BRANDON ALAN: DEBUT SPOTLIGHT
Beginning at age 11, Alan took guitar lessons from his father. Dad’s music collection inspired his son to widen his horizons, particular when it came to playing guitar; Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Vince Gill, Jimi Hendrix, Mark Knopfler, Brad Paisley, and Johnny Rzeznik of Foo Fighters were among his many influences. But it was Joe Walsh, performing with The Eagles on VH1, that inspired the younger Alan to commit to music full-time.
After auditioning at the Berklee School of Music, Alan followed advice given by the assistant chair of the Guitar Department to launch his career immediately. Returning to the Lone Star State, he settled in Austin, where he forged a sound that drew from Country, rock and modern blues. Working locally four nights a week, he also opened shows for guitarists Malford Milligan and Redd Volkaert. Later, after touring beyond his home state, he shared the stage with Ben Folds, Vince Gill, John Mayer, Ed Roland of Collective Soul and The Time Jumpers, among other headliners in venues including The Hard Rock in Hollywood, Joe’s Bar in Chicago and The Roxy and The Mint, both in L.A.
Recorded in Austin, his debut EP Different Way was released April 8 by Creative Arts Group.
Who is your musical hero?
What album tops your playlist?
“Dierks Bentley’s Riser.”
Who is your dream duet partner?
“Male – John Fogerty. Female: Sheryl Crow.”
What’s your pet peeve?
“When people ask me what I’m going to do after music! And also the word “good” drives me crazy. It sounds dull and is dull.”
What song do you wish you had written?
“‘When I Get Where I’m Going,’ by Brad Paisley (written by Rivers Rutherford and George Teren).”
What do you find yourself saying over and over?
“‘Sure’ and ‘of course.’”
What mode of transportation do you prefer?
What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
“How about Bradley Cooper?”
What moment in your life would you like to relive?
“The moment right before I discovered I was a middle child!”
Do you have a lucky charm?
“No, I just pray.”
What would be the title of your autobiography?”
“Taking the Stairs.”
What would you put in your time capsule?
“An acoustic guitar with guitar an extra set of strings, so they would remember there was actually a time when the raw aspect of writing and playing music didn’t need computers or technology. No, there wouldn’t be guitar picks … because I don’t use them!”
If you weren’t a musical artist, what would you be?
“A creative advertiser, because when I was young I thought the Budweiser frogs and iguanas were the funniest thing ever. I bought the T-shirts without even knowing what Budweiser was! I decided I wanted to make advertisements like that when I ‘grew up’!”
What is your favorite food while on the road?
“Skittles – the red pack/original.”
What was your first gig?
“A small family-owned restaurant called The Club Car. I played six songs because that’s all I knew and the owner gave me $40 at the end of the night! I was really excited. I was in sixth grade.”
What are your short- and long-term challenges?
“Short term – staying focused while so many new and different things come forward in my career. Continuing to record and write music knowing that it’s for later down the line, not now. Long term – continuing to write fresh ideas in my music and expanding my boundaries artistically. Balancing my life with my music schedule and other things I care about. And not getting so worn out on the road that I don’t enjoy it anymore.”
What can you tell us about yourself that we’d never guess about you?
“I’m left-handed predominately, although I learned to play the guitar right-handed because my dad’s guitar was a right-handed one. On a funnier note, sometimes I’ll doze off in social settings, so my friends call me ‘Brand-off” when they catch it happening.”
Photo credit: Marcel Indik
Brandon Alan explains and performs his song “Take Me to the Place”:
Brandon Alan performs a solo version of “Just Say When”: