Influenced by a variety of musicians from the 1950’s to today, singer/songwriter Dan Brenner has a rich musical history. In fact, music runs in his blood. Because of his dad’s career as a musician, Brenner was playing paid gigs at the raw age of 13. With his father on drums and vocals, a young Brenner quickly gained skill on guitar and hand percussion, playing an important role in his dad’s band. From 13 onward, Dan’s goal was simply to “be a good musician.”
Now, upon the release of his new record, Dan has perhaps exceeded his own expectations. With sweet melodies, thick harmony, and an overall feel akin to pop musician Matt Nathanson or singer/songwriter Howie Day, Brenner’s All I’ve Got achieves a united sound, at times simply pleasant and other times deeply emotional.
Lyrically, his solo work is a departure from previous musical endeavors. Spending years as a member of Mark DeRose and The Way Home, Brenner has played upbeat, “feel-good” music with a Jack Johnson-style sound. Sharing the stage with well-known groups such as Gin Blossoms, Edwin McCain, Michelle Branch, Blues Traveler, Rusted Root, and The Bridge, Mark DeRose and The Way Home has greatly contributed to Brenner’s success in a competitive market.
However, with a wealth of experience, Brenner knew he could branch out and always had his own ideas—he just needed the right opportunity to transfer his ideas to music. That opportunity arrived when he began working with co-writers to achieve emotionally complex and, in some cases, sultry, sensual lyrics. Starting with a friend, J.J. Sheffer’s poetry, Brenner exercised empathy for common human experiences such as love, the ending of relationships, and everyday conflict in the writing of his songs. Brenner was unafraid to tackle even sensitive subject-matter, refusing to adhere to limits. With no boundaries this time around, the ultimate effect of Brenner’s music is one that is welcoming to all listeners and timeless in the sense that just about anyone can relate to it.
Aside from writing and performing, Brenner also teaches music at a local high school. He commonly expresses the belief to his students, “If you find something you like musically, you should chase after it,” and Dan certainly lives by his own credo. Humble and giving, Brenner plays music because he loves to do it, and in his new album, his passion shows. It stands as evidence that Brenner has the experience and talent needed to deliver music that is fun to listen to, easy to relate to, and soothing to the ear.