"A modern day Hemingway." --The Glass Eye (Toledo, OH)
"His lyrics are a model of economical, unpretentious, narrative songwriting." --Boston Phoenix
Ian Brennan is a GRAMMY-winning producer (Best World Music 2011) with three other GRAMMY-nominated records (Best World Music 2015, Best Traditional Folk-2006 and 2007).
In the studio, he has worked with the likes of Kyp Malone & Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), Flea, Tinariwen, Lucinda Williams, David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), Nels Cline (Wilco), DJ Bonebrake & John Doe (X, the Knitters), Jovanotti, Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Bill Frisell, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jonathan Richman, Richard Thompson, and more. He has produced live-shows of up to 15,000 people in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington (DC), Portland (OR), Tucson, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and Boston with artists as diverse as Green Day, Fugazi, Merle Haggard, film-maker John Waters, Kris Kristofferson, Tammy Faye, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Vic Chesnutt, Peaches, and the Vienna Boys Choir.
His benefit concerts have raised over $100,000 for local charities and political causes. Additionally, he was instrumental in pioneering the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur as a music-venue by bringing the first national touring acts there in 2001 (Loudon Wainwright III, Jello Biafra, et al); created the "Live Nude Bands" benefit game-show; hosted a weekly free performance in a San Francisco laundromat for five straight years that resulted in three "Unscrubbed" CD compilations; wrote a local-music column for ZERO magazine from 1998-2001; directed the weekly cable-access show "Squawk" documenting the Bay Area arts community; created the first "Boxing Bush" online video-game; spearheaded the "Million Band March" (protesting misuse of artist's living-spaces by developers), booked the music for "Food Not Bombs" 20th anniversary free-show in Dolores Park; and had a recurring monthly guest-appearance during the years surrounding the millenium on Derk Richardson's "Here and Now" program on public-radio giant, KPFA. Also, he released nine solo albums, beginning in the pre-historic, vinyl-only days of 1987. A published poet (the "Fineline Thunder" anthology and Agape Magazine), he is the author of the books, Anger Antidotes: How Not to Lose Your S#&! (2011) and Hate-less: How to make friends with a f&#!ed up world (2014), as well as the novella, Sister Maple Syrup Eyes (2015), How Music Dies (2016), and Silenced by Sound (2019).
Most recently-- amongst other contributions-- Brennan's not-for-profit musical projects have helped provide musical instruments and legal support (gaining the release of some prisoners) for the Zomba Prison Project; life-saving neuro-surgery for the 13-year-old daughter of The Good Ones (Rwanda) leader Adrien, musical equipment, bedding, and roofing for the Malawi Mouse Boys; and the donation of over 300 sunhats for an albinism community in northern Tanzania. These music projects have also resulted in over twenty international artists obtaining passports and travelling outside of their respective nations for the first time in their lifetime, many of them elders.
Brennan was born in Oakland, CA and raised in the far east-bay (....and has proudly never taken a selfie).
'All recordings are ultimately 'field-recordings'. They document life (...or lack thereof), and arise from a specific time and place. If that place is artificial, then the results usually will be as well. Ultimately, any technology exists only as a means to convey feeling, and has little to no value, otherwise, in-and-of itself.' --Ian Brennan
"How can it be just that tens of thousands of 'artists' from cities like Los Angeles and London are given platforms, but entire countries are left voiceless globally? This mathematical absurdity of superiorness only mirrors society's greater inequities." --Ian Brennan