“Breanne’s debut album is a work of courageous introspection, a work that reveals life unvarnished by typical social niceties that would otherwise conceal the pain of loved ones taken too soon. While it may have been a project for personal catharsis I think that many of us can find solace here too, even the simple comfort that we are not alone in grief. Keep on writing honestly, Breanne, it is the kind of music the world needs to hear most.”
Breanne is a somewhat recent acquaintance of mine. We became fast friends and I grew to admire her optimism, strength and courage. She’s had her share of things to deal with, and I can’t commend more highly the way she chose to deal with them. Some may have chased drugs or alcohol. Others may have fallen into other destructive lifestyles. Breanne chose to learn to play music and write songs so she could express herself, deal with the issues in her life, and help others who take the time to listen. It’s that last one that’s crucial.
Playing for one’s self for this purpose is a desirable thing. However what takes courage is to produce these things for other people to hear, own and internalize. She’s even gone beyond this, volunteering through MusicWorks Minnesota to teach classes to Duluth, MN youth on how to write music to deal with their life’s joys and troubles. Quite remarkable.
This is a country album with a standard instrumentation…vox, guitar, bass, drums, sometimes mando, sometimes fiddle. I am thankful she left out the lap steel that seems to intrude upon every modern country song. But there’s a piano/trumpet thing going on near the end of the CD that will pleasantly surprise you. I think the songs she wrote are more like the country from the days of Willie Nelson (yes, I realize he’s not dead) and Johnny Cash…instead of flashy production, a fake Texas twang, and faux-cowboy costumes that would be at home on a Vegas sideshow (I’m looking at you, Shania Twain), we get an honest singer/songwriter strumming the six string and telling her story. That’s what country was supposed to be about.
I’m grateful that she asked me to come track some mandolin for her, and while there I even got to do a little guitar. That was a fun experience for me. It’s been an honor getting to know Breanne throughout this project and I look forward to many more albums to come from this budding Duluth artist.
Go Buy It! Six Strings of Peace and Sanity is available on her Bandcamp site.
Here’s a few pics of me tracking mando in Sacred Heart Studios.