Courage to Be
Described by Cashbox Magazine as "transcending common musical genres", Robert Branch is a guitarist/composer based out of Minneapolis specializing in all-original, instrumental rock. Known as a veteran sideman, Branch is emphatically asserting himself as an up-and-coming solo artist to take stock in. His intense emotional sensibility combined with his serpentine improvisational skills bridges the divide between the introspective passion of jazz and the extroverted firepower of Rock '&' Roll. Born in Fort Worth Texas in November 1978, Branch grew up around music from a very early age. His musical skills were nurtured from the age of 9 when Branch was given a guitar for Christmas. He became obsessed with the greats like Coltrane, Metheny, Montgomery, Miles, Adderly, Frisell, Stravinsky and countless others. He began transcribing entire solos note for note, some of them being 4 to 6 minutes long. Infatuated with composing, Branch wrote his first composition at the age of 11 and began to emulate his idols by writing in their respective styles. He also received instruction from graduates of the University Of North Texas Jazz Program which inculcated and inspired a strong advanced foundation in guitar. Once Branch decided where he wanted to go to college, he enrolled himself in the music program at the University of Southern California. While in Los Angeles, Branch started to get a reputation for being an intense and fiery player. He got to share the stage with acts such as Particle, G Love & Special Sauce, Ozomatli, Mike Keneally, Sugar Ray, The Samples and Wayne Horwitz as well as headlining the House of Blues and playing famous Los Angeles clubs such as the Whiskey, The Derby, The Key Club and the Hard Rock Café. Upon Branch's departure from Los Angeles he became the head of the guitar program at Western New Mexico University. Recently relocating to the Twin Cities in 2009, Branch immediately set his goals on recording his next record. On his new album Courage to Be, Branch explores the power of the past through an intense personal musical dialogue. Engineered and recorded by Dik Shopteau, Branch displays a unique narrative and roars with a sense of primitive injustice reflecting his own personal setbacks. Echoing a raw innocence, Courage to Be is more than just a musical statement; it is a statement of purpose and remembrance. "When my mom died from cancer 3 years ago, my life was shattered because my mom was my anchor. Music has always been a chief vehicle for expressing myself emotionally. The music from Courage to Be is the release of 20 years of pent up emotions and of all the anger stemming from the death of my mom." Robert Branch offers an explosion of new ideas displaying his virtuosity by combining the intellectually driven techniques of jazz with the immediacy and intensity of his rock & roll roots. His compositions display a diverse array of musical influences marked by detail, subtlety and unfettered emotion. Branch's music is roll-up your sleeves, in your face, instrumental rock that scintillates the soul while delving deeper into the listener's emotional core. Uplifting, inspirational and powerful, Branch brings a muscular yet lyrical eloquence while delivering unbridled passion that will ignite your spirit and burn down your inhibitions.