CORY BRANAN, AUDRA MAE, TRAVIS HAYES, DONCAT
Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller. As with any of his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Márquez, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefit from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed experience. MUTT—Branan’s Bloodshot debut—also bears the marks of his “American gumbo” heritage: a winding path from nascent guitar shredder in the small, state-line town of Southaven, Mississippi, to fledgling troubadour in Memphis’ lauded underground music scene, and now a Nashville-based itinerant road warrior thrilling Thunderdomes as varied as Warp’s Country Throwdown and Chuck Ragan’s Revival Tour. While his music tips its hat to road-map influences from Motown to Mellencamp, the Delta bluesmen to folk pickers of ‘60s Greenwich Village, the united result is a singular sound spurred on by years spent on tour honing something rare that is altogether its own.
Audra Mae is a natural. Once the Oklahoma native opens her mouth and lets loose with that voice, pure and strong, with a hint of country twang and a twinkle of good humor, you realize this is what she’s meant to do; Stand in front of an audience and entertain, not just with her singing, but a distinctive songwriting voice, one that’s capable of relating fully developed characters and stories. Signed to L.A.-based label SideOneDummy, known more for punk-rock groups like Flogging Molly, Gaslight Anthem and Gogol Bordello than folkie singer-songwriters, Audra Mae is not as out of place as it would seem. After five years working her way through the local L.A. club scene, leading to a music publishing deal with Warner/Chappell and a loyal following, Audra found exactly what she was looking for in the fiercely independent record company.
Travis Hayes - www.facebook.com/iamtravishayes
DonCat (of City Tribe) - www.facebook.com/citytribe