Cory Branan ~ Sunday March 29, 2015 @ Velvet Jones

photo by paul dunkley

No Hit Wonder

If you follow musicians like Frank Turner, Jon Snodgrass, or Chuck Regan, most likely you’ve heard of singer/songwriter Cory Branan. If not, let me introduce you…

The Southern boy from Nashville played an acoustic set to an intimate crowd at Velvet Jones last Sunday in support of his latest album, The No-Hit Wonder. With four studio albums under his belt, Branan is known for his poignant storytelling, husky voice, and guitar wizardry. Branan’s repertoire of songs is more country-twang than punk-rock, more reflective than upbeat, taking you on a journey into what it’s like to be a musician and family man on the road. His songs are full of contradictions, being both hard and soft at the same time as he tells tales of meeting the love of his life at a diner in Memphis, of day-drinking and thinking of home, of trudging along the tour trail living hand to mouth, gig to gig.

The crowd slowly made their way to the stage as Brannan
photo by paul dunkley
began his set, his voice too dark and husky for the tiny frame that held it. Branan worked the guitar, beating on the strings as only a country guitarist knows how to, firing lyrics at the crowd like gun shots. “At least that last sip of whiskey was warm and wet / As good a goodnight as I’m gonna get…” (Missing you Fierce). “Out on the corner of what I want, what I intend to get / day drinking and dreaming of you, I let the ashtray smoke my last cigarette…” (The Corner). “But all the rivers in Colorado couldn’t wash you off of my mind / Not that I’m trying, just a thought though, might be nice to keep from crying…” (All the Rivers in Colorado).

Branan is one of those songwriters that makes one stop and think about what is being told in the song, each line deliberate and smart. His twist on country music is fresh and appealing, and will make a country music lover out of the most hip of hipsters. This No-Hit Wonder has a hit or two in him.