Whispers in My Mind
REVIEW: (Bio & Customer Reviews below) Chris Brandon's conscious memories of Austin, TX, may be confined to those of his childhood, but deep down, some part of him has been in the Live Music Capital all along. The singer-songwriter's debut, Whispers in My Mind, nestles so well alongside Austin's current crop of rising songwriting stars (Michael Fracasso, Matt the Electrician, Eliza Gilkyson, Liz Pappademas) it almost defies belief that he makes his home in New Paltz, NY. Brandon shares with his Austin brethren/sistren a relaxed, friendly approach to songcraft too often missing from musicians weaned on the hardened New York City performers' circuit where Brandon actually cut his teeth. Add to that his native grasp of Austin's trademark sound--an American music that's swallowed it's twang to become both soulful and rhythmic, acoustic-based but unafraid to rock--and you've got a man exiled on Main Street when he'd fit right in on Austin's Sixth Street. Perhaps because this 'song-cycle' was born on a cross-country trek, it is rife with creative expressions that feel purely American--Brandon's voice is open and uncontrived, his lyrics the classic ruminations of a seeker/traveler. In translating songs that are clearly the work of one man, the hi-fi, full-band recording sacrifices no sublety, touches of steel guitar, harmonica, and world-flavored instrumentation never detracting from the record's cohesive, well-conceived tone. Brandon's record rings with such joyful spirit that even when he sings of regret, he sounds genuinely grateful for the opportunity to feel something so deeply. ? --Dylan Siegler, Contributor to Billboard and The Village Voice BIO: Chris Brandon is a passionate singer-songwriter whose music fuses the lyricism of acoustic music with the energy of folk-rock. Known for his song cycles, Chris' lyrics explore identity, inner conflict, relationships, and life paths. The song cycle that unfolds in Whispers In My Mind chronicles a character's precarious journey out into life marked by trouble, decline, and eventual redemption. Chris' new CD, Whispers In My Mind, was released in 2004. Recorded by Robert Bard (Eric Andersen, Susan Werner) and mastered by Dr. Toby Mountain (David Bowie, Beach Boys, Brooks Williams), Whispers has a spare and textured production that accentuates Chris' classic songwriting and soulful vocals. Chris is accompanied on the CD by seasoned acoustic session players including Gary Burke (Bob Dylan, Livingston Taylor) on drums, Joe Bonadio (Martin Sexton) on percussion, Steve Gorn (Paul Simon, Ritchie Havens) on bansuri flute, and Mindy Jostyn (Carly Simon, John Mellencamp) on harmonica. Chris has performed in Northeastern venues from Montreal to New York City and from Buffalo to Boston. He plays live on acoustic guitar and, depending on the size of the venue, includes a multi-instrumentalist and/or a percussionist in the mix. While he's played such premier clubs as The Limelight, TT the Bear's Place, The Wetlands, and Maxwell's, Chris is also at home in smaller acoustic venues. Chris has sizeable followings in New York City and the Mid-Hudson Valley with others building throughout the Northeast. Prior to launching his solo career, Chris recorded and toured with the European alt-rock band H.P. Zinker on Thrill Jockey and Energy Records. The band was featured in Sassy Magazine's 'Cute Band Alert' and reviewed in Rolling Stone, Q Magazine, and Trouser Press among other publications. After gaining invaluable music industry experience with the band, Chris began to write more lyrical and introspective songs that were attuned to the acoustic music scene in New York City. Raised in a nomadic family in Chicago, Austin, and Boston among other places, Chris was exposed to blues, country, folk, and rock early on. His own travels through Canada, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, and Tunisia sparked the desire to be a traveling musician. Most of Whispers in My Mind was conceived on a 3-month tour around the U.S. in a pick-up truck. Chris returned from that adventure with his vision for song cycle music.