About Branden Mann and The Reprimand
When the crisis comes, when the world falls down, when your heart sinks and you feel like you've got nowhere else to go, Branden Mann reminds you that you're not alone. Voted one of the best songwriters in Kalamazoo Michigan, Mann writes music as a form of therapy for himself. He believes that everyone has similar experiences, and that those who hear his music can find parallels to their own lives in the words that he sings. His unresolved interpersonal conflicts, questions about life and existence, and romantic and relational desires are laid bare in his songs. This honesty and openness is inspired by his study of religion, philosophy, communication, and relationships, and creates an instant camaraderie with those who hear his music.
Stylistically Mann has been influenced by artists ranging from Dolly Parton to Incubus, from the Beach Boys to A Tribe Called Quest, resulting in a sound that is simultaneously familiar and unique to a diverse audience. Mann often performs as a solo artist with his worn acoustic guitar that has become a sort of trademark for himself, and he also performs with his band Branden Mann and The Reprimand.
The core members of BM&TR are Branden Mann (Vocals, Guitar) Tommy Ufkes (Drums, Guitar), and Jeff Weller (Bass). Formed in 2007 with a slightly different lineup (internationally known one-handed bassist Bill Clements was the original bassist in the band and is featured on the band's "Get Down To Business" album), the band can be anything from a 2-piece (Mann/Ufkes) to a 6-piece powerhouse complete with lead guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and any other instruments Mann's musical friends decide to use to make their contribution. As a band, BM&TR have been compared to Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, The Black Keys, Wilco, Traffic, Dave Matthews Band and CCR, but the majority of listeners say that the diversity of the band's sound makes them a one-of-a-kind act.
One review of the band states that Branden Mann and The Reprimand "sound like an old blue-collar jukebox in an argument with an old-time tent revival preacher." Mann's musical influences, combined with his religious upbringing and subsequent questioning of the concepts he learned as a youngster bring this comparison to life. In 2009, BM&TR released their first full-length album entitled "Get Down To Business" - a live album recorded at a performance at Louie's Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo, MI. The songs on this album address philosophical debates (The Lord Is Not On Your Side, Trying To Do The Right Thing), communication issues (You've Got A Lot To Learn, I Threw In Some Words, The Benefit Of The Doubt), religion (Secrets, Brother! Sneakin' Lies!, Better Ways To Waste My Time), personal development (Don't Hold Me Up, Staring Down A Barrel Of Monkeys), and relationships and desires (Get Down To Business, Trouble). Included on this album is a song originally written by singer/songwriter Michael Knott that brings up the struggles that occur when it seems like nothing is going right (Double). Branden Mann writes songs for himself, but he also writes them for everyone else. Musically and lyrically, the songs of Branden Mann and The Reprimand are created to let the listener know that they are not alone, while giving them some good ol' foot-stompin, hand clappin' music as a backdrop.
Branden Mann and The Reprimand are working on a full-length studio recording that will be released in the fall of 2010, with a supporting tour throughout the United States. Be sure to check them out when they come to your town, and show them your support by purchasing their music and merchandise at shows or online. Find out more at brandenmann.com , myspace.com/brandenmannmusic , facebook.com/brandenmannmusic , and reverbnation.com/brandenmann.