Bryson Jennings Band
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Bryson Jennings Band

Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States | INDIE

Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"OPS teen writing, performing songs; has Edwin McCain sound"

Bryson Jennings, son of Lauren and Bob
Jennings of Orangeburg, taught himself the
guitar with a chord chart two years ago, and
he's been jamming ever since. He has written
several songs and last year recorded his
"Times Are Changing," which was quite a hit
with the Orangeburg Prep crowd. In addition
to this original song, he recorded "Slide" by
the Goo Goo Dolls on the CD. He was asked
to sing at the OPS Spoleto in the spring and
plays acoustic guitar along with friend Josh
Edwards on electric for parties and with
"I can't read music. With guitar, you read the
tabs. I'm trying to learn the National Number
System, which is what they use in Nashville,"
he said, " but I can't really read music. When I
hear something, I can pick it out."
Concerning "Times Are Changing," Jennings
said he started writing a song he thought
everyone could relate to and the words just
came. "It's about a guy and a girl — a friendship — and one is not liking how things are
going," he said.
Singer/songwriter Curt Bair of Orangeburg, who has worked in Nashville, has been a mentor
to Jennings, who models himself after South Carolinians Edwin McCain and Hootie & the
Blowfish. He has talked with McCain a couple times, and his voice is very similar to McCain's.
After this fall, the junior hopes to write and record more songs. "It's hard, with football, to
write songs, but I plan to get back with it after football is over," he said Monday. "I have no
plans to play for money," he said, "not yet. Right now I'd like to become a lawyer."
Other than church choir performances, Jennings had no prior experience before the muse hit
him. He likes to listen to lots of music, but especially groups like Lynryd Skynryd, Guns 'n'
Roses, Dave Matthews, John Meyer, as well as McCain and Hootie.
Bryson's mom, Lauren Jennings, said the family is all very proud of Bryson, and she herself
can drive him crazy about it. - NANCY C. WOOTEN, T&D Feature Editor

"LEISURE MAGAZINE: National performer Edwin McCain to"

A national performer that Orangeburg can
claim as one of its own, "Edwin McCain Live
at the Cinema" will feature the performer with
David Ryan Harris and local talent Bryson
Jennings as opening acts at 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 14, at the Cinema Room. A
native of Greenville, McCain's parents, Watt
McCain Jr. and Wendy Boatwright McCain,
are Orangeburg natives. And McCain has
cherished memories of times spent in
Orangeburg with his paternal grandfather.
"My granddad, Watt Sr., lived right on
Broughton Street," McCain said. "I have a lot
of great memories of being in Orangeburg
with him. He used to let me sit on his lap and
steer the car. He was a great guy."
Even as a child, during his halcyon days in
Orangeburg with his grandfather, McCain
was aware that music would play an
important role in his life.
"Like so many Southern musicians, I got plopped in the church choir early in life," McCain
said. "I got into classical music while I was in the band in high school. But from the time that I
was about 10 years old, I enjoyed listening to all kinds of music -- folk, R&B, and my favorite
group Earth, Wind and Fire. My mom tells the story that I came to her crying one day
because I could never be in Earth, Wind and Fire. When I was 10 I could sing all of Philip
Bailey's (EWF lead singer) parts. And I went to all the Gap Band concerts that came
anywhere near me."
McCain hails other performers like Al Green, Marvin Gaye and the Winans as influences on
his developing musical tastes as well. The style that ultimately catapulted him to national
attention in hits like "Could Not Ask for More" and "I'll Be," is the direct result of this varied
music he was exposed to as a child, he said.
"I've got folksy roots with a big portion of funk," McCain said. "And I grew up in the church.
All of that is a part of me. All of it made me who I am as a person and as a performer."
When McCain looks for defining moments in his life, he doesn't have to look far. He
remembers a performance in Denver that made him rethink the power or music.
"I had gotten too big for my britches," McCain said. "I had gone to Vegas for my birthday and
I wasn't being good to the music. When I got back for the show, I didn't want to go on but I
went on anyway. About two songs into the show, I noticed a couple of people helping a girl
out of a wheelchair. She passed me a note telling me how the music was helping her make it
through. That reminded me that music is always about the people. The next day, I was at
David Geffen's house doing a show for some people in the industry. I was about to walk out
when Phoebe Snow came in. She talked to me and comforted me. Again, I was reminded
that music is a great teacher that can put you back on the right path."
McCain's awareness of the power of music makers is a compass point for local musical
talent Bryson Jennings. Along with McCain, Jennings counts the Dave Matthews Band and
Hootie and Blowfish among his musical influences. A performer and song writer, he is
excited about opening for one of his idols.
"It's crazy," Jennings said in disbelief. "It's an honor to be in a position to do something like
McCain is familiar Jennings' music, having been given a CD of the Orangeburg Preparatory
School senior.
"My mom gave him a copy of one of my CDs," Jennings said. "He called me and told me that
he listened to it. My mom was at one of his shows and she called me and let Edwin talk to
me. I was shocked when I got the call."
Jennings has approximately 10 original songs to choose from for his opening performance.
"Times Are Changing" is his most popular among his fellow students. Self-taught on the
guitar, Jennings was inspired to teach himself by watching "Live from The Bluebird Cafe." He
started writing original music shortly after learning to play the guitar.
"I wrote the music first, then I decided that I probably should write some words to go with it,"
Jennings said, matter-of-factly. "I been playing for about two years now. I want to become an
entertainer. Playing for an audience is a whole different feeling. You can only get that feeling
from being up there on stage."
Jennings' coming performance is a godsend for the young performer. It blends the
excitement of performing for an audience with the respect he feels for one of his role models
and favored entertainers into an evening that he, and the rest of Orangeburg will not soon
"Edwin McCain Live at the Cinema" has been coordinated by Jeff Walsh. - THOMAS BROWN, T&D Staff Writer

