Singer-songwriter hails from the South and writes about the human condition from that perspective. His use of visual words is haunting, daunting and precise.
Born in Savannah, GA raised and still resides in Charleston, SC John learned early on how to put words with music in his grandparents’ home. His parents were diplomats with China, and he admired his grandfather who was well-versed and read in poetry and philosophy. In the early 1980s, after a brief stay in New York City, he moved to Los Angeles wheedled by Joe Walsh, of The Eagles. Soon after, he got a record deal, from Apache Records, an imprint of Capitol Records and released, Mystery Street found its way into the Top 20, and MTV put the single, “Desolation Angel” in rotation. John hit pay dirt, and he began to become a voice to be reckoned with.
By 1993, in the wake of the success of Mystery Street, Brannen was signed by the recently renamed Mercury Nashville Records. His eponymous debut, John Brannen, contained the single “Moonlight and Magnolias,” which became a Top 10 hit on VH1. To launch Brannen’s career, the label chose him for one of three slots on the Triple Play Tour. Shania Twain and Toby Keith filled the remaining two slots.
His songs and co-written songs spread the spectrum of music and have covered by The Eagles, Tom Jones, Reba McIntyre, Richie Havens and Randall Bramblett. John enjoyed this long-running success and exposure for it gave him a wider audience along the way, but he needed to take a break. For about seven years, the singer-songwriter went on a self-imposed hiatus in his hometown of Charleston.
Since his return to the limelight in 2000, Brannen has been compared to Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, and Jackson Browne. His craft and art were still pristine and aging well, like a bottle of wine.
The Good Thief and Twilight Tattoo, released in 2004 and 2006, respectively, are his most recent records. Twilight Tattoo, which features “A Cut So Deep,” a duet with Lucinda Williams, was co-produced by Brannen and David Z. Most recently, Brannen has had success as the songwriter of "Somebody" which appeared on Eagles album Long Road Out of Eden and was co-written with Brannen’s longtime collaborator and friend, Jack Tempchin.
Bravado is singer/songwriter John Brannen's third release for Sly Dog Records (2010) and sixth album overall. Acclaimed for his Americana/Rock/Country sound (with a little Roots/Twang mixed in), Brannen has been hailed by No Depression magazine “…as an original hybrid…”, while Billboard has called him “versatile and rewarding.”
Eight years later, John still is writing and performing around the country and has a few things on the horizon that will sure surprise fans.
The Good Thief
Songs Recorded By