Focusing On Brandon Jenkins
Brandon Jenkins has been in my peripheral vision for some time. I’ve looked at his videos and listened to his music, of course, but up until recently I had not focused on him like I tend to do when I identify an artist that I really like. And I really like Brandon Jenkins. But for some reason I haven’t gotten around to spending time with his music. I was even at a bar where he was scheduled to play one night and had to leave before his 10 o’clock show. I’ve heard other artists sing his excellent songs, too, and instead of going and pulling his version, for some reason I just let it slide.
I’m apparently not alone in this. As Jessie Scott points out in her notes on this Music Fog video, it is a mystery why some artists have not connected with a larger audience. With Brandon Jenkins, the mystery gets deeper when you hear his music and guitar playing. He’s Red Dirt with a bit of Austin mixed in and every bit the Everyman, if you assume that the Everyman is well-read, smart, big enough to whip your ass and nice enough not to.
The thing that kept Jenkins in my peripheral vision for so long (as opposed to drifting out of sight, like some do), and that brought me around to focusing on him lately, is his voice. I do think the only place a voice that big could reside is Texas. Listen to him sing, “Keep ’em on their knees, any god will do . . . ” in “The Perfect Slave” in the Music Fog video. Listen to him sing “Finger On The Trigger” in this video. Can you identify a stronger voice in the world of music No Depression types enjoy?
In the corner of the music world inhabited by Jimmy LaFave, The Great Divide, Randy Rogers, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland, Cody Canada here’s a guy who deserves some attention. You can’t write songs and sing like this and stay off the larger radar screen forever. He’s definitely on mine. And next time I get the chance, I’ll stay in the bar and see the 10 o’clock show.