CD-223 Brennen Ernst "Blue Skies"
The question "why should I even pick this album up when this kid on the front looks like he has only been playing for a couple of years" might have come across your mind and your assumptions would be correct. In my years of playing music I have come across young musicians that could impress you with their skills but none more so than Brennen Ernst. Brennen is an incredible man and his musical ability and technique is so amazing it is hard to believe that 17 year old Brennen has only been playing guitar for 3 years. If ever I had to give the musical term "prodigy" to only one person, that musician would most undoubtedly be Brennen Ernst. This album is not just another album trying to showcase young talent, this is actual and mature musicianship full of great taste and great music.
Brennen has the ability to not only play blisteringly fast, as in "Cherokee" or "Alabamy Bound", but also has amazing musical taste. "Blue Skies," the title track, is perhaps one of my favorites on this album and Brennen plays this song so beautifully that one would be hard pressed to find a better instrumental version. With the song "Slow Boat to China," Brennen is joined by one of the greatest sax players in the D.C. area: Rusty Mason. A living legend, Rusty actually remembers "Slow Boat to China" being released the first time and his playing gives testament to his musical maturity with the sweet melodies brought forth from his horn. Brennen is also joined by John Jenson on trombone and Tom Mindte on vocals and mandolin. To be honest, you would be hard pressed to find a better band lineup for this kind of music. Accompanied on the mandolin by Taylor Baker, guitar by Danny Kincely, bass by Ralph Gordon, drums by Anders Eliasson, and fiddle by Casey Driscoll, these superb musicians help create the perfect musical atmosphere. Each and every one of these musicians are great individual players and they lend their skills to make the music on this album truly memorable. My dearest hope is that you enjoy the music on "Blue Skies" and keep a look out for Brennen Ernst as he continues to develop into an incredible musician.