Singer/Songwriter Brenn Hill doesn't just sing about the American West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen. His most recent release, EQUINE, (2010) clearly defines what might be his most profound work to date, as well as a mirror of his growth as an artist over the last ten years. Its broad theme of horses, the cowboy¹s working partner, is but a pathway into and through his own personal journey. No longer just the observer or narrator of our Western story, but its strongest interpreter, life's trials and tribulations are also his raw material. Faith, trust and love are his guide.
Born into a 6th generation of a family anchored to the West and raised in Utah, Brenn and his music revisit the many stories that come from the land with a fresh, contemporary and personal twist. Home for the Hill's is Hooper, a rural community in Northern Utah where Brenn resides with his wife, three children and a cavvy of horses.
Like other award-winning recording artists, Brenn is committed to his music and the making of every album is a milestone. For each and every CD release in his fast-moving career, the title list is a key to a wealth of personal experiences and images. The making of EQUINE, rich with story and the added musical accompaniment of some of the best back-up players in Nashville, was that kind of synthesis.
Staying invincible is the underlying message of EQUINE, as well as several other albums that have come before. CALL YOU COWBOY, ENDANGERED and WHAT A MAN'S GOT TO DO come to mind. Throughout them all, Brenn¹s poetic lyrics revolve around recurring themes of hope, change, understanding and acceptance. As a son, husband and a father, he's no stranger to life's most meaningful rites and passages, and as a cowboy and horse rancher, albeit part-time, he knows what it takes to get the job done. "Time in the saddle is my payoff for the hard miles on the road, the gut-full of showbiz, and the time away from loved ones," says Brenn. "Horses bring me purpose in life. They provide a foundation and theme for my music and are an endless fountain of inspiration. In a way, horses write a lot of my songs."
"The foremost inspiration for my songs is people. My friends, my foes, my heroes - they are all sources of great inspiration for writing. I am fortunate to be a part of a genre and lifestyle that is people-oriented. I am able to call my fans my friends and vice-versa. They're full of rich life experiences and character that inspires me to dig deeper and deeper as a songwriter."
For those of us who've known his previous work and ridden the distance, we can gladly push replay at the level of accomplishment in EQUINE. The brilliance of sound engineering, musical creativity, and solid production hint at another of Brenn's admirable strengths - composition and orchestration. EQUINE sets a new standard.
Brenn Hill will undoubtedly be in the Western music picture for a long time to come, refining the ever-changing view of our national hero, the cowboy. His music continues to evolve. The future is often the most important time for a musical artist. Not that yesterday doesn't provide him or her with needed memories, glimmering moments and unforgettable people that might be immortalized in song, but tomorrow holds promise, the unexpected, new beginnings or much needed resolution, and the possibility of change. "Artistically, I¹m more at ease now than I have ever been," confirms Brenn. "As a young artist, I often felt caught between my own aspirations and the suggestive guidance of my mentors, critics, and fans. Some wanted me to be a "country" artist. Others wanted me to be a "cowboy" artist. Some wanted me to become a folk-singer. And the sheer need to make-a-living dictated the rest. In writing my last album, WHAT A MAN'S GOT TO DO and now, EQUINE, I realized that I am most satisfied when my art pleases me. There will always be critics and my peers and mentors may not always agree with my approach. But the torment of stifling creativity hurts far more than criticism. I write because I love to write and hope the best is yet to come."