MP3 Brandon McSwain Band - POP: Pop/Rock
A blend of insightful songwriting and soulful vocals strengthened by a fusion of acoustic rock, jazz and funk stylings of accomplished individual musicians.
13 MP3 Songs
POP: Pop/Rock, JAZZ: Jazz-Funk
The Brandon McSwain Band was born in early 2005 in the mountains of North Carolina in the small tourist town of West Jefferson. Famous for its beautiful mountain views, friendly hometown atmosphere, local art galleries, and the ideal of enjoying life to the fullest. The band started its early formation after singer/songwriter Brandon McSwain, attending Appalachian State University at the time, was urged by a close friend to travel across the mountain from Boone to the town of West Jefferson to participate in open jam night of local musicians, and meet a local coffee shop owner. There he found himself playing impromptu songs with a few different musicians. But one musician, a drummer by the name of Ken Brashear, stood out. It seemed that the rhythmic styles of Brandon’s acoustic guitar synced perfectly to the jazz-rock fusion styling of Ken’s drumming. After quite a few hours of what seemed like effortless music creation, and a few more hours of sharing their thoughts and passions about music, and dreams of sharing that music with an audience, the first part of the BMB was complete.
Around the same time, Brandon was playing in another band as a bassist, keyboardist, and back up singer. During a weekend tour, he was playing a festival on the outskirts of Charlotte, NC when he ran across a band that played earlier in the day who was equipped with a bass player unlike any musician in the area. Brandon was drawn to his memorizing tapping and funk slapping ability, unlike he had ever seen. Brandon approached Joey Williams, the bassist, first about tips and tricks as a bass player. Over the course of the next few months Joey and Brandon became friends, relating on views on life, relationships, family, and most of all music. Joey was asked to play on a few of Brandon’s early songs, and Brandon started sending Joey demos of songs, and jamming every once in awhile in Brandons’ apartment in Boone.
On Memorial Day weekend 2005, Brandon called a jam session with Ken, Joey and himself to just see how things would go. This would be the first of many, many hours of practicing, recording, and performing for the Brandon McSwain Band.
Shortly after this first practice/jam session, Brandon accepted a job offer in Fort Wayne, Indiana at Sweetwater Sound as a Sales Engineer designing recording studios, live sound systems, and selling high end audio equipment. One of the main draws for Brandon taking the job there, was the Sweetwater Sound Studios, a world class audio facility, that would be available for recording and producing Brandon’s songs. After a few months of training, and selling equipment, Brandon could not get the fusion of sounds out of his head that had taken place in a small coffee shop in the mountains of North Carolina. He decided to record an album, and made the call to Joey and Ken to see if they would agree to play on the album as studio musicians. They agreed, and a few months of sending acoustic recordings to the phenomenal rhythm section, all practicing separate places on the same material, and the trio found themselves in the Sweetwater Sound Studios to record 8 original songs by Brandon McSwain, still not formally a band, still just a songwriter and two studio musicians.
The same weekend the band came up to hit the studio, Brandon booked a conference with a local college group he was leading worship for, InterVarsity at IPFW (Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne). The trio played a few very intimate worship sets, and also was invited to play a concert for a “coffeehouse” at the conference. The band having only a few originals set out to play a set of improvisational instrumentals in front of a young college crowd. By the end of the set, the trio had everyone mesmerized and no one wanted to leave, until finally they were all kicked out of the venue. This set the stage for shows to come.
Over 16 hours of recording songs that had never been played together, everyone involved including Chris Liepe, the Sweetwater audio engineer, knew there was something special about this sound, and these musicians. Though, the Indiana Recordings were never released, this laid the groundwork for many conversations between Ken, Joey and Brandon about pursuing some sort of musical endeavor together as a group.
Over the next year and a half conversations about pursuing music together increased, and through a chain of events in Brandon’s personal life, he made the decision to leave Sweetwater and the flat land of Indiana to move back to the mountains of North Carolina and make a run at following a dream.
The band committed to a name, the Brandon McSwain Band, because nothing else seemed to fit. They also committed to recording a full-length album of all original music at Elevate Studio Recordings in Deep Gap, North Carolina with close friend of Ken’s Nathan Caparolie (studio Owner) Before they hit the studio, Brandon had started conversations with an old friend from college, Steve Sensenig, about the band, the music, and the pursuit of his dreams. Through yet another famous jam session at Bohemia Coffee, Steve would commit to being a part of the upcoming album, and become a staple as the master of keyboards for the Brandon McSwain Band. The band spent many hours in the practice room and studio over the next few months pouring their heart and soul into their first full-length album. Not sacrificing the individual sounds that define each great player, they decided to self-engineer and produce the record, with engineering help from Nathan (Elevate Studios) and Chris (Sweetwater Sound Studios). The band also added guests’ musicians: Forrest Powell (acoustic guitar), Paddy Steading (cello), Sarah Kramer (vocals) and lead guitarist Chris Liepe to the first record.
Through the course of recording the album, the band played a few small shows at intimate settings such as Bohemia Coffee in West Jefferson, NC and David Baptist Church in Kings Mountain, NC. These venues would prove to be the hometown crowd of the Brandon McSwain Band. Many of these shows would start defining the live show of the Brandon McSwain Band, a very jazz like atmosphere of blazing keyboard and bass solos, alterations of rhythmic melodies, and a very intimate setting for everyone in the audience.
The Brandon McSwain Band’s full length self-titled album is slated for release on June 17th, 2008. As well as a wealth of tour dates throughout the summer of 2008 and on throughout the year.
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