Singer Songwriter Storyteller Poet Rocker
Singer-songwriter John Brannen hails from the South and writes about the human condition from that perspective. John Brannen's use of visual words is haunting, daunting and precise.
Born in Savannah, GA, raised in and still residing in Charleston, SC, John Brannen learned early on how to put words with music in his grandparent's home. His parents were diplomats stationed in China, and he admired his grandfather who was well-versed in poetry and philosophy. In the early 1980s, after a brief stay in New York City, John Brannen moved to Los Angeles after being weedled by Joe Walsh of the Eagles to do so. Soon after, he got a record deal from Apache Records, an imprint of Capitol Records, and released Mystery Street which found its way into the Top 20, and MTV put the single “Desolation Angel” in rotation. John hit pay dirt, and he began to become a voice to be reckoned with.
By 1993, in the wake of the success of Mystery Street, Brannen was signed by the recently renamed Mercury Nashville Records. His eponymous debut, John Brannen, contained the single “Moonlight and Magnolias,” which became a Top 10 hit on VH1. To launch Brannen’s career, the label chose him for one of three slots on the Triple Play Tour. Shania Twain and Toby Keith filled the remaining two slots.
John Brannen's songs and co-written songs spread the spectrum of music and have been covered by The Eagles, Tom Jones, Reba McIntyre, Richie Havens and Randall Bramblett, among others. John enjoyed this long-running success and exposure because it gave him a wider audience along the way, but he needed to take a break. For about seven years, the singer-songwriter went on a self-imposed hiatus in his hometown of Charleston.
Since his return to the limelight in 2000, John Brannen has been compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, and Jackson Browne. Brannen's craft and art were still pristine and aging well, like a fine bottle of wine.
The Good Thief and Twilight Tattoo, released in 2004 and 2006, respectively, were his next recordings. Twilight Tattoo, which features “A Cut So Deep,” a duet with Lucinda Williams, was co-produced by John Brannen and David Z.
Bravado was John Brannen's third release for Sly Dog Records (2010) and sixth album overall. Acclaimed for his Americana/Rock/Country sound (with a little Roots/Twang mixed in), John Brannen has been hailed by No Depression magazine “…as an original hybrid…”, while Billboard has called him “versatile and rewarding.” Nashville's legendary Hazel Smith of Hazel & Heller included John's music in the Outlaw Music genre, a term she herself coined referencing the music of "Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristopherson, Johnny Cash and other freedom thinking Nashville recording artists." Most recently, Brannen has enjoyed success as the songwriter of "Somebody" which appeared on the Eagles album Long Road Out of Eden and was co-written with Brannen’s longtime collaborator and friend, Jack Tempchin.
Years later, John Brannen is still writing and performing around the country and has a few things on the horizon that are sure to delight and surprise his fans.
Billy Ray Cyrus