On his newest release of original material, Eric Braeutigam - otherwise known as Brody from the deeply respected all-originals Americana band known as Brody & the Busch Rd. Trio - has released a solo album titled simply Blues Jeans & Misery that marks a detailed, natural, and unforced evolution of his songwriting and musical abilities. Accompanied by fellow musician Charlie Klein, the new work on Blue Jeans & Misery covers a free-wheeling tapestry of emotional growth and sharpened perspective that is lushly delivered through the production work of engineer Andy Reed.
While technically a solo album, Brody says he didn't really want his name or picture on the release so that the focus would be on the music. “I want the songs to be front and center, not me or my persona, so I created the name Blue Jeans and Misery for the project. Well, I didn't create it actually, I stole Blue Jeans and Misery from Mark Twain. It is a line in Huckleberry Finn.”
Brody says he began working on Blue Jeans & Misery about four years ago and was striving for something that would be readily distinguished from his earlier work. “At that time I had a lot of songs and was working with the Busch Road Trio, only was writing material that I didn’t think would actually work with the band, so started recording these fresh songs with the idea of putting out a solo album,” he explains. “This is actually the 4th or 5th version of that album and I kind of look at it as an evolving musical diary.”
Unhappy with his performances on the earlier versions because he didn’t feel they were good enough, Brody took a break, wrote a few more songs, and started visualizing a thematic narrative happening that would allow him to string the songs together to tell a more powerful story. “A couple of the songs like Can’t Breathe and See You Around, I had recorded earlier with the band, but wanted to give them a different incarnation”
“When I first started years ago I was writing poems and couldn’t really play an instrument, but Chris Little (fellow band-mate Coty’s older brother) taught me some basic chords, so I picked up a guitar and found some rhythms and started putting words to my music,” he explains. “Now I write both ways - I’ll hear these melodies in my head that go with my words and find that I revise my songs much more now than I did when first starting out.”
“It’s much easier for me to be honest with myself now,” he continues. “I’ll listen to a playback and see what I’m shooting for and know I can do better; when I was younger I had no idea my songs could become better than they were, which isn’t good for anybody. Once I became more honest with myself I realized the importance of revision. Plus, as I get older I develop different views of the world and see more and learn more, so it’s becoming easier to write something that isn’t 100 percent autobiographical. It’s easier to string these stories together.”
This approach is readily evident on such stand-out tracks as 3rd of July, which Brody says he started working on a couple years ago. “Once I wrote that song I was like, ‘Okay - this is a direction - I can relate to this story. That song showed me a direction to follow; and then I got Charlie Klein involved to help me flush out the musical direction.”
People can purchase a download of Blues Jeans & Misery of it on Amazon or iTunes, and they can purchase a physical copy of the CD on Amazon by searching Blue Jeans and Misery. It can also be sampled on YouTube.
Check it out - I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised and deeply moved.