The Alternate Root’s Top Ten Songs of the Week
Mercury in retrograde sets in motion on February 17 and Brendan & the Strangest Ways are ready with the release of the Americana single, “We Can Beat Mercury,” on that same day. An act in reflection, Brendan Shea challenges the optical illusion with the belief that we are not a victim to our circumstances, even when the planetary alignments seemingly create chaos around us.
People who believe in astrology will tell you that when the planet Mercury goes into retrograde you shouldn’t make any life changes, especially involving travel. In the spring of 2016, Shea didn’t heed that call. He quit his job, moved out of his apartment and into an RV with the woman he was seeing, and toured the country playing music for an indefinite period of time. As things began to fall apart with his relationship, he did the only thing he knew to do: turn to the heavens and find a scapegoat there.
In time, Shea eventually realized that we make our own destiny and aren’t doomed to some predetermined fate. He wrote the song to his partner as an eager plea to remind her why they made all the changes in the first place. A slide guitar eerily forebodes of what’s coming by introducing the opening line, “It was a beautiful doomsday when we left that town behind.” The rolling beat punctuates the questioned metaphysical journey as Shea concludes, “The road ahead is crumbling, but only in our minds / That bastard ain’t fast enough to catch us, not tonight.”
About Brendan & the Strangest Ways
Brendan Shea adopted the moniker Brendan & the Strangest Ways to create music for the restless spirit. Heartfelt reflections comprise the songs: loves and losses experienced over countless miles traveled in search of something that always felt just a little out of reach.
Early in 2019, Brendan and the Strangest Ways broke ground on the sophomore album Are We Sure The Dawn Is Coming? at County Q in Nashville. In October 2019, Brendan connected with veterans of Buffalo’s alternative country scene and former members of the band Bareback Jack: Tommy Bijak (electric guitar), Pete Wilson (drums), Paul Belardi (bass) and Kenny Blesy (steel guitar) to reform the Strangest Ways. The members backing Shea on Brendan & the Strangest Ways have done stints in Nashville recording and playing live. In their previous band, they opened for Marty Stuart and Charlie Daniels.
4.4 The Cave, Buffalo
Praise for “We Can Beat Mercury”
“Top Ten Songs of the Week” – The Alternate Root
“a powerful hook-laden country rocker” – Beehive Candy