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A newcomer hooks up with Nashville sessions greats for new CD.

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The Tennessee-based Jennifer Brantley Band makes its Ohio debut tonight, playing songs from its sophomore album, Picture This. Recorded over the past two years, the 10-song CD is stacked with alt-country twang, courtesy of journeymen guitarist Johnny Hiland and violinist Aubrey Haney. "Johnny is probably one of the best guitarists around now," says Brantley. "He's also very versatile. Aubrey is one of Nashville's all-time session greats."

Born in Florida and raised in California and Mississippi, Brantley traces her songwriting roots to the gospel music she heard in church as a child. Today, she credits the tunes of Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, and Willie Nelson for helping to shape her self-taught guitar-playing. For her first Cleveland concert, she's bringing a three-piece band that includes Hillbilly Idol's Al Moss, who will sit in on pedal steel guitar. "We try to let our audience get away from the hustle of daily life," says Brantley. "I want to express things other people feel or think, but can't communicate or don't realize is there within them. I want to write material that makes you tingle a bit when you hear it."
Fri., April 14, 8:30 p.m.

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