Hailing from Oakdale, Northern California, pop singer-songwriter Brett Dennen is back over on our shores this time supporting the chart-topping, beatnik attired Paloma Faith including at date at Manchester’s Apollo Theatre on Wednesday 5 November.

Catching up with Quenched Music before his date in the Cottonopolis, Brett talked folk, home-schooling and the pitfalls of a burgeoning journalist using Wikipedia as a reliable source. Apologies.

There has been a renaissance of folk artists in the UK entering the mainstream in recent years with the likes of Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers all establishing themselves with chart dominance. Across the pond is this the same?

Yeah, those bands got big over here too. I don’t know what caused it. Don’t really have an opinion. I think they all probably just have songs people like and follow in the trends. I don’t consider myself to be a part of that kind of music so I’m not a good person to ask about it.

Do you feel the audiences react differently in America and the UK to your music?

Not really. It’s pretty much the same. I think our cultures are similar enough not to notice a difference.

Within the ten years you have been releasing music which track you have released is your favourite and perhaps one that you wished you had not?

‘Wild Child’ is one I’m really proud of because it’s so simple and has an immediate reaction. I don’t really have a song that I’m ashamed of enough to wish I didn’t release it.

In England at present there are various debates about the pros and cons of going to a ‘free’ school and being home schooled. What benefits do you have from the latter?

I spent so much time being creative in homeschool. I could have never received that in public school. I’m very thankful to, to have my mom be my teacher. I feel lucky, especially in those early years, to learn from the one I love the most.

You are a staunch anti-smoking campaigner. Do you believe E-Cigarettes really hold the key to bucking the smoking trend? Or just another excuse for people to use nicotine indoors and to a higher extent?

I don’t really know. I never said I was anti cigarettes. Someone has asked me that before and don’t really know where that comes from. Maybe wiki? Somebody else made that up. Not me. If people want to smoke, it’s their life, not mine.

For more information on the upcoming show you can visit the Manchester Apollo website here..

Words by Clive K Hammond


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