MP3 Brian Sharpe - Scheduled Till Eleven
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5 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, FOLK: like Ani
As a singer-songwriter Brian Sharpe has been turning heads and lifting ears in the Chicago music scene since before he was old enough to drink in the bars he was playing in. His uniquely inventive and percussive guitar style, tough and throaty voice and his intelligent, witty and sometimes heartbreaking lyrics draw comparisons to Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, The Replacements, Ani Difranco, Shawn Mullins, Jeff Buckley, Tony Lucca, Peter Mulvey, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Mark Knopfler. As a classically trained actor he has appeared on the stage and screen throughout the United States. As a composer, he has written music and designed sound for a variety of American Theaters and his music has been seen and heard internationally in film and on television and radio.
Though certainly not his first studio recording, 'the Scheduled Till Eleven EP' is the first to be made available to more than just a handful of fans and offers a preview of what is sure to be an exciting and impressive full-length album later in the year. 'Scheduled Till Eleven' features Chicago actor and drummer Jason McLin on drums and tambourine and Brian on acoustic, electric and bass guitars, keyboards and vocals. Recorded in Chicago at the end of the summer and early fall of 2003 it was self-produced by Sharpe with assistant production by McLin and Kelsey McLachlan.
The new songs on the EP kick off with 'Anastasia,' a densely arranged locomotive of a rock tune built around a slinky low-tuned acoustic riff. Brian growls his way through the image of an irresistible nocturnal super-femme warning the listener of the different ways she'll turn him into "a warm piece of clay molded in her hand," "ice melting under her tongue," and "a champagne bottle shaken up for an hour just begging to be twisted undone."
The pace mellows on 'Last Goodbye,' as Brian tells the story of a tired relationship falling apart on a cold sidewalk one blustery afternoon. The seamless conversational lyric is tossed back and forth between the two characters as swirling guitars dance along with Jason McLin's shuffling backbeat. Jim Meade of the acoustic-rock duo, Quinn's Uncles, had a visceral response to this song at one the gigs Brian played with them in Chicago. "One of Brian's songs, 'Last Goodbye' hit me so hard that I listened to it again on his CD, then tried to mimic the sound for a new song of my own."
'Love Song No. 1' is just that, the purest kind of love song. The sweet and simple lyric flows hand and hand with the deceptively sparse arrangement and displays a more tender side of Brian's songwriting.
The album closes with two tracks that more resemble his live performances. The second is a stripped down remix of 'Last Goodbye' and the first is a solo acoustic guitar version of Brian's galloping 'long island sound,' a favorite at concerts that will be receiving a complete arrangement on the full-length release later this year.
The title of the EP comes from a note Brian was passed by a hurried barista during an uptown coffee shop gig a couple of years past that read, "hi, please read: You were scheduled till eleven, could you please finish up? Hope to see you here again soon." Brian lended the key phrase as a tongue-in-cheek title to this EP; reflecting the abbreviated length of the record and the hurly-burly lifestyle of an independent alternative urban folk rock singer-songwriter.
Chris Wieland, screenwriter, producer and star of the award winning independent feature film, The Rest of Your Life that Brian was a principal actor in as well as wrote all of the songs for had this to say of Brian Sharpe's music:
"I've seen Brian perform in Los Angeles and all over Chicago. His work has continued to grow and flourish. From the haunting cerebral 'Turnstiles' to the sad, sweet 'Long Island Sound' and the gushingly loving 'Love Song No. 1' he continues to develop a personal sound that takes its cue from acoustic greats like Peter Mulvey and Bruce Cockburn with Jeff Buckley, Mark Knopfler...But then, with wry humor, and a willingness to experiment, he works in other influences - heavy metal hair bands of the 80s, country songs you haven't heard and even Broadway musicals. His cover songs mine new territory: from Billy Bragg's haunting 'Saturday Boy' to his acoustic punk version of 'What's Love Got To Do With It' to the Elvis Costello song he's turned into a driving, thrilling anthem for Fenton Hardy and his young charges. That's right (if you got the reference): 'Watching the Detectives.'
"And he's made a nice little career out of composing for the stage. His kick-ass guitar playing has been heard just under the surface of half a dozen highly regarded productions from Chicago to Memphis, St. Louis to California.
"So come one, come all. Brian Sharpe at the ripe old age of 26 is helping to turn acoustic guitar, and Chicago music, on its ear. Sit on back and take a listen.
"He'll start singing, and you'll be surprised. Or maybe even amazed."
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