urbanhillbillyquartet .com

Erik Brandt's Press:

“Giving himself the freedom to explore all possibilities, St. Paul, Minnesota singer/songwriter Erik Brandt lets go with his eclectic, third solo project, “The Long Winter.” The frontman for the Urban Hillbilly Quartet steps out here with his own dark-but-hopeful blend of folk, country, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz.”
Janet Goodman. Music News Nashville. April 2012

“The Long Winter” is Brandt’s third solo slab and the best thing I can say is that it has me wanting to explore his entire back catalog. Brandt mixes elements of rock, country, jazz and folk into the enjoyable 11-track release that consistently piques my interest.” Jeffrey Sisk. The Daily News (PA). Feb 2012

"The Long Winter by Erik Brandt is a beautiful album. What really blows my mind and influenced my thinking is the continuity of the performance. A "must buy" album." John Shelton Ivany. May 2012

“If superlatives come strong enough to do master singer-songsmith Erik Brandt’s The Long Winter (House of Mercy Recordings) justice, they escape this reviewer. Long-time head honcho of storied veterans the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, Brandt pulls off a true tour de force with ingenious, eclectic originality, some of strongest songwriting you’re likely to ever come across. ... Bottom line, the man is a musician’s musician. Erik Brandt’s The Long Winter is one of those rare finds you’re going to find yourself yammering about to friends, family, and anyone else you can get to still long enough to listen.”
Dwight Hobbes. Tcdailyplanet.net Mar 2012

“Heretofore known as a rootsy/Americana tunesmith, Urban Hillbilly Quartet leader Erik Brandt branches out into rockier and stormier territory around some raw, moody ballads on his new album, "The Long Winter.””
Chris Riemenschneider. The Star Tribune (Mpls). Feb 2012

“Brandt and his supporting cast of collaborators certainly throw their stylistic net far and wide with this collection, taking in sweet 'n' sharp power-pop with a Jayhawk-esque slant on opener ‘Greater Than’, to crunchier country rock on ‘Don’t Let It Happen To You’, to the fairly standard low-slung Blues-Rock of ‘Anywhere But Here’. But even by these standards, the hushed bluesy jazz of ‘Thoughtless’ (including clarinet solo) near the album's close is a curveball that somehow pays off well.”
Ian Fildes. Americana-uk.com. April 2012

‘The Long Winter,is a very catchy, poppy, and approachable record that just about anyone could listen to ...It incorporates a little bit of everything, from Swing and Americana to synth– driven dream pop.”
Daniel Erickson. Muzikreviews.com April 2012

“If you like songwriters who write intelligent lyrics and really have something to say, then Erik Brandt is right up your alley.”
Kristyn. Pop Culture Madness. June 2012

“Sometimes...an intimate disc that’s sprinkled with Hungarian music influences but loaded with the kind of wide-eyed lyricism and sense of displacement that most of us would get from living in a foreign land for a year.”
Chris Riemenschneider. Star Tribune (Mpls, MN) Jan 2009

“...this St. Paul singer/songwriter has come up with a diamond in the rough, well-crafted richly romantic, Jayhawks-evoking country-folk recorded with loving clarity...”
Jon Bream. Star Tribune (Mpls, MN) Jan 2009. For Sometimes

“Brandt is one of those dyed-in-the-wool craftsmen who constructs his sound with rich, authentic textures. “Ramblin’” is some of the most beautiful bluegrass music you’re going to come across. Out of the Tom Rush and Gordon Lightfoot school, it’s one those sardonic “travelin’ man” tunes that stays with you from the first time you hear it. The sweetly mournful “Who Am I Making The Bed For When You Aren’t Here” is classic. “Ain’t Broke” is a jaunty romp with sharp lyrics, funny as hell. .... All in all, Sometimes makes for fine listening.” Dwight Hobbes. www.TCDailyPlanet.net. Jan 2009

“What a splendid new album. Each song a treasure. Lyrical leaps and melody abounds with a rare variety that makes a full album entertaining.
A winner for sure”
Eddie Russell. Int’l DJ “Country Eastern / Outlaw for Peace”

“High school English teacher by day, roots rocker by night, Erik Brandt...the literate, folksy and wry St. Paul singer/songwriter and his Urban Hillbilly Quartet have played the Twin Cities airwaves and bar rooms for about a decade now.” Andy Moore. The Isthmus (Madison, WI). Feb 2007

