Corey Branan plays Fayetteville, Little Rock Feb. 17-18

<br>Corey Branan plays Fayetteville, Little Rock Feb. 17-18

Cory Branan has been touring for so long that he learned to write on the road.

“For years, I didn’t write on the road,” Branan says. “Then, when I had my kids, I figured I need to learn to write when I’m away. I used to write when I got off the road; I’d still have that energy from being on the road.”

After 20 years on the road he says, “before I turn the key in the van, I just have to start free-associating,” exploring rhythms and ideas without letting too much of the outside world filter into his process.

Branan grew up just south of the Tennessee state line near Memphis, which is known for music. He says that the closeness didn’t have as much of an impact as one would guess.

“Some of the stuff you just can’t wash off. Half the stuff I write comes out country but just because I come from around here,” he says. “Equally, I was influenced by growing up at the same time as MTV. I was just glued to the TV. I was exposed to all this crazy pop in the best sense of the word across the board, different kinds of stuff.”

Also, an influence is the Memphis rock band Big Star.

“First time I heard Big Star, I was just like, holy crap, there it is,” he laughs. “I embrace a little bit of the garage, blues stuff that came out of here.” While he’s a fan of the soul music that comes out of the Delta, he says he tries to stay away from that influence.

“Mainly because who needs a white boy singing blues?” he asks with another laugh.

Branan is touring in support of his latest album, “When I Go Ghost,” and has two stops planned in Arkansas. He’s playing Heartbreak House in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. Feb. 17, and he heads to White Water Tavern in Little Rock for a show at 8 p.m. Feb. 18.

“I just recently played there with American Aquarium,” he says of his recent Fayetteville show. “It’s nice to come back so fast because it had been years before that.” He adds that he lived near the castle at Wilson Park back in 2006 and stops here on the way to visit his daughter in Tulsa.

“It’s not such a little town anymore,” he adds.

“When I Go Ghost,” is Branan’s sixth album and features Jason Isbell, Garrison Star and Brian Fallon.

“Since the first record, I just always have my friends on the record,” he says. He’s also worked with Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Amanda Shires, and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) who have been included as featured guests on previous records.

“I’ve just been doing this so long. I’ve just been lucky enough to fall in with people that I’m fans of anyway,” he says. As for the rest of 2023, he’ll be in his van thinking of new songs for sure.

“I’ve got the old stack of 100 or so songs sitting around, but I’ll probably only be interested in the ones that I write this year.”

Tickets for the show at Heartbreak House, located at 229 N. Block Ave., are $25 at Eventbrite. A link for tickets is available at Tickets are $20 for the White Water Tavern show.


Corey Branan

WHEN & WHERE — 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at Heartbreak House in Fayetteville; 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at White Water Tavern in Little Rock

COST — $25 Fayetteville; $20 Little Rock


Categories: Music