Thousand Miles Long
Some people compare his sound to John Prine, others hear David Gray, still others cite Springsteen or Tom Petty. No matter which comparisons Brian Holbrook evokes the theme is clear: he's a storyteller. Born and raised on the Northern edge of the New South, Brian soaked up that region's oral storytelling tradiotions along with it's roots music and penchant for literature, and all of them combine to produce his peculiar brand of literate, roots inspired folk music. Whether in a traditional story-song like 'Hands To Work', or the metaphor laced 'Something Like A Star', Brian's lyrics are his primary instrument. Brian's self-released debut, 'A Thousand Miles Long' showcases Brian using this instrument, as well as a few others; banjo, bottleneck slide, harmonica, and mandolins all found their way into Brian's hands over the course of recording the album, though the the arrangements are anything but lavish. 'I really wanted a loose, spontaneous, live music feel, so I didn't really rehearse any of the overdubs.' says Brian, 'I also decided to use the most energetic or inspired takes, --which are usually the first ones-- even at the cost of having a flub or two on the record. So, if the time was a little elastic, or if there was a little fret buzz, I decided to just run with it if the rest of the take was better for the overall song.' This preference for honesty over Polish, for a real connection over perfection is the guiding philosophy of Brian's life, not just his music. 'I really think that there is a large segment of people that are just really tired of fake. Everything today seems so calculated for effect. It's polled and tested and screened and tweaked until nobody has anything real to say any more.' Real is exactly what Brian's songs are. From the searing 'She Wants To Feel Pretty' to the aching 'Fingernails', his lyrics are long on raw emotion and short on fluff. These stories are raw and real and uncommon in their approach. Much like their author.