Brennen Leigh: The Music of Texas Hill Country
Brennen Leigh represents what is best about American music. If you call it Americana, then she is someone who embodies it in her music and her life. She has been born and raised into the roots, trees and musical branches many others sketch out of their own imagination and admiration for the music of our common history. Brennen Leigh lives it through her life and love for delta blues, authentic honky-tonk, country-gospel, bluegrass and the shaped notes of the Sacred Harp.
Brennen: I grew up in Fargo, Minnesota. My parents had good records. Dad played guitar. My brother and I played together a lot. I always rejected what was on the radio. I just didn’t like it. As a young teenage kid I would seek out what’s different. Once, my brother ordered a delta blues cassette with Robert Johnson and Son House. We listened to it over and over. We got obsessed with delta and then got into Hank Williams and then the Louvin Brothers and that was the end of it for me.
Terry: What led you into writing your own songs?
Brennen: I always wanted to be a writer. I was obsessed with Blake and Yeats and that bled over into the country music I loved. You know, we write what we know. Today we’re literate, we have access to it. Most of us don’t have to hoe greens or pick cotton; but you lose something when you don’t have that hard labor factor. You have to listen and read.
Terry: How did performing start for you?
Brennen: My brother(Seth Hulbert) and I played where we lived. He became this crazy booking agent and a great musician. He started booking us every place he could think of before I was 18. We played in bars and festivals. It gave us something to work toward. I had no idea how hard the work is. Things have built. I’ve had so much support. It’s been nine years now.
Terry: Tell me about the new album.
Brennen: The Box. It was produced by Tommy Detamore at Cherry Ridge Studio. He’s a steel player and a great producer. He plays with Jim Lauderdale. I wrote 11 of the 13 songs. It took a while.