“Touring indefatigably whenever he can break away from teaching high schoolers words like “indefatigable” as an English teacher for years, Erik Brandt and the UHQ are always a delightful discovery for audiences.”
Linda LaFianza, Phantom Tollbooth. Jan 2004

“Erik Brandt, singer/multi-instrumentalist with the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, skillfully

spans a range of genres as broad as his travels—from Oakland, Calif., to British pubs to Australia. Brandt’s vocals, at times fiery and at others plaintive and haunting, melancholy piano and quirky songwriting make for a great CD accessible to everyone.” Cyn Collins, The Pulse. March 2006

“Local songwriter Erik Brandt leans toward the rootsier side of rock with the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, but he’s given himself a chance to stretch stylistic muscles on his first solo disc, Green Eyed Alone. Brandt still plays plenty of Wilco-esque Americana, but he also weaves in somber piano instrumentals...”
av club. The Onion. March 2006

“Erik Brandt of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet introduces his excellent new solo album, Green Eyed Alone—a warm and engaging disc which has great potential to find an audience outside the normal alt-country circles.”
Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press. March 2006

“Another CD from the House of Mercy that oozes heart, Erik Brandt of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet is issuing his first bona-fide solo disc Green Eyed Alone. Echoing the Jayhawk’s piano-fueled twang-pop, the album incudes a lot of Brandt’s UHQ cohorts and guest vocals from Tim O’Reagan.”
Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune. March 2006

One of the best albums this year is already out, but you probably haven’t heard of the artist behind it: Erik Brandt. Green Eyed Alone is the singer-songwriter’s first solo album, and though I’ve enjoyed his work for years as the front man of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, his latest is definitely his best.
Rob Blackwell. The South County Chronicle (VA) May 2006

Solo album proves to be a career high. This is the true spiritual centre of Americana David Cowling. AmericanaUK. April 2006

Brandt’s eclecticism just leaves you with a constant sense of refreshment. His stylistic curveballs aren’t so sudden that you’re taken aback, just impressed. David Brusie. Rift Magazine (MN) May 2006

From the unforgettable, three-four swing of “Shooting Star,” to the poppy charm of “Dent,” Brandt successfully combines cultivated musical sensibility with lyrical shrewdness. Recommended if you like the Jayhawks, Ryan Adams, Wilco Daniel Amos and Ticklepenny Corner
Greg Adams. The Phantom Tollbooth. May 2006

“These concrete jungle hayseeds from the wind-whipped plains of St. Paul are fervent eclectics, liable to wander into funk, Arabic, or Irish music at the drop of a hi-hat. But their true allegiance is to bands like the Flying Burrito Brothers and their descendents, who like to mash together country,
bluegrass, and rock n’ roll.”
Rick Mason. October 2003. City Pages. (Mpls, MN)

“Amelia’s Boot is a gem of an album. If Brandt and UHQ continue to make these kinds of evolutions, I have no doubt that we’ll soon be brandishing words like “masterpiece” and drawing comparisons with albums like Fisherman’s Blues.” Tim Porter. 2002. Paste Magazine

“...totally devoid of any cliché. Roots music at its best and refreshment for my ears!”
- Mike Rimmer, CrossRhythms Magazine. United Kingdom. (9 out of 10 stars)

“When Americana meets the first Poi Dog Pondering record with some harder rock edges, this is what you might find. Fun stuff from the northland; full of promise.”

Timothy Lynch, DJ. Melbourne, Australia. Regarding Beautiful Lazy

“UHQ pushes Americana’s boundaries beyond breaking point on “Amelia’s Boot”, throwing smoky jazz, funk and even punk doo-wap into the brew.”
Peter Bate (UK) Americana-uk.com

“Part of the fun of listening to the Urban Hillbilly Quartet is spotting the musical influences which make up their indefinable and unique sound. The musical threads are multifarious—country, rock, jazz, blues, folk, eastern-European (I reckon there’s even a hint of Scottish caleidh band in there); all sewn together seamlessly.”
Ronnie Payne (Scotland), Phantom Tollbooth. Feb 2004

“The band blends electric guitars, accordions, fiddle and other instruments into a sound that fills the space nicely between the Grateful Dead and Uncle Tupelo.” Rob Thomas, Wisconsin State Journal: Capital Times. March 16. 2000

“It’s a great sound—folk rock that’s crunchy enough to be taken seriously without being overly self-important. It’s amusing, heart-rending, joyful, danceable, groovy, funky, graceful, tough and tender.”
Catherine Idzerda. March 27, 2003. Janesville Gazette (Janesville, WI)






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