Former Dwight Yoakam Sideman Brian Whelan Sets Out On Solo Venture

The New Year is starting off with a bang for singer|songwriter, and former Dwight Yoakam multi-instrumentalist, Brian Whelan, as he sets out to release his sophomore solo album, ‘Sugarland’, on March 25, 2016.

Sugarland boldly throws Whelan’s hat into a ring crowded with the likes of genre-giants John Fullbright, Sturgill Simpson, Mike Stinson, and Jason Isbell. Co-Produced by fellow Yoakam-ite and current drummer Mitch Marine, alongside Lee Pardini, Whelan, a music school graduate from USC, plays almost anything with keys or strings…steel guitar, accordion, and piano.

On ‘Sugarland’, his skills are put to the test as he employs a series of various musical instruments on these crisp, streamlined, mostly mid-tempo, pop rock tunes. This is the ‘Whelan’ style of music that goes straight to the heart recalling the heyday of great radio. His jangling, straight-ahead tunes like “Sugarland”, “Talk To Me” and “We Got It All,” clearly pronounce that Whelan’s grown as a songwriter, arranger, and vocalist.

On the brooding track, “Sucker Punch”, he warns…“I’ve got a sick sense of humor and I’m sure you know / I’m a sucker puncher when I get this low.”

SugarlandThe fatalistic “bombs away, bombs away” chorus is pure California-country rock. On “The Only Thing,” Whelan channels a cool, Buddy Holly-fronting-The-Clash urgency in this radio-friendly rocker.

The track’s narrator laments how he “tried to run with a different crowd but I just kept falling down / A change of clothes and a new routine / Wound up right right back here at the beginning” It’s a perfect example of a rocker love song.

Back in 2012, Whelan released his debut solo album, “Decider,” which gained much critical acclaim and established Whelan as ‘one to watch’ by industry insiders. ‘Sugarland’ will go a long way in continuing to spread the word about Whelan’s unique style and his ever rising importance on both the L.A. and national scenes. The world will soon know that Whelan and Sugarland are the real deal.

Whelan’s live show is equally as promising, confirmed by this recent ‘No Depression’ review of Whelan’s opening slot, for Yoakam, this past December:

Whelan lit some fires of his own, utilizing lessons from his former boss mixed with those from a stint playing behind Chuck Berry, layered under a vocal style that recalls at times a young Roy Orbison, in the context of songs seemingly imagined by an iPhone-era Buddy Holly.”

Brian Whelan on Tour (more U.S. Tour dates are expected to be announced shortly):

Jan 27 – Music City Roots – Franklin, TN
Mar 23 – Under the Volcano – Houston, TX
Mar 24 – Venue TBA – Ft. Worth, TX
April 1 – Pappy and Harriets – Joshua Tree, CA
April 3 – Grand Ole Echo – Los Angeles, CA (Album Release Show)

For more up to date information visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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