Bluesy, modern Texas country artist Brandon Alan will help kick off SXSW in the Hill Country at KGSR’s live broadcast, Road to SXSW.
In the heart of the Hill Country, Spicewood’s family-friendly Iron Wolf Ranch & Distillery will host the event Saturday, March 7.
Ahead of the show, we spoke with Alan about his music, including his latest single, “Love You the Same.” Described once as “John Mayer dipped in a country river,” by a fan in Chicago, Alan has around 170 shows booked this year, and most of them are in Texas.
Tell us about the meaning behind your new single, “Love You the Same.”
The single is about the time period after we had our son, Preston, and my wife, Amber, was going through some pretty serious postpartum depression. I left the song open to interpretation on purpose. My story in the song doesn’t have to be everybody’s story of the song. I think the overall message of the song, essentially of unconditional love and sticking with it, is what’s most important.
In relationships, sometimes people give up really fast. Like anything in life, whether it’s your job or your relationships or just getting better at your craft, you can’t quit when you hit the hurdles. I hope people take that away from “Love You the Same.”
“Love You the Same” is a little different from the music you typically record.
The song is very personal. This was a different side for me to show. I don’t normally go that direction.
Your background is very guitar-focused. How does that affect the music when you’re writing?
Ninety percent of my songs have started with guitar. How the instrumentals sound is kind of the direction I take with writing. I always think of songs like colors, along with energetic upbeat things. The cover art for “Love You the Same” is exactly how I envisioned it. A consistent blue, grey kind thing. Just very clean and pretty. I know it sounds strange, but I envision songs I colors when I’m writing them.
I’m also really picky about what makes it to the studio. A song that I plan to record this summer, I started the guitar rift for it back in 2014.
You’ve been playing guitar since age 11. How did your music career begin?
I had been watching VH1. I saw Joe Walsh from The Eagles and didn’t know who he was. So, I went downstairs and grabbed one of my dad’s extremely nice vintage guitars. But that was the day I decided what I wanted to do. I spent the majority of the early part of my music career prepping myself to be a session player. But then I started writing music around the age of 16, and I couldn’t really imagine anybody else singing it.
Tell us more about your love for Texas country music and Texas in general.
I have more respect for the Texas music scene, because it’s so authentic. The Central time zone is just a really special place, with amazing people sprinkled all over it. They work hard and they are loyal.
I always cut my records in Texas. That was a big deal to me to not make my records in Nashville. There’s a ton of talent in Nashville, but I like to cut my music with people who know me in general.
Is there anything else you think our readers will want to know about you?
I’m left handed, but I play the guitar right handed. My dad was right handed. When I started playing guitar, he advised me to play right handed because more guitars are made for right handed people. It’s hard to find left handed guitars.
Also, I collect guitars and my 4-year-old son names them. One is called mean green, and one is called white falcon. It’s really cute. I also have some pretty cool guitar straps that are custom made. My wife tries to get me a new one each year.
In addition to his upcoming KGSR show, Alan plays a residency at Horseshoe Bay Resort and Horseshoe Bay’s Escondido Club. Tickets to Alan’s March 7 show are free. He plans to go on around 2 pm and play for 60-90 minutes, then take a break and play for another 60-90 minutes.
Cover photo courtesy Brandon Alan
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist and a full-time marketer within the automotive industry. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.