Brian Fuente is one of Jackson's most talented young musicians. I knew nothing about him before going to listen to him for a writing assignment. I liked him, then became a fan. I wish someone in the business would give him a fair shake. He's really, really good.
Brian Fuente is a happy man. On Friday, January 9th, Hal and Mal’s is hosting his CD release party. Fuente has released his first solo CD independently. The disc, entitled Sky Down Here, is a collection of pop songs that shows off his strong singer/songwriter chops. Backed by Don Morrison on guitar, Joe Partridge on drums, Gabriel Golden on bass, and with an appearance by Rufus Mapp on percussion, Fuente officially puts in a bid to join the recent musical scene dominated by John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and others of the same style.
Sky Down Here is a strong opening bid, with a few songs – “Temporary Sugar,” “Everyday,” “Against Me” – that would not be out of place on any mainstream pop radio station, and with several of a more melancholy, introspective nature – the kinds of songs appreciated both by critics and by fellow musicians. It was recorded at Terminal Recording Studio in Ridgeland and produced by both Fuente and by well-known producer Randy Everett.
Sky Down Here has already been released to the college radio stations in Mississippi. Clinton Kirby, the program manager at WUSM 88.5 in Hattiesburg, says that Fuente is receiving regular airplay on the station and requests for his music come in fairly frequently. He believes Fuente has a future in the business.
“He has the sound to go places. He has the look to go places. He has that whole John Mayer/Jeff Buckley sort of vibe,” Kirby says. “This guy’s good.”
Kirby isn’t the only one who feels that way. “We think Brian is one of the most talented young musicians around,” says Charly Abraham, the manager of Hal and Mal’s. “We’ve had a good history with him and we’re tickled that he chose to do his release party here.”
Fuente is excited about the party. “We’ll be playing live Friday with a full band: Don Morrison, Joe Partridge, Gabriel Golden, and myself. I haven’t always done that. I’m looking forward to doing it with these guys.”
He also is excited about his future plans. He has put together a touring band and is currently working on the songs for the show. He wants to start doing small tours in late February.
“I’d like to do more weekend shows, try to get a booking every weekend out of town, and just do as much as possible to get the name out,” he says. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us. You don’t just go to Seattle and sell out a house. You have to work at it.” He even knows what he wants to see happen in the near future.
“What I’d like to do is to get on as an opening act for a touring band. Everyone has to start somewhere, and that’s where I’d like to start.” Until then, they need to make a name for themselves.
“If we can prove we can fill a room, then we shouldn’t have a problem,” he says.
On Friday night, Brian and his band will attempt to do just that at Hal and Mal’s. The Sky Down Here CD will be sold onsite for $8. If you prefer to wait to buy the CD later, it will be sold at Be-Bop Records around the state, and should be in most locally owned shops in Hattiesburg, Oxford, Starkville, and Jackson within a week. It’ll also be sold online at CDBaby.com.
Brian Fuente plays Friday night. Opening for him will be Todd Rowan, who will be touring with Fuente. Performances start at 9 pm. More information can be found at www.brianfuente.com.
Abraham offers a bit of good advice: “If you haven’t heard him, you need to catch him.”