"Bryson warms up Edwin McCain"

The night was electric. The music was
extraordinary. And the experience was
The Cinema Room in the Orangeburg Mall
was the scene of pop singer Edwin McCain's
concert Thursday night. McCain and two
opening acts rocked the crowd with a mix of
music that satisfied all present.
Orangeburg Preparatory junior Bryson
Jennings took the stage first and warmed the
audience with renditions of some of his
original songs and some covers. Jennings'
considerable vocal talents moved the
audience with a sound reminiscent of the
folk/ballad artists of the 1960s. Writing songs
about life as he sees it and as it affects him,
the young artist is an extraordinary balladeer in the making.
Sharing his spotlight with a friend, Jennings invited Jason York to join him on the two last
songs of his set. The two blended well, evidence that they have done duets before.
Moving the audience one step closer to the star of the evening, David Ryan Harris, a friend
of McCain's and a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, Calif., gave the audience a touch of
his bluesy, jazzy, soulful sound with some of his original songs and a sensual rendition of the
Marvin Gaye classic, "What's Going On."
Then, amidst fanfare, overture and the building anticipation of the crowd, the man of the
evening, Edwin McCain took the stage and control of the audience for the rest of the evening.
For at least two hours he held the audience rapt, each person waiting for him to do their
favorite Edwin McCain song. And on the final note of each song, the diverse, eclectic
audience showed its appreciation with thunderous applause and screams.
There are no questions that McCain, coming home in a way (his parents grew up in
Orangeburg and he spent treasured moments here with his grandfather), brought the most
excitement to the Cinema Room that it has ever seen.
"I love playing Orangeburg," McCain said. "I haven't been here since I was very young. I
remember the last time I was here, my grandfather brought me to this very building to see
the movie, 'E.T.' Because of my grandfather and now because of this evening, I've got some
great memories of Orangeburg." - THOMAS BROWN, T&D Staff Writer

"Orangeburg Teen Sings His Way To Stardom"

(Orangeburg) - Bryson Jennings is just 17 years old, but his tunes may already have you tapping your foot.

"There's no other feeling like being on stage," said Jennings. "When you're on stage, it's almost like a high, you know."

"On stage" is a relatively new term for his and his band members.

"I started writing my own music about two years ago, so about a year after I started playing guitar and things just went from there," said Jennings.

The high school senior wrote and recorded an album within the last year.

"I don't really want to say this...but most of my songs actually get the ideas and start in class," Jennings said.

It's that creativity that hooked him up with the musicians that make up his band.

"His song writing for his age is just, it doesn't match at all," said Clayton Bozard, Jennings' drummer. "He's very soulful."

