We sat down with Brandon Calhoon to learn more about his early introduction to the music he loves so much. Check out the Q&A below to learn how Brandon’s cousins, an old guitar and Kiss face paint impacted his life as a musician.
Q: What are your earliest memories of listening to music?
A: When I was a kid, I never stopped moving when I heard music. It took me to another place entirely. When my parents put on a record, I would dance around the house playing air guitar like I was performing on stage. My older cousins were big rock & rollers too, so I was hit with a heavy dose of Kiss and AC/DC early on in the late 70’s and early 80’s. During one of my earlier birthday parties, I insisted that my mom paint everyone’s face to look like the band members in Kiss. I don’t think the other parents in the neighborhood were very impressed.
Q: When did you first start playing music? What genres of music did you gravitate toward?
A: When I was 13, my parents bought me my first guitar. With that old raw guitar in my hand, something changed within me. I could feel it. The guitar helped me discover blues music. It spoke to me in a different way than the pop music you’d hear on the radio. That was when I realized I was different than most of the other kids I was growing up with in Beaverton, Michigan. While they were listening to the modern day hits of the day, I was sitting on the side of my bed learning BB King and Muddy Water licks on my trusted guitar.
Q: How has your past impacted your musical style now?
A: I still feel like a bit of an outsider. Some musicians try to make records to appease a certain genre or audience so they can “make it”–whatever that means anymore– but I like mixing it up to create the music that is in my heart and soul. For me, “Let It Ride” embodies past and present, both in the essence of storytelling and overall style of music. It’s a classic old school record with some modern flavor…very diverse in content and feel. Every song has its own energy, its own heartbeat, its own spirit, yet as a full-length record, it has a really cool, cohesive flow.