Cory Branan: Mercury Lounge 1 October 2014

One of my favorite artists in one of my favorite clubs. Cory Branan is not only an amazing lyricist but he can shred an acoustic guitar better than any rock god.

Emilyn Brodsky opened with a full band for her record release party. The room was filled with friends, ex-boyfriends, and relatives. rtb and I were among the very few who were unfamiliar with her. And if you were wondering what Franz Nicolay was up to – he was in a relationship with Brodsky for seven years, produced her album, and he plays accordion, guitar, and banjo in her band. She really knows how to hold onto her old boyfriends. Another drove to Philly to pick up her CDs so she could sell them at the gig.

Brodsky is only 28 but has been around for a long time. She was in punk bands before going out on her own. As a teenager she used to sneak into the Mercury Lounge and at 15 years old she met Steve from Blue’s Clues, who asked her if she knew where to score some cocaine.

Brodsky plays ukulele and has a voice that reminds me some of Ingrid Michaelson. The set was pleasant enough and Brodsky is engaging but I didn’t rush out to buy to her CDs.



Cory Branan enters the stage with just an acoustic guitar and fills the room with his talent and wit. He started with one of my favorite songs “The Corner” (Out on the corner of what I want, and what I intend to get/day drinking and dreaming of you, I let/the ashtray smoke my last cigarette) and immediately went into two more of my favorites – “The Only You” (I hear you got another boy/I hear he looks a lot like me/This one come with some kinda guarantee?/I got me another girl/She looks like you- at 23/But while she sleeps I trace the places/Where your tattoos used to be) and “Survivor Blues.” Cory told us that Bloodshot Records is coming out with a cover album and Frank Turner is covering “The Only You” and Chuck Ragan covered “Survivor Blues” in such a way that the song now belongs to him.

Cory seemed a little off and he explained that he had driven all night from his last gig in Philly and met up with his wife and 8 month old son who had flown in and spent the day visiting relatives and enjoying the city. At one point he called out for his wife and asked her for her request, which was his latest new song. His 8 month old was sound asleep in her arms (ears well protected).

Not only are his lyrics witty but Cory’s guitar playing is phenomenal. Fast, slow, sliding, plucking, banging – he’s got an entire band there in his hands.


The Corner
The Only You
Survivor Blues
Sour Mash
The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis
The Freefall
C’mon Shadow
Missing Your Fierce
Imogen (new song)
Skateland South
Daddy Was a Skywriter
A Girl Named Go



By Carene Lydia Lopez