Hwy. 61 boasts an impressive lineup to complement Brandon's intense vocals. Max Drake is one of North Carolina's most recognized and respected blues guitarists. The solid rhythm section features bassist Chris Grant, an original band member, who, before joining Hwy. 61 in 1991, backed Lightning Bug Rhodes and Russ Wilson, considered by many to be the best swing drummer in the region.
Brandon's experience incorporates gospel as well as blues. In the 1070s, Clarence Carter recruited him as singer and keyboard player and Brandon later played with the R&B/vocal group, The Chi-lites. For much of the 1980s, Brandon became involved in the Carolina gospel scene.
From the jump blues opening of "Sugar Mama," to the boogaloo driven beat of "I'm a Hog for You," "I'm a Man of My Word" should help this fine gospel/blues crooner find a little more light out of the shadows.
New Moon Music, P.O. Box 3214, Chapel Hill, NC 27515
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.