The night of the show Joe and I headed down to Lucky’s, secured a patio table right by the stage, and had some dinner.
Brandon arrived and after he carried all his gear to the small stage I stopped up and introduced myself. He said he recognized me from last years show and thanked me for making the posters. After tuning and adjusting he started right in with some covers.
I kept looking at Joe to give him the “see I told you” face. He was digging it.
Brandon played Taj Mahal, Beatles, James Taylor, and Sam Cooke.
It was cool to see Joe watching the guitar work as Brandon played. I tried to learn guitar myself years and years ago so I could both appreciate the skills and the way that Brandon made it seem so easy and natural. His voice is smooth and the atmosphere there at Lucky’s was like he was playing at a house party in your living room.
After a few songs, he started introducing his looping to the set. Just a little accompaniment on a Ray Lamontagne song “Beg Steal Or Borrow”.
So, not only great guitar, but foot work too to turn on and off the accompaniment.
Then to blow my mind he called me out and thanked me for the poster on mic between songs. It was the culmination of my nerdhood and a proud moment.
I then set in serious with my camera, moving to some different spots to get some different shots.
Then came some John Prine and some Paul Simon on which he used the looping to create a full lush vocal accompaniment using several layers of his voice. It was very cool. It must have taken quite some time to learn and perfect this looping, which he does live right in front of you.
Then he played one he wrote. It was called “I Want You There”. It’s not on his CD, but it was great. Hopefully that one will get recorded.
The sun began setting as he played “Angel From Montgomery”.
The tone of Brandon’s guitar is very smooth and he also played harmonica with a holder around his neck. Generally, it seems like this kind of setup is just to punctuate a song with a new tone and I find it usually seems like a horn in the middle of a great song, but he made it sound like a great compliment to the music with soft tones and very fluid lines.
He did a great “looping tutorial” song where he explained how he works the loops and how he builds a chorus and backing track. The song he did was Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” which featured the Wooden Frog and Cabasa in his looping. He also played the Melodica! The buildup was great and the solo in it was incredible. He made the acoustic sound like an overdriven electric guitar with his pedals. Joey noticed the wah-wah pedal in action and I think he was impressed and surprised by how it could all sound.
It was a lot of rhythm and sound from only one guy on stage. That’s the best part of a Brandon Beebe show!
Then he played “Alright” off of his CD “In This Place”
Next up was a cover of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette”. It was a slow soulful version that really worked. Loved it.
Brandon mentioned that he will be in a Prince tribute show in September, as Prince himself, at The Majestic in September. Mark your calendar and get tickets now!
After Prince he pulled out Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”. It took me a second to recognize it, definitely a different style on acoustic and slower. It was awesome. Then Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”. There was a lot of soloing in this one and you were reminded that Brandon can really play that thing. Everyone was nodding their heads to the beat that night.
He played Johnny Cash and Paul Simon and Cat Stevens. Then he played “She’s The Moon” off of his CD. The looping in this song I think is the best he does. It’s upbeat and the loops come in and out, stop altogether and crash back in… it’s a great showcase of his looping skills. This song got the ladies on the floor for some dancing.
There was a break for a bit, and Brandon came over and got some bug spray from me. The mosquitos were BRUTAL. Eventually I was sharing it with half the crowd. The little spotlight that he had set up as the sun went down probably didn’t help… created a mosquito runway right to him. The perils of playing outdoors.
He opened the second set with Prince’s “When Doves Cry”. I had seen him do this one before and it’s great. I decided right then to get tickets to the Purple Veins show. See you there!
Then he played some Madonna “Like A Prayer”. It was a rolling fun version that was surprising. Never heard that one acoustic before. He did a great job.
The stage was dark by that time and he had his little light shining.
I requested some more off of his CD and he played “The Gift” and “Outro”. These have some really great vocals and lyrics and rhythmic guitar that has some tempo breaks. At the end there is a fantastic section that is layers and layers of vocals stacked and flowing in a wonderful wave of sound that really makes you just sway in your seat. Fantastic.
Truly a lot of great sound from just a guy on a rollaway stage.
Next came a request: Bob Marley’s “Waiting In Vain”. Then Ben Harper’s “Steal My Kisses” mashed up into a song of his own “Wonderlove”, but it’s not on his CD. Come see him live to hear it, it’s great.
Another request came for Paul Simon’s “April Come She Will” and he ended the night with Cat Steven’s “Wild World”. It was a great ending that night.
Afterwards I asked Brandon to sign a copy of my poster and the night was complete. Joey got a copy of his CD and he signed that too.
If you get a chance to see Brandon at any of his other shows, do. It is a great show!
Check where he is playing next on his site and Facebook page.
Tell him The Aural Retentive sent you!