Toronto-based singer and songwriter Michael Brennan takes country music seriously — but his strong, distinct voice and his crack band put a sharp edge on the songs he writes. There’s sentiment in what he writes and sings, but hardly a trace of sentimentality.

Originally from Cape Breton, Brennan has released his third solo album: A Little Piece of Heaven is a roots rockin’ country record with heart and soul, set in the middle of a big smoky, busy city — but with a clear memory of where he’s from.

The new CD features the best crack rhythm section in Canada, Al Cross (drums) and John Switzer (bass) and the fine guitar playing of Steve Briggs, best known for his recorded and touring work with Russell DeCarle and Quartette, which features Sylvia Tyson.

Recorded essentially in a day with almost no overdubs, A Little Piece of Heaven is as big, as honest, and as real as the man who wrote the songs and sings them with the heart and guts they demand.

“A gotta-hear artist,” said Roots Music Report, based in Texas. “A country-rock hybrid,” said the Toronto Sun. Others invoked the names of a coterie of amazing artists — Roy Orbison, Steve Earle, Waylon Jennings, Neil Young and Nick Lowe among them in an attempt to put Brennan’s songs, voice and music in perspective.

All the songs are Brennan originals. More importantly, all the songs all have the ring of truth. A Little Piece of Heaven is as big, as honest, and as real as the man who wrote the songs and sings them with the heart and guts they demand.
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