Thirsty Thursday Featuring Brandon Blackburn
Thank you for chatting with us! For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about? I have had a love for music for as long as I can remember. There are pictures of me holding a Kawasaki toy guitar when I was barely old enough to stand (true story). My father played guitar growing up and was really into the 80’s hair metal. The love for that era of music definitely got passed down to me. I remember being in the back seat at maybe 5 years old, singing every word to “Poison’s Greatest Hits”. I got my first guitar for Christmas when I was in 3rd grade, and my dad taught me how to play a handful of chords, as well as the standard licks every beginner guitarist learns how to play (ex. Smoke on the water). The first song I ever learned how to play was Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and to this day that is still my favorite song of all time. I was definitely a guitar player by trade, and while I’ve always had a pretty good ear, I didn’t start singing until college. I would go out on Wednesday nights, get a few jack and cokes in me, and go hit karaoke night. That’s where I found the nerve, I guess you would say, to start singing in front of other people.
You recently released your debut single, "472." Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. Over the last 4 years, there have been many occasions where I’ve sat down and tried to write. I’ve had a few halfway decent things come from it but nothing that I truly loved, and I think that was in part because I didn’t really have a strong sense of inspiration. That definitely changed with “472”. I wrote this song about a long-distance relationship I was in. I was seeing someone in Nashville at the time, and anyone who’s ever done long distance knows, it can be a struggle not seeing each other often. Being a musician who is constantly on the road and travelling out of town didn’t make that any easier. I absolutely love traveling and playing places I’ve never been, but once I started seeing this girl, I found that instead of wanting to go on the road to these new places, all I wanted to do was make that long lonely drive to Tennessee. Those 472 miles from Orange Beach to Nashville were the only stretch of road I cared about. I was leaving Nashville one night heading back home and the idea for the song just hit me. Being vulnerable and pouring my heart and soul out was something I’ve never really felt comfortable doing. Having that inspiration helped me give in to that fear. I absolutely love how it turned out, and I hope the fans love it as well.
How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?This last year has been truly remarkable for me. I have experienced a ton of self-growth. I also made some significant changes to many aspects of my life, and they have all been for the better. I have continued to expand my reach and have played a TON of new cities, I landed my first credited acting role, I re-opened my heart and reconnected with someone very special to me, I grew closer to some old friends, and I started hiking and discovered a newfound love for the outdoors. The greatest highlight of this year however, was that on Sunday, July 3, I was baptized and welcomed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It has been one of the best years of my life, and I cannot wait to see what this next year has in store!
What is one thing you can tell us that most people don’t know about you and might surprise us? I am a closet nerd… I skipped 11th grade, and in college I actually graduated at the top of my class with a degree in finance. Also, Jeopardy is one of my guilty pleasures.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? I have been performing all over the gulf coast and most recently, the entire southeast, for the last 4.5 years. But I haven’t really gotten into writing my OWN music until very recently. I guess the goal of any musician is to be an entertainer. I want the fans to come to a show, and be able to enjoy themselves, be entertained, and escape from whatever they might have going on in their lives at that time. But as I’ve tried to get more into songwriting, my goal is to put out music that means something to me, and hopefully have it resonate or leave an impression on someone else that might be going through a similar situation. That would mean everything to me.
What is your favorite dish to cook? I’m a BIG breakfast guy, but I’m also pretty basic.. My go-to dish is four scrambled eggs with cheese with four pieces of bacon, extra crispy.
Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown?I moved around a lot when I was growing up so I’m not sure how to pick just one. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and I would say that my favorite place to eat would have to be Central BBQ. The best BBQ I have ever had, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the Memphis area! Do you have a food bucket list? I don’t have a specific “bucket list”, but every time I travel I like to try things that particular place is known for. Deep dish pizza in Chicago, clam chowder and lobster rolls in New England, key lime pie in Key West, etc. I’ve checked a lot of boxes but I still have a lot of work to do.
If I was a bartender, what would you order?This is the easiest question you’ve asked so far.. Jack Daniels and coke. Make it a double and keep em’ coming.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? I would love to be sponsored by Jack Daniels. Not only is it my favorite drink, but I feel like Jack is pretty on brand with my image. If you go see a Brandon Blackburn show, there is a very good chance you’ll see a Jack and coke in my cup holder. If anyone at Jack Daniels sees this, let’s talk!