"We work really hard to keep it friends first and really build a friendship and that comes through in the music," said J. Allen Graham, Jennings' bassist.

It's that teamwork and sound that they hope will take them to the next level.

"We're gonna go on the road this summer," explained Jennings.

"I think once everybody in the SE hears, good things will happen," said Bozard.

For more information, go to

Ashley Yarchin, Reporter
Tony Santaella, Producer

- WLTX News 19

"Bryson puts ‘First Things First’ -- new CD"

Singer Bryson Jennings, the Orangeburg
Prep senior who opened for Edwin McCain
when he appeared here last year, is now
moving out front with his own CD: “First
Things First.”
Radio stations, such as Charleston’s 105.5
“The Bridge” and Orangeburg’s WORG, are
sending Jennings’ heartfelt lyrics and strong,
soulful voice into the airwaves with the CD’s
number one song: “Know Yourself” and
number five: “Good Things Fall Apart.”
Produced and mixed by Larry Chaney with the Edwin McCain band, the 11-song CD,
completely written and sung by Jennings, is available at, or by calling 803-707-2474.
His first CD is dedicated to the late Brent Lukens, a fellow Orangeburg Prep Indian who
died in an automobile accident in December 2002. Track number 10, “Picture in my
Mind,” was written especially for Lukens.
Jennings, a golfer and very active student, has been busy during his senior year, but still
found time to record the CD and sign at various venues, such as Headliners and Jammin’
Java in Columbia.
He and the band — Clay Bozard on drums and Alan Graham on bass — will appear with
Sequoyah Prep School band at The Lower Room on 657 Warley St. in Florence.
This summer, Jennings is kicking off a summer tour with a gig at Newby’s on 539 S.
Highland St. in Memphis, Tenn.
Some of the songs he sings onstage are “No Company,” “Revolution,” “Unspoken,”
“Know Yourself,” “Ants Marching” (Dave Matthews cover), “Good Things Fall Apart,”
From left, bass guitarist Alan Graham,
singer/guitarist Bryson Jennings and
drummer Clay Bozard will be taking
Jennings’ music on the road this summer,
starting in Memphis.
“Deepest Meaning,” “Something Feels Wrong Here,” “Without You,” “What I Got”
(Sublime cover), “Dreams,” “Maggie,” “Times Are Changing,” “Picture in My Mind,”
Always interested in music as a child, Jennings taught himself acoustic guitar at 14 and
became passionate about it. Under the influence of McCain, Dave Matthews, Hootie and
the Blowfish, John Mayer and Sister Hazel, he began to write his own songs. In two
years, Jennings had accomplished much, including his appearance with McCain and
another with David Ryan Harris.
Now his album is proof-positive that, while other kids are still contemplating their navels,
Jennings is “putting first things first.” - The Times & Democrat


First Things First
2006 Release


Feeling a bit camera shy


Growing up in the small, but uniquely diverse southern town of Orangeburg, South Carolina, Bryson Jennings was always interested in music. Taking influence from artists such as Edwin McCain, Dave Matthews, Hootie and the Blowfish, John Mayer and Sister Hazel, he began teaching himself to play the acoustic guitar at age 14. What began as merely a hobby, a means of entertainment, and an escape from the repetitive nature of a small town life quickly turned into Brysons passion. Shortly, he began writing his own songs, a talent that comes naturally to him. Using experiences from his own life, Bryson composes soulful lyrics that everyone can connect with. These amazing lyrics in combination with his poignant voice are an unbeatable combination, as can be seen by his impressive endeavors thus far. In the two short years since first taking an interest in music, Bryson has accomplished more than many musicians ever dream. He has already played with popular recording artists and mentors, Edwin McCain and David Ryan Harris, and his fans continue to multiply as his music is becoming more widespread. As his fan base grows, so does Brysons career. He has recently been in the studio with renowned guitarist and producer Larry Chaney(Edwin McCain) prepararing for the highly anticipated release of his first album, First Things First." The album exemplifies Bryson's strong southern roots, unique sound and songwriting abilities. This album will be available in early 2006, and he will begin an extensive 30 city summer tour in June. Information about the First Things First album and tour are available on The dates and information are constantly being updated, so check back often!