When first reading of the unique guitar style of Rodney Branigan, and especially his ability to play two guitars at the same time or guitar and piano simultaneously, one has to wonder how much is show and gimmick. Upon listening to his new single Muddy Jesus though you just know there is an abundance of imaginative substance to his songwriting and play, the song an absorbing and inviting piece of musical storytelling to dispel any of those rogue thoughts.
Raised in Texas and now based in London, Branigan since making his debut at Hampton Court Palace in 2007 has shared stages with the likes of Billy Bragg and Jethro Tull, toured with double award winning Show of Hands, and collaborating with Seth Lakeman and Steve Knightley at Glastonbury, to name a few of his highlights. Alongside his music Branigan also spends time and focus on encouraging young people through his part of the Access to Music ‘Band Factory’ team, a project encouraging children to learn directly from the professionals themselves and discover ‘how to be in a band’. His distinct musicianship and skill as well as impressively crafted songs though, has continually drawn growing attention and strong acclaim his way which the new single can only increase.
Muddy Jesus starts with a pulsating bass sound and simple inciteful beats, both aspects resonating within the senses immediately, waking them up fully for the following excellent voice of Branigan. Expressive and openly inviting, his tones bring a flavour and emotive edge to the strong lyrical content, the words easily evoking thoughts and imagery. His guitar play like his vocals, drifts through the ear with firmness and instant engagement, and all these stirring warm steely elements together just makes for a song as a whole a grooved treat to savour. It is a blues/folk delight which with its acoustic atmosphere and warm breath one can only invite deeply inside.
Taken from his forthcoming album, Muddy Jesus is a delicious piece of provocative and finely imagined rock n roll which perfectly shows why Rodney Branigan has become the growing whisper on the lips of so many.
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