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Rock On! This Week's Sound Bites...2/25/21

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 02/25/2021

"I've complained about it my whole life because I've got to spell it and spell it and spell it but it has served me well," said Nashville recording artist Brennen Leigh as she lamented her name's unique spelling. 

There are terms for artists whose journeys have taken them far and wide, such as "Well traveled" or "Bounced around" come to mind but Brennen is neither of those; she's more like a confident stroll and that confidence has served her as well as her name. You see, Brennen's vocal stylings and lyrical content are honest and open with a vulnerability that many artists strive for yet few seem to achieve. What is elusive to others seems to flow from her with ease giving her an air of approachability wrapped in a twinge of intimidation. 

Perhaps to fully understand this talented artist, we need to know some of the path she's trod to achieve the success she has enjoyed thus far. This guitar and mandolin player has written material that has been recorded by Lee Ann WomackRodney Crowell and Charley Crockett to name several and it all started out in the upper mid-west. 

"Yeah, it's not interesting to me but it might be interesting to others," she said with a laugh. "I grew up in Minnesota, just on the North Dakota state line; I was a musician as a teenager there with my brother. My brother and I toured as a a duo, kind of a bluegrass thing and then I moved to Texas when I was 19 and I lived there for just shy of 15 years and then I moved here to Nashville in 2016 and this is a great place to live with a great music scene; it's a wonderful community. I think Nashville is definitely a country music town as it has always been but I think in a way that's changing a little; you still have that core of country artists and musicians which is very, very strong but I'm seeing other genres here more than there used to be."

Along the way she has put out five solo albums, amassed a loyal following here in the U.S and has a strong presence in Europe and Scandinavia and has recently released her sixth album titled, "Prairie Love Letter;" which she initially balked at doing but is rather happy that she did. 

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"Well, it was new in September;" she explained,  "I was anxious about that because no one knew how long this would last, no one knew how the reception of original music would be and there was an element of concern that maybe the material would feel obsolete with the gravity of what has been going with all of the 2020 issues; racial unrest and the pandemic of course and there was an element of worry that I was doing something kind of selfish or self-serving by putting out music. There was also the worry that it would get totally buried because it seemed like every day there was some traumatic thing in the news and I was concerned; what if I put it out and then the same day "Insert world event here" might happen but I put it out and I kind of just trusted my cape and I'm so happy I did because a lot of people told me that this wqs something that got them through this tough time and the subject matter did feel relevant to people. I really gambled on that but it was a good choice and now I feel that much more connected to the fans." 

"Prairie Love Letter," is sort of a concept album," she continued. "Over the course of the last decade and a half I have lived in the South and I have spent the whole time enjoying where I was but I also had this thread of homesickness. So, I was slowly writing songs about home because that's just where my heart went and so I ended up accruing enough of these tunes that were kind of about that area and I ended up compiling them for this sort of love letter to the prairie and the whole album is about that area."

"The whole album" as she says, is 12 tracks of descriptive stories; musical pictures if you will which seem to give one a smattering of her life "On the prairie" at various stages and just like with every good story, there is a supporting cast. Brennen often shares her stage with others but there's one gentleman in particular who she has been working with for quite some time; a guitarist whose vocals compliment hers and one who helps create an on-stage chemistry that engages audiences immediately.  

"Noel McKay, he's a Texan and I met him at a gig in Seguin, TX a long time ago and we started playing together and then we moved here in 2016. He's here now, we both write for the same publishing company and we both play around Nashville and tour, well, we did tour; we'll see when that kicks off again." 

However, Brennen doesn't stop there; she gives credit where credit is due and she readily hands out praise for one of her co-writers on the new record.

"Melissa Carper is a dear friend and she is putting out a new album that is absolutely fantastic and I mention her because we wrote the second track on my album together; a song called "Billy & Beau" which is a song about some friends back home; it's a love story. Melissa is so special and so fantastic; you've got to really listen to her." 

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To discover more about Brennen Leigh or purchase her music; please visit

That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!

