“The music I make, I suspect like everyone, starts inside of me and it takes whatever it takes to get out of me,” states singer-songwriter and musician, Brandon Adams. He is a man of many hats as an artist, songwriter, guitarist, and session player. Brandon’s roots derive from Kentucky and West Virginia, which you can hear in his tasteful bluegrass meets traditional country repertoire.
As an artist, his work started when he could walk. Adams listened and was moved by anything that could move him. A few of his influences include Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, and legendary songwriter, Bob Dylan. He admires Dylan’s poetic words and common sense phrases, and while he doesn’t try to write like anyone, he listens to so many. “Other than being my own person with my best attempt at my own sound, you can hear my heroes in my work. It’s important to me that I record as live as possible.”
There is plenty of authenticity to be found in Brandon’s music with emotional lyrics and every track being recorded in a live studio setting in an electronic world. His first studio bluegrass album, ‘Hardest Kind of Memories’, was released in 2014. His influence, Tony Rice, is featured on the track, “I Long for Seventeen”. “Brandon is someone with their own voice,” stated Tony Rice after working with Adams on the track. This Kentucky based singer-songwriter and guitarist certainly presents his own unique voice that takes you on a journey back in time with a natural, Appalachian feel. “If his debut indie album is any indication, Brandon is someone who is intent on carrying on the bluegrass tradition,” noted Peter Stone Brown from Up Against It blog.
Brandon’s second solo studio album released in 2018, ‘Time That I Was Leavin’”, showcases more of his roots along with more notable musicians. The song, “30 Long Years”, on this album is a duet with Grammy award winning musician, Carl Jackson. “Brandon is a beast of a guitarist,” states Carl Jackson, which you can tell on these heavily string influenced recordings. His roots are showcased even more on this album, especially on the title track, “Time That I Was Leavin’”. Adams had three songs off of this album chart on the bluegrass charts, including “Vagabond”, “Adios”, and “Leaving Carolina”.
If his solo albums weren’t impressive enough, he has worked with many other notable artists and musicians during his career. At one point, Brandon was able to sit in with John McEuen from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In 2006, Brandon appeared on a Grammy nominated album, ‘Celebration of Life: Musicians Against Childhood Cancer’. It won the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Awards) Album of the Year award for that year. You can also catch a live performance of the well known American folk and Gospel song, “Wayfaring Stranger”, on YouTube he did with bluegrass musicians, Johnny Staats and Ger O’ Donnell, showcasing Brandon’s incredible musicianship and talent. Adams has also appeared on PBS shows such as ‘Song of the Mountains’ and ‘Songs at the Center’. You can also hear him playing a distinctive cover of Randy Newman’s, “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today”, on the Fretboard Journal.
Brandon has made quite the amount of achievements for himself over his career, but people can still look forward to more from him. Keep an eye out for his upcoming appearance in two episodes on the PBS show, ‘Songs at the Center’, season 7. “Brandon proves worthy of praise each night he leaves his country farmstead to grace a stage someplace with his virtuosic, melodic, and lightning-speed guitar playing and deep, rich country voice,” stated Ron Wray of No Depression Journal. And with that grace, Brandon Adams’s music is not something you want to miss out on.