Jeff Bryant is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his work with Cory Morrow, Alpha Rev and Hudson Moore. Back in March, we chose "Not Gonna Run," the lead track from his new release Sleeping With the Lights On, as our THURSDAY TRACK PICK. This week we're featuring him as our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week.
NAME: Jeff Bryant
HOMETOWN: DeSoto, TX, but currently residing in Austin, TX.
MUSICAL TRAINING: I trained classically on piano from the age of seven until I was twelve or thirteen. French horn took over and I stopped piano lessons for a time. I played French horn through most of college, where I also took vocal lessons and found myself singing opera, something that was completely foreign to me. I also grew up in a church that had a lot of opportunities to play and I started to learn pop piano and how to read charts. I began to pick up guitar during that time as well. I ended up joining my high school’s jazz band, at which point I immersed myself in jazz and blues and my musical training came to be about listening to everything I could get my hands on, as well as the occasional piano lesson to help me along.
FIRST GIGS: It wasn't until college that I pick up my first “real” gig. I joined a country band three to four years into my college career. That’s what you play when you’re in west Texas and want to get paid. I’d play regional shows over the weekend and back to class on Monday. This time was invaluable for me as I was able to grow my network of other musicians across the state of Texas and the region.
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Stevie Wonder, Oscar Peterson, Bruce Hornsby, Herbie Hancock, Donny Hathaway, Jamie Cullum, Gavin Degraw, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5 (Songs About Jane), Counting Crows, Radiohead, and so many more.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW:Honne's Warm On a Cold Night and Beck’s Colors are two records I’ve just added to my regular playlist. Thankfully, I have friends that keep me up to date on killer stuff that is being released. Other than that, I’ve been pretty nostalgic lately and listening to some old favorites. Medeski Martin and Wood, D’Angelo, Jamiroquai, Jonny Lang, Damien Rice, Ray Lamontagne, Jimmy Smith. I’m all over the map.
MY BIG BREAK: When I cold-called Cory Morrow’s manager and got hired shortly after. I was living in the Dallas area and playing a mix of country, R&B, and folk rock gigs. I was also working odd jobs wondering if I’d ever be able to make this music thing work. I got hired on with Cory and soon after moved to Austin. My network was quickly growing and new opportunities started to present themselves left and right.
LATEST PROJECTS: My debut solo record released on February 9th of this year, so I have been focused on getting this off the ground and booking some shows. I also play keys and guitar with Hudson Moore, a pop/country artist. In addition to Hudson, I also play in Alpha Rev, an alternative rock band based in Austin.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? My Wurlitzer 200a is probably my favorite. Vintage just feels so good under my fingers. It doesn’t leave the house often, but I love to sit down and write on it. Aside from that, I’m growing more fond of my Nord Electro 5D every day. Nord’s sample editor has been a game changer for me and allowed me to use one board for most of my utility gigs. Now I can travel with one keyboard and one guitar versus feeling like I have to bring a studio’s worth a gear out on the road. I’ve also had a long relationship with my trusty Roland RD-700SX and Hammond XK-3C.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Continuing to promote my new record, but also to get back in writing mode so I can hit the studio and release a single or two later in the year.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Hustle. Success rarely happens by chance, so if you want something, chase after it. Practice your instrument, network like crazy, and be cool. Those things will take you far.
For more information, visit: www.jeffbryantmusic.com