Brian Wheat, Charleston, SC songwriter and Buffalo, NY native has taken his time developing his unique compound of jazzy Americana that draws comparisons to timeless greats like Willie Nelson and Cake, as well as contemporaries such as Bahamas and M.Ward.
Brian's third album will be released in early 2017. "Way Down Below" combines the simpler, traditional-style writing and instrumentation of his first album “Where You Have Been” with pop arrangements of 2011’s “Looking Alive” and a delivery that reflect depth and maturity beyond that of classic Americana. “Way Down Below” was recorded, while Wheat was living in Minneapolis, MN, at Stone House Recording, Grand Rapids, MI by Peter Fox (Patrick Watson, Field Report, The Head and the Heart, Frontier Ruckus) and Northland Records, Minneapolis, MN by Chad Weis (Trampled by Turtles, Mason Jennings, Caroline Smith) and Bryan Steenerson. Additional recording was done in Buffalo, NY, Tucson, AZ, and Nashville, TN. The album features a variety of musicians as well as horn arrangements provided by members of Calexico, which add a noticeable Southwestern thread throughout. The theme of the album’s title track was inspired by Tom Robbins’ book “Villa Incognito”. Also included is a cover of “Farm in New Hampshire”, written by one of Brian's early influences, Bellingham, WA's Robert Sarazin Blake.
Wheat’s breezy melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and tasty lead guitar playing are fueled by being raised on 50's pop, classic rock and country that played as the soundtrack for a thousand family road trips. Since 2005 he has self-produced and published three albums under his own label, Half Little Hold Records, and performed everywhere from Fijian villages and Australian hostels to East coast and Midwest tours. His songwriting patiently explores human connect and disconnect with tales of unbounded love and the pain of forever searching for it. Wheat conveys a Willie Nelson-style honesty and straightforwardness in his performances. ‘Lounge’ is redeemed in a no-nonsense Rufus Wainright fashion through the rose filter of an 80’s era Austin City Limits session atop Cake-style rhythms. His songs are delivered with a wryness that is not so much funny, but more simply joyous, playful even.
Brian Wheat’s tracks