Local Spotlight: Brent Kirby is the Real Deal
The local state of music in Northeastern Ohio continues to offer some extraordinary talent if you’re willing to seek it out. One fellow that seems to relish a full palate is Brent Kirby who can be found either playing in FIVE bands, repairing guitars, or solo performing at local bars and music clubs.
Kirby recently released a new album titled Last Song On The Soundtrack which is woven with tales about the life of a romantic. “This album is truly me” explains Kirby of the live studio recording with little overdubbing. Highlights from the eleven tracks include “Silently Stepping Out Surreal” with great country riffs from Chris Hanna on piano and Al Moss on pedal steel. The simply traditional heart bleeder “I’m Just A Man”, a Texas swing dance number called “Don’t Cry For Me”, and a straight on rock ballad “Holding That’s Hard” makes Kirby’s record some of the freshest new music found anywhere. Other members of Kirby’s band The Shapeshifters include Tom Prebish on bass, Jon Niefeld on drums, and Andy Leach on lead guitar.
Brent landed in Cleveland around 2001 and joined Bobby Latina four years later as the rhythm guitarist and singer of The Jack Fords. On top of his own record release, The Fords have just released their new album The Way Things Should Be which was recorded at Suma Studios in Painesville by acclaimed producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel.
Other side projects include The New Soft Shoe which pays homage to the late great Gram Parsons on the second Thursday of each month at The Happy Dog. Kirby along with other members of The Shapeshifters don’t rehearse, but just show up ready to play songs from the godfather of alt-country. When local singer/songwriter Chris Allen incorporates a band called The Guilty Hearts, he has Brent playing his first love, the drums. Kirby hosts a songwriter in the round session on the last Tuesday of the month at Prosperity Social Club and during the holidays can be found performing with The Ohio City Singers.