The son of RCA country recording artists Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody, and brother to the late jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, Denny Breau has been a professional musician for more than three decades and was the youngest inductee ever in the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. He’s a sought-after session player, has written jingles for TV and radio, and was a founding member of Turkey Hollow — a roots music trio made up of Tom Rowe and his son, Dave Rowe (Tom Rowe passed away in 2004, Dave and Breau continued on as a duo with occasional performances around the country).

It’s as a solo performer this man has shone the brightest, and with the release of his new CD “Mirror in the Camp” Breau is ready to thrill his fans once more with his deft playing and heart-felt singing. He will celebrate the release of that new album with a concert at Slates Restaurant in Hallowell on Monday … and to that end a phone interview was arranged.

Q: I understand that you have a busy couple of days coming up?

BREAU: That’s correct. We’ve got the Lenny Breau Memorial Scholarship Concert — the third annual — coming up on the 13th, and then on the 14th there’s a CD release party at Slates.

Q: Where’s the memorial concert being held Sunday?

BREAU: That’s at the Franco-American Heritage Center downstairs, at 46 Cedar St. in Lewiston, and you can go to my website (dennybreau.com) for the whole list of the people that are going to be there. Oh, and while you are at the website you can also find out all about the Slates’ show, too.

Q: Will the musicians featured on the new album be in the Hallowell show?

BREAU: No, actually, I’m probably just going to do it by myself. I may bring my lovely wife along with me — I’m not positive, we’ll see how it works out.

Q: I believe this CD would lend itself to a solo performance.

BREAU: Well, you know when I write my tunes, I kind of keep that in mind that most of the time I’ll be performing them solo; and, I don’t know, it just seems to me that if you have to have a band to sell a song then you maybe need to go back to the writing board, you know? I kind of like to think that the songs will stand on their own, you know, as a solo artist performance.

Q: Listening to your guitar chops on this album you get a full-band sound with just 10 fingers, you know what I mean?

BREAU: Well, thank you very much — I appreciate the compliment. One of the things on the wish list for my CDs from the fans is that there’s not enough guitar picking, so I thought this time I would include a few tunes that I’d have a chance to stretch out on. There were actually a couple more that didn’t quite make the CD that’ll probably make the next one. It gives me a chance to showcase some of my other abilities besides singing and songwriting. Certainly, playing electric guitar is one that has been with me since I was a young boy and I kind of got away from that doing the acoustic thing. So this album gave me a chance to kind of dip back in there a little bit and get a few licks on record … I guess that’s kind of the reason, you know, just to give the people what they want. Oh, and the other thing I always get is: “Do you have an album with just guitar on it?” and I don’t and I’m working on it so I’m going to rectify that, hopefully this year coming, you know? In 2012, I hope to release a CD of some original and some standard instrumentals.

Q: Will it be electric or acoustic or a little of both at Slates?

BREAU: Actually, it’s probably going to be just acoustic. Just my acoustic guitar and myself. I do use a looping machine so that I can get some soloing in. I mean, you never know — there could be some guests show up, you never know.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

BREAU: Oh, gosh, just to get out there and support your local musicians, I think, is probably the thing that I would say the most. In these times of unemployment and uncertainty and all of that there’s joy to be had in music — you need to keep the arts and music alive and get out there and support your local folks … don’t ever get the attitude that you’ve got to be from away to be any good.

Lucky Clark has spent over four decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.