Brett Dennen has a knack for breezy, feel-good folk-pop. He also has a new record coming out on Tuesday, October 22, called Smoke & Mirrors. Touring in advance of that album, Dennen will stop by the Barre Opera House in Barre this Sunday, September 1. So we shot him a few questions via email about the new joint and some other random stuff. Here's what he had to say.
SEVEN DAYS: When Loverboy came out you said in several interviews that it contained some of your most personal songwriting and storytelling to date. Did you continue in that vein on Smoke & Mirrors or did you take a different approach?
BRETT DENNEN: Yes. I went further. Even more personal. I figure the best way to reach people, or to ask them to relate, is to be totally honest.
SD: Otherwise, what can audiences expect from the new record?
BD: I think that people who are fans of my early music will appreciate some of the songs. I also think that those who appreciate my more breezy upbeat songs will be happy as well. It is a nice mix of feel-good and intimate music.
SD: You're often on the road and must see a lot of interesting music. Who are some artists you've come across recently who made you perk up your ears?
BD: Deer Tick. I got to play a few shows with them recently. Totally got on great with them and dig their whole vibe.
SD: On a similar travel note, what is the one thing you absolutely have to have with you when you're on tour? (Aside from gear and such.)
BD: I like to take a NutriBullet Blender. It's great for smoothies. I put a lot of greens in there to stay healthy. Also, running shoes. The best way to check out a town is to go for a run in it.
SD: If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be and why?
BD: Van Morrison. He's the king. I'd love to soak up some of his mojo.
SD: Who is your guiltiest musical pleasure?
BD: Sade. Love the quiet storm. She created a whole genre.
SD: As a fellow redhead, if you were going to to start an all-redhead all-star band, aside from yourself, who is in it? (Bonus question: What do you name it?)
BD: Willie Nelson. No one else. Just Willie. We can even call it Willie Nelson. I'll just be in his band.Brett Dennen plays the Barre Opera House this Sunday, September 1, at 7 p.m. $29/60. Chad Hollister opens.