has their story to tell and how it has led them to where they are
today and who they have become. Bryan Brazier is no exception.
Born into a blue-collar family in Irving, Texas, Bryan quickly
learned that there are necessities in life. . .family, friends,
religion, and of course, music. Country music.
“My first record
was a 45 of Moe Bandy’s Bandy the Rodeo Clown. I was
just a young kid. I had a little kid record player that my
brother and I listened to Bible stories on, and, of course, I would
play my parent’s record collection on it every chance I got.”
parents divorced at age 8 his mom quickly moved them to Marietta,
Oklahoma, to be near her favorite aunt and uncle who just happened
to own a honky tonk. Bryan remembers life being lived out just
like the songs of the times, and it made a lasting impression on
him. “I saw things most kids shouldn’t see. Both of
my parents were living pretty wild lives, but I also remember those
times being unique. The music was brutally honest. I
learned how to two step, shoot pool, and started playing the guitar
by the time I was nine. I couldn’t live without music and it
was probably the music that pulled me through the hard times.”
that Oklahoma wasn’t the right place to be, Bryan’s mom moved
them to Levelland, Texas, which he considers his hometown.
Needing to support her family, his mom became a welder in the early
80’s during the oil boom in the hot West Texas heat. It was
in church one day when someone heard him sing and said, “You need
to use that voice!” That was it. It was in that moment
that he realized he had something no one could take away.
Bryan would sit in his room and listen to music over and over until
he had perfected it note for note. That’s how sacred music
was to him. Music was to be respected and protected.
adventurer, Bryan joined the U.S. Army after graduating high school
and moved to California. He was stationed at Ft. Ord in Monterey.
“I had to get out and see what was out there in the world!”
It was in
California that Bryan discovered what it meant to be a Texan.
“People out there embraced me like I had never been embraced
before. I thought I was just from another small town in Texas,
and I was, but looking back, I found out who I really am while
living in California. It was an awakening for myself and for
my folks and friends back in Texas.”
Bryan fell in
love with the Bakersfield sound and found some pickers who
understood what he was wanting out of music and who could play
country music the way he wanted to play it. Mixing a little
bit of Texas with a little bit of Bakersfield would keep ‘em
dancing all night. His first gig was in a nostalgic little
honky tonk on the outskirts of the Silicon Valley. Ironically,
a waitress from New Braunfels managed it. “It was a train
wreck at first, but we ironed out the wrinkles and had a regular gig
for two years.” One of Bryan’s most memorable times in
California was the rebuilding of the largest country club in San
Jose, The Saddle Rack. He was asked to be one of four bands to
open up the club in April of 2003.
Going as far
as he felt he could go with music in California, Bryan had been
contemplating a move to Austin, Texas, for a few years. During
the summer of 2003, he got a call from a steel guitar player that
had just moved to the Bay Area from Austin. He was looking for
some work. “He played his first gig with us and when we took
our first break he and his wife came up to me and said, ‘You’ve
got to go to Austin.’ Fate had found its way to my door
again. That was all I needed.” It took one year for
Bryan to get things in order and to make the move to Austin with his
wife, Nicole. He is currently working on his first CD and is
immersing himself in the Austin music scene. He credits Waylon
Jennings, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Bob Seger, and John
Mellencamp as his singer/songwriter influences. “If one
neglects to speak of the mire that they have gone through and only
speaks of the sun that is shining on them now, then that person has
missed what life is really about, and what music is really about.
All songwriters and singers alike, including myself, want to sing
about the good, but we remember the darkness that led us to better
places and those stories must be told as well. Music is about
truth in life. The real truth. Fictional or Non-
carried one and only one poem in his mind since he read it in
English class as an adolescent. It is Robert Frost’s “The
Road Not Taken” and it ends like this. . .Two roads diverged in
a wood, and I. . .I took the one less traveled by, and that has made
all the difference.