Brendan & the Strangest Ways

Brendan & the Strangest Ways2020-02-27T23:45:12+00:00

Project Description

Similar Artists:  Jason Isbell, Drive by Truckers, Justin Townes Earle

When Brendan Shea first started out as a songwriter in the early 2000s, Buffalo was a broken-down, industrial “Rust Belt” city whose best days were behind it. Angsty, malcontented feelings came through in his writing.  He felt an overwhelming sense in his day to day life to move somewhere else to realize his full potential. So he did… twice. And those experiences made for some pretty good songs.

Fast-forward 15 years and Buffalo has undergone a major cultural and economic renaissance. There’s an expanding creative and artistic scene, and a general buzz around town that the best is yet to come. Shea says, “I feel like that’s a pretty perfect reflection of where I’m at musically with this new album and this new band. There’s just a lot of hope and excitement about what’s ahead.”

RELEASES

“We Can Beat Mercury”
Release Date: February 17
We Can Beat Mercury

Top Ten of the Week – The Alternate Root

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.

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Bio

When Brendan Shea first started out as a songwriter in the early 2000s, Buffalo was a broken-down, industrial “Rust Belt” city whose best days were behind it. Angsty, malcontented feelings came through in his writing.  He felt an overwhelming sense in his day to day life to move somewhere else to realize his full potential. So he did… twice. And those experiences made for some pretty good songs.

Fast-forward 15 years and Buffalo has undergone a major cultural and economic renaissance. There’s an expanding creative and artistic scene, and a general buzz around town that the best is yet to come. Shea says, “I feel like that’s a pretty perfect reflection of where I’m at musically with this new album and this new band. There’s just a lot of hope and excitement about what’s ahead.”

In autumn 2016, Shea returned home to Buffalo after completing a seven-year journey that saw him living and playing on and around all three US coasts. He got his education in the thriving Austin scene, which he’s aptly referred to as “musician boot camp.” After almost two years, it became obvious it was time to put what he learned into practice in a new location. So he decided to move on.

He applied his professional knowledge in the storied music city of Seattle, developing his sound while fronting a crop of revolving-door bandmates.  These musicians helped him record his full-length debut, Brendan & the Strangest Ways, over a year-and-a-half span ending in 2015. Bass and drums were tracked in a community theater space in a northern Seattle neighborhood. Shea recorded the rest of the album himself on a laptop. Most of it occurred during a return trip to Austin, in a guest bungalow on a horse ranch just outside the city. He would never be fully certain of how many half-finished, that-felt-like-the-one takes were sacrificed to the crowing of roosters or low-flying planes buzzing overhead. In the end, he was confident he came away with an album that successfully rose above its modest means of production.

Upon its release, Brendan set out on a cross-country summer tour in a 26-foot RV. Over the next few years, he would continue to travel, meeting and performing for new people in new towns. From the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, he handled all the booking, promoting, driving, setting up and tearing down in true grassroots fashion. Crashing on couches when they were available, and in vehicles when they were not, paying his dues and then some.

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 for something that always felt just a little out of reach.

Early in 2019, Brendan and the Strangest Way broke ground on the follow-up album Are We Sure The Dawn Is Coming? at County Q in Nashville. The sessions were performed by a genuine who’s-who of Alt-country players in a single afternoon. “This is the record I’ve always wanted to make,” says Shea. “I’m finally hearing all the sounds the way I imagined them in my head after a long, long time of having to live with something less.” 

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. 

Shea’s peers have called him a true songwriter’s songwriter who expertly crafts his lyrics like a mason building a brick wall, and whose haunting melodies have a way of outlasting durations of quiet to stay stuck in your head long after you’ve heard the last note.

Top Ten Songs of the Week

Danny McCloskey, The Alternate Root
Beehive Candy

“a powerful hook laden country rocker”

Mike Heath, Beehive Candy

“Timeless, tasteful, and infinitely inviting Brendan & the Strangest Ways self-titled debut is a true delight.”

Beach Sloth, Skope

TOUR DATES