - Stereo Graffitti Radio


What's New in Princeton & Central New Jersey?
Reprinted from the July 11, 2007, issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper

The Sounds of Silence
by Richard K. Rein

Sounds of the city (or at least the sounds of my neighborhood of small houses, apartments, retail stores, and restaurants on the edge of Princeton’s central business district):

The rumbling begins off to the east at around 5 a.m., and turns into a clank as it passes under my window 30 feet away. At 5:40 it rumbles and clanks back in the other direction. It’s the street cleaning machine, of course, which on many mornings heralds the new day in my neighborhood, where we have the cleanest streets in the state.

At 7 a.m. sharp the garbage truck comes up the street to empty the dumpster behind Sovereign Bank. The massive vehicle roars up to the parking lot entrance with a pounding percussion, fails to get through the narrow passage on the first attack, and then shifts into reverse to improve its angle. With that maneuver, of course, the roar is punctuated by the beeping alarm of a truck in reverse — it’s the triangle accenting the bass drum. For most of us in the neighborhood it’s a wonderful alarm clock. Only my two teenage boys, sleeping 10 feet away from the backed-up truck, manage to sleep through it.

That’s the morning symphony. But at night it’s another, more rewarding show. On Fridays in the summer, if you stand outside my house and listen carefully, you can hear the faint sounds of music wafting down from Nassau Street. Is that “American Pie” I hear? Or “The Boxer?” Yes, it is. And that would be a one-man band, a singer and songwriter named Briz performing on acoustic guitar and harmonica in the courtyard outside Thomas Sweet Ice Cream.

Head a few blocks to the east, toward New York, and you come to Nassau Street’s restaurant alley. And there at the Blue Point Grill, tucked neatly into the space between the curb and the sidewalk, a jazz quartet — bass, sax, drums, and guitar — known as the 6th Street Quarterion holds forth every Saturday night, weather permitting. It’s a free concert for diners waiting for a table at the seafood restaurant and for passersby.

Head back into town, and walk a block down Witherspoon Street to Hulfish, and you come to a sliver of land between a parking garage and the outdoor seating area next to Halo Pub, another dessert destination. On Saturday nights, weather permitting, you will find that sliver of land occupied by musicians, as well. This Saturday, July 14, it’s Irish and folk, with Bill O’Neal and Joe Kramer.

So who says they don’t have live music anymore? Yes, I know about the concerts on the Palmer Square green in front of the Nassau Inn on Saturday afternoons, and the Princeton Shopping Center concerts on Thursday nights, and the lunchtime concerts at the Carnegie Center on Wednesdays and Thursdays at lunchtime.

But this is different: Accomplished musicians — guys actually making a living at it — showing up in odd places where you would not expect them. It’s a lesson of the new urbanism: Put enough people together in a small space and someone is going to figure out how to have fun.

David Conard earned the nickname “Briz” as a kid growing up in Hopewell. Now 54, Briz has given up his career in food services to toil fulltime as a musician. He plays at Thomas Sweet most Saturday nights and some Sunday afternoons, and he also performs Thursday evenings at the Stockton Inn. It helps that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music — Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Neil Young are among his influences. And he is also smart to write his own stuff, including a musical interpretation of slavery and the civil rights movement that he performs at libraries and schools www.brizsongs.com).

At Thomas Sweet Briz plays nonstop from 7 to 10 p.m. That’s a reflection of his food service experience. “I know I’m here to keep the customers around,” he says, looking out at a crowd that has filled all the nearby tables and taken over the lawn chairs in front of 185 Nassau Street, as well.

Art Stephano, the bass and spokesman for the 11-year-old Sixth Street Quaternion www.6stq.com), moved from the Philadelphia area to Hightstown around four years ago, so his wife would have an easier commute to her job with an ad agency in New York. He searched the Internet looking for restaurants that might want to book the quartet.

When he called Blue Point Grill the manager made the obvious point that the restaurant didn’t need musicians to draw more customers — the place was already filled to the gills. But, he and Stephano both mused, perhaps some live music might calm the diners during their long wait.

The 6th Street Quarterion is now in its fourth season at Blue Point. The season is supposed to end in September, but if a warm spell carries into a Saturday in October or later you might find the group back on the sidewalk.

