Get It Going
Above: “Hug Me For Real” co-writer, cellist, and co-featuring Gretchen Yanover
“A crooner/songwriter with a love of wordplay and a hot band.” –KUNM Albuquerque
1.) Get It Going*
2.) You’re A Mean One
3.) We Met Online* (featuring Josephine Howell)
4.) Song For Josephine
5.) Hug Me For Real*
6.) The Only Way
7.) Randall Lo’ Dowd
8.) Jumping Jack Flash*
9.) Cruel World
10.) Ode To Billie Joe
11.) Shoup Shoop
12.) Jazz Songs And Lovers
* – Key tracks
All tracks FCC Clean
“There is an undeniable power in Billy Brandt’s vocal approach comprised mostly of his varied originals. ‘You’re a Mean One’ grooves along on a bed of funky Hammond B-3. Another standout is ‘Cruel World,’ driven by funky, elastic guitar work. A cleverly arranged retro-swing rendition of the Jagger/Richards classic “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” settles into a nice groove, delivered with a sly attitude that serves the tune surprisingly well. Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” is delivered with a slinky funk syncopation and charged up with a stellar guitar solo from Monroney, while Brandt spins the slightly mysterious and odd narrative with the inflection and delivery of a born storyteller.” —Ear Shot Jazz
“To call him a singer-songwriter is over simplistic. His words paint pictures, his songs are stories. And then you have his voice, busy and soulful, rich, powerful, and textured. His influences are many, but his style is very much his own. He cleverly utilizes a superb collection of Seattle-based musicians who understand exactly where he’s coming from. The fact that Brandt records his own material and isn’t constrained by the shackles of a major label means this is about as honest a collection of songs as you’re ever likely to hear. Do yourself a favor, get a copy, pour yourself a glass of bourbon, turn the lights down low and mellow out in an amber glow.” —Black Sheep UK
Seattle-based Billy Brandt w/ the Thing & the Stuff Band is the latest top contender in the groove tradition. His music seems unconcerned with popular trends, just committed to excellence in musical execution. Billy’s lyrics adroitly use simple stories to tell tales of desire and daily spiritual truths, his songs bringing back a jazzy authenticity to modern songs about city living. Imagine a smooth deep voice and swinging rhythms drifting from a vintage stereo in a dimly lit black and white photograph.
The title track Get It Going brings the album into being with lyrical confessions about being “a working man, and a working man’s tool,” and how the hero said “’hello’ and then said ‘hell, no.’” Billy’s vocals have working-class appeal that radiates masculine charm and chutzpah. Picture a voice like dark roasted coffee with a hint of cream. Over twelve new selections, Get It Going reflects a diverse array of influences invoking Gregory Porter, Frank Sinatra, and Mose Allison.
The album is full of melodies and rhythms made in a salient style with a gritty poignancy and presence. The smoldering first single and original video, “Hug Me For Real” featuring cellist Gretchen Yanover aims straight for the heart. On “Song For Josephine,” Billy elegantly rhapsodizes over the vocals of friend and musical muse Josephine Howell, and then brings the real life Josephine in for a playful duet titled “We Met Online.” Also among the many gems, Billy and the band’s inventive take on a funky yet swinging “Jumping Jack Flash,” really stands out with an intro / monologue reminiscent of Lou Rawls’ early Capitol years.
Placing a high value on collaboration, Billy is inspired by the wealth of talent in the Seattle arts community. For the past six years, he has performed and produced the highly successful variety shows The Big Gig and The Big Giggle. Armed with persuasion, stage presence, and his rockin’ group The Thing & the Stuff Band, Billy consistently charms audiences. He and the band perform regularly at nightspots across Seattle, including the Triple Door, the Musicquarium, the Columbia City Theater, Tula’s, 13 Coins, and Egan’s Ballard Jam House.