CONTACT BRIAN

The article below was originally published in
The Weekend Spin on 4/14/2006 by Bill Chapin
The Weekend Spin is published weekly by the Times Herald Company

CREATING A STAGE PRESENCE
SONGWRITER, BAND READY FOR TIME IN THE SPOTLIGHT

BrianOn Tuesday night inside Robert Kerrigan's RAK Studios in Port Huron, the Brian Linne Band was preparing for its big debut April 26 at Military Street Music Cafe.

xxxx"This is three-part harmony here, too," Linne told the band.

xxxxWith that, Linne, Kerrigan and David "Kooj" Kujat started belting out an acappella version of the serenity prayer - the one that starts, "God please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

xxxxLinne certainly has been granted a dose of courage to change the things he can. An amateur guitarist and songwriter for 20 years, Linne decided he was going to do and spend whatever was necessary to get his songs out of the living room where people could hear them.

xxxx"He has a lot of drive and determination," said Kujat the saxophonist. "He's really going at it full force. I give him a lot of credit, and I believe he's got good material."

xxxxLinne started almost five years ago by hiring Kerrigan to help him make a CD. Kerrigan brought in Dave Taylor of Not Guilty to record the drums. Linne pays them all to record his songs - a second CD is nearing completion - and rehearse twice a month.

xxxx"I can't get the buddy down the street to play with me," said Linne, a pharmacist by day. "I need high-quality players, and that's what these guys are. They feed off each other and take it to another level."

xxxxBetween Linne's 12-string guitar and Kujat's sax solos, the music has a soft, jazz-rock fusion vibe, recalling such '70s singer-songwriters as Van Morrison. (Among the few cover songs the band does are Brown Eyed Girl and Moondance.)

xxxxFor all his confidence in his songwriting, Linne has little faith in his performance abilities, especially compared to his band.

xxxx"I'm the weak link to the whole thing," he said. His gig last year at the Roche Bar in Port Huron "was the first time I played out of high school."

xxxxHe now does solo sets on Saturdays at Bean & Brew Co. in Port Huron. Performances with the full band are rare, however, which is why he is excited about the upcoming show.

xxxx"I'm getting better all the time," he said. "I'm the type of personality that doesn't quit. I just got to keep working at it."