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J.B. Braden

 

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JB Braden is a native Texan who started singing publicly at the age of five. His father would say, “you need to get you a guitar son and get a style of your own.” Braden was given his first guitar when he was 13. However, being a lefty, he was unable to make sense of it so he hung it on the wall. A year later, he decided to turn the strings upside down and from then on he was able to play. But he soon put bass strings on the guitar and for his 21rst birthday he bought his first real bass. He spent the next several years playing bass in rock and roll, then country, dance bands.

Braden has been a songwriter from the beginning of his playing career sneaking in originals in his dance bands. A couple of his singles received local airplay in the Rio Grande Valley in the late 60’s and early seventies. However, his first experience playing original music to a listening audience was accompanying on bass long time singer/songwriter friend, Bob Jones.

In 1991 Braden teamed up with Michael O’Connor and started performing singer/songwriter venues with Braden alternating acoustic guitar and bass. It was then that Braden began to understand what his father had meant by getting his “own style.” Since then, he has been writing and performing his own music.

Braden and O’Connor released one four-song CD and opened for several Texas songwriters including Robert Earl Keen, Shake Russell and Junior Brown. Braden has also played with Texas Hill Country singer/songwriters Dan McCoy, Al Barlow, Brenda Freed and others.

Writing in a variety of styles including rhythm and blues, ballads, country and pop, Braden’s songs have been covered by Texas singer songwriters Terri Hendrix and Brenda Freed. Freed has recorded several of his songs. He has also co-written with other singer/songwriters including Freed.

Currently focusing on writing and recording his own music, Braden aspires to have other artists record his songs. Being an experienced versatile musician, he writes with acoustic guitar, bass and piano. He also plays mandolin and accordion, which add to his arrangements.

Braden writes from the perspective that “strict rhyme isn’t God, and saying a song is finished doesn’t mean it is.” Therefore, his songs sometimes break strict tradition in meter and rhyme. Being master of the re-write, he always ends up with a song that says what he wants it to say in the way he wants to say it.