ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Bryan Cherry

Singer-songwriter Bryan Cherry and his band played a lively set at Ope Brewing Co in West Allis on Friday night.

Bryan Cherry’s style encompasses funk, soul, R&B and rock; he is also a poet. He sings and plays guitar while his band consists of guitarist Sean Williamson, bassist Matt Turner and drummer Dan Dahl. “Turner and Williamson I’ve been playing with on and off for about 15 years,” Cherry said. “Dahl just joined up this spring and he’s been crushing it.”

This year Cherry released two EPs, the first of which, “Trainwreck”, came out in April. He said about the EP, “My son is in first grade and one of his friends at school happened to be Hayward Williams’ kid…Hayward I knew from like 20 years back when he had a standing gig in Waukesha. We met at school pickup and we were talking about music, and he offered to help me out with recording. I sent him three songs three days later, and a week later he sent me the full band demos and it was mastered within four weeks.”

The second EP “The Power” came out in August. “That one was with a totally different band,” Cherry continued. “On the first record we had a guy from Boston playing keys and a guy from Chicago playing drums. On this one it was Sean Williamson producing it at his studio, and we’ve been playing together for so long that we were just having fun with no clock. This record took three months so I slacked a bit, but it’s been remarkable because this week we found out that Bandcamp reviewed the record and our name was in the subject line in the email blast…it’s crazy. Because of that, this radio station in Australia found it and it’s been in the top ten for their playlist this week. A radio station in Portland found it too, so it’s all really been happening.”

Cherry is already working on the next record, which he hopes to release in January. “I’m trying to put out three songs every three months, even though this one’s taking a bit longer. I have this song called “Shake It All Night” where I was trying to see what Jerry Lee Lewis would sound like if he wrote a Bryan Cherry tune. I’m also going to Nashville next week; every month I want to go somewhere that you can get to within six hours, and then do a longer tour next summer.”

Bryan Cherry has a monthly residency at The Jazz Estate where he’s hosting a poetry open mic and then does an hour-long set; his next one is November 10th. Then he plays High Dive on November 18th.

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