This week's event listings

Broken Goblet Brewing   
2500 State Road Bensalem, PA   
(267) 812-5653   
Sat. 8 p.m. Kinky Quizzo
Wed. 8 p.m. Open Mic w/ Cara Cartney 
All Shows 21+
Championship Bar   
931 Chambers street Trenton   
(609) 396-5457  
Tuesday 8 p.m. "Jam Night" Hosted by Nikki & Caleb   
Ages 21+     
125 South Main Street Hightstown     
(609) 241-7103
Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Jet Stream
Cooper's Riverview 
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton 
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 7 p.m. Unleashed
Fri. 7 p.m. Shameless
Sat. 7 p.m. Journey Tribute w/ "Highway Run"
Sun. 11 a.m. "Sunday Latin Brunch" 
Mon. 7 p.m. "Sunny Monday Blues Jam" and Country Music Night
Tues. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ Karen and Mark
All Events Ages 21+
Dog & Bull Brew House     
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.     
(215) 788-2855     
Fri. 6 p.m. Vince Schneider
Sat. 4 p.m. Mike Brill
Sun. 4 p.m. Eddie from NBAN
Gleason's Bar
6700 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(215) 943-4781
Thurs. 6 p.m. Ryan & Alex Duo
Fri. 6 p.m. "Happy Hour" w/ Casey Weldon
90 South Main Street New Hope, PA  
(215) 693-1657  
Thurs. 8 p.m. "Musicians Night Out" Hosted by Lovelight 
Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Sam Ryan
Wed. 8 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Dwayne Dunlevy
Hopewell Valley Vineyards     
46 Yard Avenue Pennington     
(609) 737-4465     
Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Roundabout
Sat. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. Rainbow Fresh
Sun. 1 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Vince di Mura
Killarney's Publick House     
1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton    
(609) 586-1166    
Thurs. 5 p.m. "Girls Night Out" w/ Radio Fiction
McGuinn's Place     
1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence     
(609) 392-0599    
Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke 
New Hope Winery    
6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA   
(215) 794-2331   
Sat. 1 p.m. Russell Norkevich
Sun. 1 p.m. Stranger Things
NJWeedman's Joint
322 East State Street Trenton
(609) 437-0898
Sun. 2 p.m. Ziggy Isaacs
O'Fowley's Tavern & Grill
200 State Road Croydon, PA
(215) 785-6998
Fri. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment
Sat. (11 a.m.) Polar Bear Plunge Fundraiser feat. (1 p.m.) Never Enough
Palmer Square
Nassau Street Princeton
Thurs. 4 p.m. "Skating On The Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental)
Fri. 4 p.m. "Skating On The Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental)
Sat.12 p.m./4 p.m. "Skating On the Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental) 
Sun 12 p.m./4 p.m. "Skating On the Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental)  
Pasquale's Sports Bar
9078 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA
(267) 202-6268
Fri. 5 p.m. Happy Hour feat. Bill Monach
Patriots Crossing     
1339 River Road Titusville     
(609) 737-2780    
Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night
Wed. 7 p.m. "Quizzo"   
Recklesstown Farm Distillery
2800 Route 206 North Columbus
(609) 784-8046
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Trivia
Revere Restaurant
802 River Road Ewing
(609) 882-6365
Wed. 7 p.m. David Boyd
Temperance House     
5 South State Street Newtown, PA     
(215) 944-8050     
Thurs. 7p.m. "Blues Night" w/ Steve Guyger 
Fri. 7 p.m. Bad Hombres
Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly (outdoors) 
TGI Fridays
3535 U.S. Route 1 North #275 Princeton
(609) 520-0378
Fri. 4 p.m. Kim Yarson & Son
The Buck Hotel
1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA
(215) 396-2002
Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk
Sat. 7 p.m. Danny Lunch Duo

The Cool Cricket     
216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro     
(609) 291-9110     
Fri. 9 p.m. Karaoke     
Sat. 8 p.m. Union
Train Wreck Distillery
25 Madison Avenue Mount Holly
(609) 288-6300
Sat. 7 p.m. Dave Murray
Sun. 2 p.m. Radio Fiction
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)     
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.     
(215) 862-8300     
Thurs. 8 p.m. Trivia      
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Stage 
All shows 21+   
Working Dog Winery     
610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown     
(609) 371-6000  
Sat. 1 p.m. Brooke DiCaro
WWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio
MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor
Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" 

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.



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