As the guitarist for the two-time Grammy winning, 10-million album selling band Hootie and The Blowfish, Bryan’s guitar playing was ubiquitous in 1995, contributing to the biggest album sales of any release that year, and leading to what is now ranked as the 16th biggest selling album in music history.
Of course, success at that level brings with it all sorts of pre-conceptions, so when first hearing the tunes on Bryan’s upcoming third album Songs of The Fortnight, (August 11th, Chucktown Music Group).
It was after Hootie went on indefinite hiatus almost a decade ago that Bryan first went full-force into other areas of the music business beyond being a musician (though he continued to keep his chops up with his trio The Occasional Milkshake which appears on Songs of the Fortnight.)
As Bryan began to amass production credits on dozens of recordings, he also took greater advantage of a situation that, unlike his experience of working in expensive facilities under constricting record label budgets, allowed him to use his own studio and personal resources to record and release songs on the fly – first his own, and then those of other artists.
This process eventually led to the launch of the “Song of the Fortnight” blog, where Bryan posted a new song of his own, or an artist he was playing with or producing, every two weeks, for three years. Eventually, there was enough material for an album, which are the 11 songs compiled here on Songs of the Fortnight.
The album features ten Bryan originals, and an opening cut that is another nod to Bryan’s ease at throwing the spotlight; a barn-burning cover of Scruffy The Cat’s college radio favorite “Mybabyshe’sallright” (featuring frequent REM collaborator Peter Holsapple on harmonica.)
The upcoming album functions as somewhat of a capper – the “Song of the Fortnight” blog could have continued indefinitely if Bryan hadn’t received an offer to work for the College of Charleston, but the opportunity was right in line with his interest and continuing passion for elevating the local music community.
Mark Bryan’s third album Songs of the Fortnight preceded by the single “Forgetting About Me” arrived August 11th via the artist’s own Chucktown Music Group.