Ronnie Brandt “Musician at Large”, Singer Songwriter
“Something keeps callin’ me, somethin’ keeps callin my name”
Ronnie’s first memory of hearing live music was when he was just a little kid living in Plainfield, N.J. in the early 1960’s “My dad let this doowop group practice in our living room because they had nowhere else to rehearse. He and his brother owned a pharmacy on main street and these guys would rehearse on the street corner, Dad brought them home out of the cold, where we had a big family room where they would sing and practice dance steps. I couldn’t believe the sound these guys made, it was an incredible influence on me” ( That group actually went on to become George Clinton & Parliament )
In the early 70’s his father owned a gift shop in Asbury Park NJ right in the middle of where all the music clubs were. “ You could walk down the side walk and look into some of those places and watch the bands play all afternoon, and that’s pretty much what I did. I really wasn’t playing an instrument at that time, I just knew I was drawn to the whole scene there.
My older brother and his friends played music in the basement, I sat on the steps and bugged them every day, finally, they gave me a guitar and taught me some chords.” Ronnie became interested in folk, country, rock and blues and learned tons of songs, he was mostly influenced by singer/songwriters such as Hank William’s, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, John Prine , Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and so many others. He loved the music but it was the words and stories that got Ronnie hooked.”By the time I was 13, I had read Woody Guthries “Bound for Glory”, Kerouac’s “On The Road”, and had my own copy of Carl Sandbergs; “American Songbag”. I also discovered the library of congress recordings by John and Alan Lomax, THAT stuff really sent me reeling, I also found , poets e.e. cummings, Lawrence Ferlingetti and so many more..”
The songs and stories of America and its rich history and landscape highly influenced his career path. As a junior in high school, Ronnie started writing words and music. By the time he graduated high school Ronnie was playing at music festivals and clubs all over the east coast .Before he went to college Ronnie left to go on the road with “Freewheelin’”, a country rock band based out of Texas. Ronnie was on the road traveling all over America opening for national touring acts, playing night clubs, beer joints, Live Radio and honky tonks. Upon returning to the east coast, he continued to work as a solo playing his music everywhere.” I wanted to record some of these songs in a studio, I’ve got so many tunes, hundreds of demos.but never made a “professional” recording.. my music was heard by the musicians who helped me record my first “official, studio “CD, including Eric Bazilian & Rob Hyman, of the Phildelphia based band “ The Hooters” The album was produced by Grammy nominated producer “ Skip Drinkwater”.
These guys helped me lay down the tracks on this collection of tunes,It was a fantastic experience working with everyone to make this record” the result was “Rudy’s Thread.” 2 years later Ronnie released another CD “Dig A Little Deeper” His records are distributed in Europe and the United States. Funny, even though the records are printed the songs will always feel like a work in progress, they just keep changing and growing.” (Ronnie has 4 studio albums, with the newest one “ Follow Your Footsteps” being released June 2013.)
With his desire to continue writing and performing, besides working festivals, coffee houses and clubs. Ronnie created a school program for elementary and middle school students called “ A History Hoe-down! , telling stories and singing songs,to educate them about our rich American history and landscape through performing music. “Its a great way to give back to the community and help educate kids about our musical heritage by such songwriters as Woody Guthrie, The Carter Family ,Hank Snow, Marty Robins, Johnny Cash and many more. The kids and teachers have fun and “This Land is Your Land” has become a favorite addition to many a schools assembly line up.”
So...here is an artist on the road forward, and as his own lyric suggests.............
He has....Miles behind him.....and miles to go