The owners of Halo Pub on Hulfish were in a situation similar to Blue Point Grill: Plenty of customers on a Saturday night but a feeling that they deserved a little something extra for their time. That led to booking a series of musicians — who provide an unexpected sound in an unexpected setting from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The street music ends fairly early in my neighborhood. The next gig belongs to that street cleaner.
- U.S. 1 Newspaper


briz CD Review-Rob Lincoln
February 28 , 2008

"Neil Young and Springsteen influenced songwriter sings sweet, plays hard and delivers a knockout song" Rob Lincoln, cdreviewsonline

Briz is a versatile Philadelphia area singer-songwriter who is an excellent live performer with an awesome vocal range. He sings blues, country and Americana and can sound like Neil Young in his vocal delivery when he sings high. When he is growling, he can also sound a bit like Springsteen. His writing can sound like both artists as well. However, he also knows how to write a good country tune, and in the case of this self produced release he has written an extraordinary country tune. I usually do not review cds unless I love 5 or more songs but I am making an exception here as this one song is worth the cost of the CD. My favorite songs are:

1) Cowboy Serenade- This song is so good that whenever Briz plays it live, the room comes alive, people begin singing and then comes a huge ovation. It has a melody that is unforgettable, not only because the hook is so catchy but because the entire song is so well constructed into three distinctive and equallly strong parts (verse, bridge and chorus). And then of course there are the words. It is a riveting story in which the narrator now old and wheel chair bound, sitting in a nursing home poignanty cries, "If they only knew my name..." and then the listener is vividly transported into the past when the old man was a young singing cowboy. It is an unforgettable song lyrically and melodically. If Briz never writes another song again, this is one for the ages

2) How'd We Ever Get Out Alive?- Imagine a cross between American Pie and We Didn't Start The Fire and you have this song. Briz does a great live version of this tune. This version is just ok.


3) She Can't Wait To Leave This Town- Briz must have been channelling Springsteen on this one. It has a really gritty roots rock sound.

Honorable mention- Ivyland Special has a kickin' bluesy groove and the countryish Never Wanted You To Go and Still Gone showcase Briz's range as a singer.

There are no bad songs on this cd. But there is only one great song. How good is that song? Well of all the songs I've heard in the 7 years I have been booking the 60+ artists in the Philadelphia Area Songwriters' Alliance Houseconerts, I believe Cowboy Serenade the most likely to become a national hit on the country charts. Make sure if you are in the Philly area to check out Briz live--he is an outstanding performer. To learn more about Briz and hear this CD go to www.brizsongs.com
- cdreviewsonline


"How do you describe Briz? Well first you would have to start off by taking bits of classic rock, blues and add in musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, mix them in a blender and out comes Briz. He has a unique sound that has a large blues and classic rock feel to it, yet the lyrics give it an entirely different feel. It is a unique feeling, the music makes you feel one way, while the lyrics will make you think and feel a different way".

"Briz has recently finished writing songs for a project that he calls “Freedom Stairway” which is based on interviews conducted in the 1930’s with former slaves by the United States Government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA). The story revolves around the Underground Railroad, and the attempt of thousands of slaves to reach the “Freedom Stairway”. The saga is based on real people and places and some of the songs are culled directly from the slave’s interviews".

"briz is a 2001 Folk Factory People's Choice Winner"

"When you listen to the songs in “Freedom Stairway” you can envision the slaves singing these songs of the troubled times in which they lived. There is a lot to be said for someone who has the guts to write about such events in our history, and not just one song, but at least 7 songs. It is hard to write about Briz, the music just has such a way about it that it has left me somewhat speechless."
By: Jeff Dame


Venues
RESTARAUNTS & TAVERNS
Artful Dodger(Philly)
Doz(Philly)
Doc Watson's(Philly)
Off The Hook(Highlands,NJ)
Fedora Cafe(Lawrenceville,NJ)
Val's Tavern(Rumson,NJ)
Sanctuary(Sommerset,NJ)
Cambridge Inn(Spotswood,NJ)
Casa Comida(Long Branch,NJ)
Captain's Inn(Forked River,NJ)
Old Oar House Brewery(Millville,NJ)
Mermaid Inn(Philly)
Grape Street Pub(Philly)
Joe's Mill Hill Saloon(Trenton)
McQuinn's Place(Lawrenceville)

