SOMERVILLE, NJ - Saturday night's 3-hour performance by Hillsborough guitarist and songwriter Bryan Hansen, joined by his band mates of seven years, drummer Cwan :"Q" Merritt and William Blakey on bass guitar, was cathartic for the seasoned musicians, who are used to touring and playing weekly.
The COVID-19 pandemic however sidetracked their usual routine earlier this year, Hansen said in between songs, right after they had returned to their New Jersey home from a West Coast tour.
Last night's set on the Division Street Summer Stage seemed to rejuvenate the band, an animated performance that featured original music and covers of songs by the Dave Matthews Band, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and others.
The band is familiar to audiences in Somerville, having been regulars at the Dragonfly Cafe on East Main Street prior to its closing, and for the past five years at the Memorial Day weekend Tour of Somerville cycling races. The Brian Hansen Band has also been featured for several years on the Summer Stage.
Self-described as an "adult alternative rock band," their music is a mix of funk, rock, soul and R&B with music influences from Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Al Green and Victor Wooten. The musical trio has been compared to The Weeknd, Harry Styles, Maroon 5, The Jonas Brothers and Post Malone.
The band is familiar to audiences on the East and West Coasts, having played at the Winter NAMM 2020, House of Blues Anaheim, The Troubadour in WEHO, So Far Sounds NYC & DC, Asbury Lanes, The Wonder Bar, The Saint, Asbury Hotel, Laundromat Bar Morristown, Hamilton Stage at UCPAC, Maplewood Stock, Bowery Electric, West End Lounge, and Cava Winery in Hamburg, NJ.
In 2009, Hansen recorded his first solo EP called "Ebb & Flow," a concept recording about a relationship from beginning to end. His first full length album, Brothers Among Wolves, debuted in August 2013.
The album was recorded by producer Stephen Kaminski and featured 18 different musicians from the New Jersey music scene. After performing 86 shows with the studio musicians from Brothers Among Wolves, Hansen paired up with musicians William Blakey & Cwan Merritt to perform with him as a trio.
The band released its second album in 2016. 'When You Stop Pulling Back.' features singles "Tasteless," and "Tug Of War." The album is dedicated to Hansen's father.
Two years after the release of 'When You Stop Pulling Back,' the band returned to the studio to start work on their third full length album. 'Gas Money' was released in February 2019, featuring 8 new original songs created together by the band.
"We have a saying in the band that Q came up with, 'Make it Do What It Do.' It's our mantra," Hansen said. "Gets us through the rehearsals until midnight, performances, 6-hour recording sessions and pushes us to do what it takes to get through the day."
Further information on the Bryan Hansen Band can be found online at www.BryanHansenBand.com
The Downtown Somerville Alliance is sponsor of the music series, held throughout the summer and extending this year to the fall.
Yet to come::
9/26 - The Outcrops
10/3 - John Busse
10/10 - Terrance Haupt
10/17 - Venture to Zen
10/24 - The Paul Nagy Project
The weekly series receives support from local non-profit Arts on Division. Talent for the season is booked by local music/arts advocates Shawn Daley and Michelle Kassick, owners of Gallery on Main Street, located at 30 West Main St. in Somerville.
For more information, visit downtownsomerville.com or contact the Downtown Somerville Alliance at email@example.com. Also, Visit them on social media @DowntownSomerville (instagram) and @DowntownSomervilleAlliance (Facebook).
The Downtown Somerville Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation and the District Management Corporation for Downtown Somerville, NJ - one of New Jersey's premiere down towns. The district has become known for its colorful dining scene, flourishing retail, and up and coming arts and culture scene.
The DSA promotes balanced and progressive economic development and leverages the art of creating experiences that continue to bring a new and diverse population to Somerville. The DSA oversees infrastructure and beautification projects and works with historians and environmentalists alike to maintain and promote the historic charm that is unique to the district.
The Downtown Somerville Alliance is a TAPinto marketing partner.