MP3 Brian Granger - POP: Today's Top 40
Today''s urban top 40; the melodies are beautiful, catchy and groove-based, while the lyrics are literate and poetic. For listeners who appreciate meaning in a song, these tracks will offer much to reflect and meditate on.
11 MP3 Songs
POP: Today''s Top 40, URBAN/R&B: R&B Pop Crossover
This CD of 11 original alterna-pop songs marks the solo debut of Columbus, Ohio-based singer-songwriter Brian Granger. Produced by Marc Lacuesta, the songs cover an eclectic range of lyrical and melodic material. Brian''s voice is soulfully expressive and earthy, and he is backed by a number of Midwest musicians as well as a few Nashville session players. The melodies are beautiful, catchy and groove-based, while the lyrics are literate and poetic. For listeners who appreciate meaning in a song, these tracks will offer much to reflect and meditate on. The photography (by Keri-Ann Laurito) and the design (by Ursula Rothfuss) have a classically beautiful feel which will enhance the pleasure of any who add this CD to their collection, just as the music and Brian''s voice itself will reward the listener again and again. This is a debut worthy of attention.
Raised in the church, Brian Granger grew up singing in school music groups and winning a number of teenage writing contests for his image-heavy and social-issue poetry. His early vocal and lyric influences were, on the one hand, the fast-developing hip-hop culture, and on the other, the work of poet Sylvia Plath and singer-songwriters Kate Bush, Tracy Chapman, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel and U2''s Bono.
By the time he reached college, Brian was focused on a career in the arts, double-majoring in English and Dance/Drama at Kenyon College. While at Kenyon he joined the student-run a cappella group The Kokosingers, befriending a number of amazing musicians in the group, among them his future collaborator Marc Lacuesta. Brian spent the next four years singing, touring, recording and arranging a cappella music with these students, who were nicknamed "The Kokes."
It was in a cappella singing-where there was little temptation to imitate others-that Brian eventually solidified his own songwriting and vocal style. By the time he began studying the work of such a cappella masters as Bobby McFerrin and Sweet Honey In The Rock, he had already developed an eclectic musical sensibility.
After graduating from college in 1993, Brian taught himself to play guitar and struggled for the next few years to expand his musical and lyrical palette. He found day jobs as an English teacher, camp counselor, community activist, waiter and office temp, while he worked nights in the local folk-rock circuits, accompanying himself on guitar, and paying his dues as a street performer in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City and Columbus, Ohio. After moving back to Columbus, Brian met John, Bernard, Kevin, Betsy and Stefan, and joined their professional a cappella recording band Throat Culture in 1996.
Although joining Throat Culture meant returning to the a cappella world he had only recently left, the group was highly inventive, and Brian was both challenged by the group''s talent and encouraged by the substantial local and regional following the group had developed prior to Brian''s arrival. A high point for Throat Culture (and Brian''s first major gig with the group) was their performance on National Public Radio, as the musical guests on Garrison Keillor''s syndicated radio show "A Prairie Home Companion."
Brian refers to the intensity of his collaboration with Throat Culture as "a cappella graduate school," and was able to flex his deepening songwriting and vocal skills on the group''s critically-acclaimed CD, UP WITH ANGST, produced by Richard Greene (The Bobs) at Grandma Katherine''s Records in 1998, which showcased five of Brian''s compositions. The previous year, in 1997, Brian was awarded an Individual Artist''s grant from The Greater Columbus Arts Council for Music Composition, which later led to his receiving commissions for other compositions.
The next few years Brian continued to hone his craft-as a member of Throat Culture and also of local theater group Total Theatre, Inc., and as a graduate student in The Ohio State University''s MFA Creative Writing Program. After graduating from OSU, Brian enrolled in an MFA program in Graduate Musical Theatre Writing at New York University''s Tisch School of the Arts. He would say goodbye momentarily to Columbus (and to a cappella music-making with Throat Culture), but would continue to develop his love for groove-making and for telling vivid, socially-aware stories through song.
It was at this time, in 2000, that Brian teamed up with long-time friend, fellow Kenyon alum, and up-and-coming producer Marc Lacuesta, and together they began planning for the self-titled BRIAN GRANGER-their first professional
collaboration and Brian''s debut as a solo (and plugged-in) pop singer-songwriter.