“Cory Branan is one of my favorite songwriters working today. He writes beautiful melodies, heartbreaking phrases, and very smart lyrics. This is the kind of record that makes you hit pause every so often to process what the crazy bastard just said. Brilliant stuff.” – Jason Isbell
“Simply one of the best unsung songwriters out there; his stuff is about as close to perfect as you can get, and it mystifies me why he’s not a household name.” – Frank Turner
One of the seemingly infinite number of Showcase singers appearing at Americanafest 2014 in Nashville TN is a guy I’ve just heard of, with an album I’ve just heard…and heard…and heard.
Remember the name.
He can sing up a storm, he can play, he can put together an album which, while containing delicate strands of various musical genres (alt. country, rock, folk, Americana), is a complete unique musical package. The sum is greater than the parts.
On August 19 Nashville-based artist Branan is releasing a new album The No-Hit Wonder on Bloodshot Records, featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Craig Finn and Steve Selvidge (Hold Steady), Caitlin Rose, Tim Easton and Austin Lucas.
Here’s the title track “The No-Hit Wonder” (featuring Finn and Selvidge)
And Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Country just launched the lead single “You Make Me” (featuring Jason Isbell): http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/cory-branan-recruits-jason-isbell-for-you-make-me-song-premiere-20140701
Another track “Sour Mash” just got listed on thealternateroot.com’s top ten songs of the week.
Sometimes I hear Bruce Springsteen (or maybe more accurately The E-Street Band), Jay Farrar, John Fullbright, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams. Gems all of them. Anthemic songs, magnetic choruses, wry lyrical observations and flashy finger picking abound here. Sometimes the world-weariness and maturity leaps out at you from the speakers. Despite the diversity of the material, every song on the The No-Hit Wonder deserves your attention. The production is exemplary.
The album is both a celebration of the undefeated underdogs of the world and a coming to terms with the cards life has dealt you – mottos that most artists, and just people in general, can identify with and live by.
I mentioned that there are numerous Showcase performers at Americanafest in Nashville, scattered over different nights and various venues around Music City USA.
When the playing schedules are announced shortly, one of the first names I’ll be looking for to go see is Cory Branan.
“the greatest songwriter of our generation” – Chuck Ragan
“Cory Branan is perhaps the most unheralded man holding a guitar today… there’s no question that the guy can write the absolute hell out of a song.” – Noisey/VICE
“Few songwriters sum up the contradictions of beery romance—of bad men drinking in barrooms, of heartbreakers darkening your door—with quite as much grit, wit and compassion as Branan, who can turn a phrase on a dime.” – Paste Magazine
“Branan coaxes listeners firmly to his side with his whiskey-smooth croon and a transparency that is somehow bold and vulnerable all at once.” – Interview Magazine