February 21, 2007

Michael Brennan takes part in ECMA’s

By Frank Macdonald, Inverness Oran

Singer-songwriter Michael Brennan took part in the East Coast Music Awards weekend in Halifax. The Inverside musician who has been playing out of Toronto for several years now came to Halifax to play in the 72-Hour Jam at The Palace, but primarily to attend the industry conferences that were offered to musicians.

Brennan has been staying busy in the country-folk music scene in Toronto and surrounding cities.

“We’ve been playing Ottawa, Kitchener, Peterborough, Oakville and other places,” Brennan explains, adding that it is usually with guitarist Steve Briggs. Occasionally they bring along a bass player.

Brennan’s first recording was with the Wayward Angels. Briggs was also a member of the five-piece band that Brennan still tries to get together, but the members are scattered throughout the city making music wherever they can.

Michael Brennan has added two recordings since the Wayward Angels. Two for the Road was recorded with guitarist Dave Tufford and is primarily a cover album. In 2005, at the Bankhead Pub in Inverness, Brennan released his solo album, Cautious Man, a collection of original material rooted to a great degree in his Cape Breton experience and absence from the island.

For the last seven years, he has been featured regularly each Sunday at Graffiti’s Pub in Toronto, but only for ten months of the year. July and August bring Brennan home to Cape Breton, performing throughout Nova Scotia during that time.

“Next summer, I’m planning a broader tour, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Halifax, as well as Cape Breton,” says Brennan who recently worked with Russell DeCarle of Prairie Oyster during Winter Folk, a festival of folk music held this time of year in Toronto.

Married to Joan Taylor of Inverness, they have two children, Sarah, 8, and Kate, 5.

While Cautious Man hasn’t received the airplay in Canada that Brennan would like to see, it has been doing better on the airwaves in Europe and the United States.

When not performing, Michael is finding time for new writing and has enough material to start thinking about his next recording, although the details are still forming.

At the 72-Hour Jam. Brennan sang several cuts from Cautious Man as well as from earlier recordings, including Rockabilly Ray, a Brennan composition that may find itself released as a single from the next or future album.