COFFEEHOUSES & LISTENING VENUES
Folk Factory
Mine Street Coffeehouse
ArtMusic Coffeehouse
Twisters
Indigo Coffehouse
Barrington Coffeehouse
Coffeeworks
Green Planet Coffeehouse
Classic Blend Coffeehouse
Cool Beans Coffeehouse
Cornerstone Cafe
No Joes
Mary's Place
The Backstage
The Troubadour


FESTIVALS & OUTDOOR SHOWS
Neptune Black History Celebration
Burlington Summer Concert Series
Hamilton Christmas Show
Hamilton October Fest
Raritan RiverFest
Princeton Hospital Fete
New Brunswick Cooks
New Song Festival
Churchville Pumpkin Festival
Kindred Spirits Festival


LIBRARIES & SCHOOLS
Lawrence Intermediate School
Burlington Library(Westhampton)
West Deptford Library
Edison Publc LibraryLibrary
Piscataway Public Library
Wayne Public Library
Ocean Public Library(Pt. Pleasant)
Trenton Public Library(Main)
Trenton Public Library(Cadawalder)
Trenton Public Library(Briggs)
Trenton Public Library(Skelton)
Lawrence Public Library
East Windsor Public Library(Hickory Corner)

CORPORATE
Trammel Crow(Princeton)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation(Princeton)
Nassau Park(West Windsor) - Jeff Dame


Discography

Hard Times
Briz-self titled
Freedom Stairway

Photos

Bio

brizbio

The new album "Hard Times" released on 5/4/11

reminds me of neil young singing roy orbison. he really is that good" -steve o'donahue-stereo graffiti radio

neil young and springsteen influenced songwriter sings sweet, plays hard and delivers a knockout song -rob Lincoln cdreviewsonline

a soulful voice combined with a tremendous gift for songwriting. influences of dylan, springsteen and neil young can be heard throughout his music as he blends both pop sensibility and folk tradition to create lyrics that are uniquely memorable and music that is commercially accessible yet brutally poignant.

briz plays guitar, ukulele, banjo and adds a bluesy style of harmonica to many of his numbers. a relative newcomer to americana music, briz has already shared the stage with such great acts as; dan bern, steve forbert, chris barron, the lovin' spoonful, gin blossoms,the bands jim weider, colleen sexton, small potatoes, leslie ritter & scott petito, bill kirchen (lead guitarist for commander cody), and more!

steeped in traditional folk, briz's music cannot be relegated to any one genre. his songs reflect a love of rock, pop & blues as well as folk, which may be why he attracts such a varied audience at his shows. he pays homage to all the great folk artists that came before but adds a more contemporary edge to his songs. he is comfortable writing music about personal relationships as well as social issues and political satire.

briz's self tilted cd of original contemporary songs, which he performs at shows around the country, was released in 2007. songs like cowboy serenade, mr blah blah man & how'd we ever get out alive are currently being played on radio here and abroad.

briz's musical saga "freedom stairway", based on the slave narratives of the 1930's is being performed at libraries, schools and other venues as an educational multi-media show. his other scholastic shows include "freedom's cry", "freedom's glory" and "the dust bowl diaries". In addition, an environmental show called "earthsongs is also available for educators as-well-as the tribute show shakey, a musical based on the songs of neil young.

briz is a 2001 Philadelphia Folk Factory Peoples Choice Winner! He has been cited by Neptune Township for his Black history contributions and recognized by The Mayors Office City of Trenton, Governors Office State of New Jersey, as well as The Mercer County Executives Office, Mercer County Freeholders and State Assembly of New Jersey.

BRING NEIL YOUNG TO YOUR SCHOOL

Beginning in January, I'll be performing a new project at theaters and listening venues around the country. It's a one man acoustic show based on the songs of Neil Young called Shakey "The Musical". Songs will include Mr. Soul, The Loner, Needle and the Damage Done, Ohio, Heart of Gold, and many, many more up to and including Prairie Wind. In addition to the music, my stage act will include narratives about the songs and a "journey through the past" of Neil's amazing career. And of course there will be plenty of flannel. You can see the trailer for "Shakey" by clicking on the video tab here on sonicbids or at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkJxBBsJKjY

If you would like to book a performance or need additional information, please contact me at briz@brizsongs.com or phone 848-469-6143.
briz

Band Members