|
Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Piano prodigy to appear at Depot Days Sept. 29

  • A self-taught pianist from an early age, Brandon Giles, is a force to be reckoned with on the keyboards.
    • email print
  • Over the years, he has developed his own unique sound by taking the influences of rock 'n' roll artists such as Elvis, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Hank Williams, Jr. and Jerry Lee Lewis and combined that musical energy with a newer, harder rocking beat. "It's kind of like Little Richard meets AC/DC on steroids," says Giles. Brandon can showcase his style best when playing his original music. However, his live shows are infused with a mix of hard rocking honky-tonk classics, electrifying blues and boogie-woogie standards which will bring the audience to their feet and leave them wanting more. Giles was born in Magnolia, where he lived on a farm for 18 years. Working as a child in the fields of his uncle's watermelon and pea patches, he quickly realized that his real life's ambition was elsewhere. After high school he left for Jonesboro, where he attended Arkansas State University to study Communications and Art. While at ASU, he earned his real education on weekend visits to the clubs and honky-tonks in nearby Memphis. During this time, Brandon would make frequent appearances playing piano at Earnestene & Hazel's club. According to Giles, "I would play and sing in the saloons and the audience would tip me. It took about three seconds after that first dollar hit my pocket to realize that my pea-picking and watermelon-vine-turning days were over." Upon graduating from ASU, Giles made the leap of faith and moved his musical career to the true Music City, Nashville, Tennessee. Not long after hitting town he landed a regular gig at Nashville s premier outlaw honky-tonk club, Laylas Bluegrass Inn on historic Lower Broadway. It was there where Brandon quickly honed his craft into what he likes to call a "crash course of honky-tonk chicken-wire, brick wall, shotgun nightclub entertaining. Forget New York City, if you can make it (or survive) down there you can make it anywhere. Layla's has always felt like home for Brandon Giles and the Tricky Two Band. It fast became one of their favorite places to play, and fans can still find them there on an occasional Friday or Saturday night, rocking the house for wondering tourists and dedicated locals. Over the past several years, Brandon has played with many notable musicians on various projects. He has played with Les Paul in Times Square in New York City, appeared on Monday Night Football, and performed with Mickey Gilley at his theater in Branson, Missouri. Recently he has opened shows in arenas for Trent Tomlinson, War, George Jones, Trace Adkins, Darius Rucker, Juice Newton, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Joe Diffie, and Lee Greenwood. He has also played with the infamous Kid Rock and the legendary Ray Charles. Also in the fall of 2010 Brandon has been cast to star in an upcoming HBO About Brandon's Shows: Brandon Giles consistently gives an audience a sweat-infused, five-minute hard rock/boogie piano solo with the intensity of a wild man. Then after that, plays a heart-felt rendition of a beautiful country standard. “People don’t just like one kind of music. That’s a misconception that radio and record companies have…they want to chop you up and put you into a nice confined category. I'll bet that nearly everybody has different styles of music programmed into their car radios and it’s the same with a live show, we play rock, gospel, country, blues, you want to take them on an emotional journey.” Audiences leave breathless after each show. Girls love him, and go crazy when he invites one to personally sit across his piano and listen; while the guys rock out to their heart's content, and then sweep their dates up when he plays one of those beautiful ballads. Both can't get enough of his virtuoso piano skills and extremely charismatic stage presence. Few, very few, put on shows as good as Brandon, and none do it like him. He's truly a force of nature on stageminiseries movie titled "The Million Dollar Quartet" playing Jerry Lee Lewis.
      • calendar