Bart Bryant

Bart Bryant

Cutting his teeth working in venues on the east coast and in Texas, guitarist Bart Bryant has paid his dues as a blues rock man. His vision of what a great band should sound like is presented in his newest project, Backstage II, produced by Vic Steffens. The twelve-song set transports the listener into a packed club on a Saturday night to bask in the glow of a smoking hot R&B venue playing revved up covers of classics and four originals mixed in for good measure that are designed to fill a dance floor.

Joining Bryant are a cast of characters including bassist Scott Spray of Johnny Winter and The Rascals’ fame, drummers Bobby Torello,(Johnny Winter, Black Oak Arkansas) Alex Giosa, Tyger MacNeal and Liviu Pop (Bruce Katz band), as well as piano man Floyd Domino (Asleep At The Wheel), guest vocalist Simone Young-Brown and horn arrangements by Emmy award-winning “one-man horn section” Bill Holloman.

Robin Trower’s 1974 power trio archetype “Day Of The Eagle” is given a horn band makeover to open the set. The brass off continues with an up-tempo version of the oft covered Little Johnny Taylor soul staple “If You Love Me (Like You Say).” Domino joins Bryant for a stripped-down version of the slow blues standard “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” giving nods to both Otis Rush and Led Zeppelin. The big band interpretation of  Stevie Ray Vaughn’s deep cut “Empty Arms” has Bryant stepping on the shoes of one of his biggest heroes for a musical fantasy camp moment. His lowdown blues meditation “Pass The Pain” reveals the depth of Bryant’s emotional range. What album couldn’t use a little Elvis? Bryant and Co. do a spot on read of his 1960 B side “Mess Of Blues.” Taking cues from his 1972 London Sessions album the crew burn through a muscular horn heavy version of Muddy Waters standard “I’m Ready.”

Bryant’s neo-soul ballad “You Make Me Move” is a showcase for some fancy chops from him and Torello, and the rundown of “Born Under A Bad Sign,” stays true to the STAX original with just a touch more guitar firepower. Digging deeper into Buddy Guy’s new material Bryant draws out blue rocker “Whiskey, Beer & Wine” from the 2015 Grammy-winning album, Born To Play Guitar. The final two tracks are Bryant penned originals including the sensitive ballad “Out Of This Blue” and a tribute to Hitsville U.S.A., the joyous “Motown Groove.”

Rick J Bowen


How does a Connecticut transplant from Baltimore grow to pull off Austin-style hard drivin’ heavy Blues & Rock and Roll? While from Baltimore, his fluid vocals and Blues-Rock guitar style have entertained audiences in Connecticut and Austin, Texas since his teens. His solo acoustic and band (Current) work in New Haven, CT and the Tri-State area gained him access to producers. By the late 70s Bart started recording his original songs. Recognition also brought warm-up band gigs for national acts at Toad’s Place. Work with legendary artists like The Roches, Jorma Kaukonen, Poco, Pousette-Dart Band, Jonathan Edwards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aztec Two-Step, Pure Prairie League, Johnny Winter, John Butcher, New Riders of the Purple Sage all had influence on Bryant’s work & aspirations.

A 1992 move to Austin & the historic Sixth Street Blues scene deepened the influence of Texas blues artists. Association with Manager Carl Gill introduced Bart to Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel in ’96 and Bryant began recording at his studio, Bismeaux Recording, with Producer Frank Campbell. Campbell brought in star musicians Cindy Cashdollar and Floyd Domino to join club musician drummer, Richie Puga and bassist, Lannie Hilboldt. The project continued at Parrot Tracks Recording with NYC producer George Coyne. George added the talents of bassist Tim Dauncey and Drummer Ernie Durawa to the project. In 1998 the resulting CD, Bart, was released and debuted on KLBJ “The Loris Lowe Show”.

In 2005 Bart collaborated with singer-songwriter Curt Commander while performing in Houston with “The Tweeds” and “August Blues”. Recording once again in Austin with George Coyne at Parrot Tracks, they produced nine original songs featuring performances by Floyd Domino and Gary Primich. Commander ~ Bryant was released March 2001 and debuted on Eddie Russell’s Outlaws for Peace radio show, and, as a result,  Commander ~ Bryant  received regular airplay on radio stations throughout Europe and Asia.

Bart’s 2001 return to New Haven reconnected him with musicians from the early days. Bryant brought Brad Hallen, Paul Ahlstrand, Floyd Domino, and Ken Melillo together with some new players: Rob Liptrot, Paul Bartlet, Travis LaMothe, and Scott Aruda, to work with producer Ron Sutfin and released Feel Thing in 2005.

After years of focus on live performance, Bart assembled some old friends from Texas, club musicians from CT, and some new friends including Scott Spray to record a new project of cover songs. Through Scott’s introductions, Tyger MacNeal and Bill Holloman were added to the mix and in 2014 Bart released Back. Bart returned full circle to record where it all began back in 1979 – to work with Vic Steffens at AudioWest Studio where, in 2015, he recorded with two Rock star musicians, drummer Bobby Torello, and Bassist Scott Spray. In March of 2017 Bryant released “Desperate man” featuring five original rock songs which debuted on “The Big Tasty Show” and received regular air play on UConn Radio, WHUS. July 16, 2021, marked the release of ” Magic Mind” by Bart Bryant and Bill Holloman.





APRIL 26, 2024