Reflections in Blue
Isaiah B. Brunt
Just The Way That It Goes
Brunt, made his way to New Orleans for his totally electric album. His earlier releases, an EP and Nursery Rhyme Blues both met with rave reviews and gained him a broad worldwide following. On Just The Way That It Goes he changes gears and comes out with the aid of electricity. Brunt is a master musician and his work as a songwriter rates among the best. The band on this project consists of Mark Whitaker on drums, Richard Bird on bass, Mike hood on piano and organ (cuts 1, 4, 5, 7 & 8), Kenny Claiborne on harmonica (cut 3) and David Stocker on Mellotron (cut 9). Together they weave a tapestry in sound that is captivating, grabbing the audience form the opening notes. More along the lines of a singer/songwriter album, Just The Way That It Goes shows us Isaiah B. Brunt, master storyteller and superb wordsmith, pulling from his personal history, telling stories that one and all can relate to without question. Through it all, Brunt never strays far from the blues which seems to be the underlying theme throughout the album. Is Isaiah a bluesman?...unquestionably! He is a bluesman and so much more. This is one of those albums that has that timeless quality. It will never get old. Diverse in style, there are tunes that are hauntingly beautiful, soulful ballads and some tunes that are full-blown, straight-ahead blues. Brunt and the band's amalgamation of styles with elements adapted from their many and various influences helps to make this album what it is...one of the finest albums of the year. Having grown up in a golden age of music with blues, soul, R&B, funk, folk, gospel, country, jazz and more, all going full speed ahead, with rock & roll emerging in the midst of it all, this album holds no real surprises, but some real fond memories. It should be noted that all the tunes are originals, penned by Isaiah B. Brunt...a fact that makes this artist and this album stand head and shoulders above the competition. - Bill Wilson
ISAIAH B. BRUNT/Just the Way that It Goes: The last time this cat sent me his latest, it was this wild, ear opening discovery. Apparently enough people felt that way to inspire Brunt to bring his act from Australia to Nawlins and set up the most indigenous American roots album to come rolling down the blues/roots lane in quite some time. It seems like unvarnished blues rescued from the vaults but there's something pure in the heart of this that makes it timeless and modern at the same time. Clearly Brunt keeps getting to a higher position as he runs at the top of his game and this is the stuff the real modern blues fan really wants to hear. A killer set throughout.
About a year and a half ago, I reviewed a wonderful little EP by Isaiah B Brunt. Brunt, an Australian, worked in the music industry for years as an audio engineer, playing music on the side until 2006, when he decided to focus on the blues. Though he’s thousands of miles away, he has as firm a grasp on tradtional American pre-war blues as if he’d lived in the Mississippi Delta all his life. That was apparent from the first note of his EP release.
For Brunt’s release, Nursery Rhyme Blues, he updates his sound just a bit. The traditional roots are still present, but on this new recording, Brunt not only plays acoustic and slide guitar, but also ukelele on several tracks, piano, electric bass, harmonica, synths, and percussion. He also incorporates various musicians playing vibraphone, accordion, flute, cello, and sousaphone on assorted tracks. The result is an eclectic mix of blues styles that’s sometimes breezy, sometimes haunting, sometimes lovely, and always compelling.
I really like the opener, “Just a Beautiful Thing,” a carefree Delta blues tune, and “Beale Street Memphis” is a fun track, with Brunt playing ukelele while accompanied by Rod Herbert’s sousaphone. The title track has a haunting quality, a different twist on the subject matter , with cello (courtesy of Nick Comino) and ghostly backing vocals. That’s just the first three tracks. The entire album has the same qualities. “Marilyn Monroe” is a wistful homage to the beautiful movie star and with Brunt playing harmonica and ukelele, and includes flute from Dahlia Goldfried-Brunt. “Before You Lay Me Down” is another haunting track, with cello again.
Tracks like “Full Moon Breaking” “Time Will Come,” “Humming Blues,” and “Vinegar Hill” feature Brunt playing unaccompanied for the most part and remind listeners of the gentle vibe of Brunt’s EP. “That Place In The Road” is interesting, with Brunt doubling on ukelele and harmonica, and the reflective closer, “Over Time,” has a gospel feel, with the soothing background vocals from Karana Nepe and Paula Punch.
I really like Isaish B Brunt’s approach to the blues. He holds close to the traditional sounds and themes of the blues, but he also mixes in enough modern touches to keep things fresh. The more I listen, the more layers I uncover within each song. Acoustic blues fans will want to hear this, but there’s something for every blues fan to enjoy with Nursery Rhyme Blues.
A low down and in depth interview with Gary Stanford from Lonewolf Productions
For decades Isaiah has been a top Aussie production guy and studio owner who's worked with Julio Iglesias and his orchestra, the Goo Goo Dolls and rehearsed American Idol's Randy Jackson and his band for their Australian touring. Not only has Isaiah been behind the board for globally upper echelon bands, he's been a go-to sideman for bands touring down under like the time he hit the road in Sydney aiding Keanu Reeves band Dog Star.
All the while he was working with synthetic and packaged music, Isaiah always knew where his heart lay. The same place it was when he first heard his father strum the Ukulele, blow harmonica and unleash the lap steel.
Isaiah was the 2010 Sydney Blues Society Performer of the Year and some of you may have caught him at last year's IBC. Probably the best dressed cat in Memphis and good enough musically to be one of the very few to be reviewed
in the /Memphis Daily News/.
ISAIAH B. BRUNT/EP: Here's a cat with a wild life story and a wild resume and after all this time, he's finally come out with his first recording under his own name and it's wild stuff. Sounding like an earnest Boston kid in the 60s trying to sound like a Texas bluesman, Brunt slings a mighty slide guitar and recalls something Dick Waterman or Sam Charters would have produced for Vanguard back in the day. Sounding very much like something that could have spun off Koerner Ray and Glover, if that's your sound this is up your alley. Whether you can dig the sound and vibe or not, this is one killer set.
In today's Blues Connection We have not one but two fantastic features!!!
Firstly live from Australia is the brilliant Isaiah B Brunt. We'll be not only talking to this true genius of the Blues but also playing some incredible tracks by the man.
This guys got some cool things going on with his music, kind of reminds me of a early early John Mayall!
Isaiah B. Brunt came all the way from Sydney, Australia – the hard way.
“I went from Sydney, to L.A. to Atlanta, then to Nashville and took a bus to Memphis,” said the very dedicated Brunt of his 27-hour pilgrimage. “I would not recommend that to anybody.”
Brunt uses blues at home as part of an outreach program in neighborhoods where poverty and drugs present challenges for kids from the aboriginal cultures.
“You cannot just go into those communities,” Brunt said. “You have to be invited. Blues seems to bring happiness and hope to these places.”