Brian Mackey is spreading a message of
honesty to fans across the country with his eclectic blend of pop-rock and
folk-inspired lyrics. “My songwriting is really just an autobiographical
musical,” muses the New York based artist. “Ironically enough, I've never been
a fan of musicals.”
Mackey released his 4th release and first
full length album, "Broken Heartstrings" this on November 10th, 2014
(With pre-sale on iTunes November 4th). This release was co-produced by Brian
and his long-time producer Sam Ashworth, who also produced his Honest Love EP,
as well as several other songs on his "Red EP". Earlier this year, in
honor of Earth Day, Mackey released his single, "America", on April
22nd, which also is included on "Broken Heartstrings."
While 'Broken Hearstrings' was two years in
the making, Mackey comments about his ups and downs of the process:
"A lot of loss went on around me
during the entire process of making this album, both negatively and positively.
The name of it came about from my need to break away from an oppressive
relationship that tried to make me feel guilty during the entire time. I
decided that it would be appropriate to name this new release 'Broken
Heartstrings”. Not that my heart is broken - just the opposite; the bond has
been broken, the stuff that holds you back, a liberation, a new
“This album is about putting aside all
fears of saying the wrong thing,” he explains. “It’s about putting the rose
colored glasses on the floor and smashing them with your foot, and feeling
comfortable with the uncomfortable." Standouts on the project include
"Desire", "Are You Listening","Philadelphia" and
Some of Music City’s finest
singer/songwriter/musicians have joined Brian on his projects:
producer/singer/songwriter Sam Ashworth, son of songwriter and producer Charlie
Peacock (Civil Wars, Switchfoot, Amy Grant) and Six Pence None The Richer’s
guitarist Matt Slocum. On his upcoming album, "Broken Heartstrings",
famed guitarist Jeff King (Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood) and bass player,
Mark Hill (Keith Urban, Reba McEntire) both recorded with Mackey.
In addition to his new album, Mackey spent
the summer shooting his new music video for his single "America" with
friend and frequent director, Nick Cavalier and photographer, Andrea Coan.
Releasing on October 24th, CMT Edge exclusively premiered this new video with a
Honest Love was Mackey’s third EP. His
first EP, Feng Shui for Slobs, was released in 2008 and the second was Brian
Mackey Red released in 2009. Brian's first EP, Feng Shui for Slobs, garnered
the placement of "Painted Red" on the Disney TV show, Naturally
Sadie, a milestone achievement for his first EP.
Honest Love was so well received that songs
from the project were featured on Viso Music, US Airways In-Flight Radio, and
the Songs of Love for Japan compilation, alongside stars like Sara Bareilles
and Ani DiFranco. Mackey was also recently selected as a SuperCuts® Rock the
Cut Artist Ambassador.
Mackey’s songs, including “Color Blue” and
“Honest Love,” have also been sought out for use in motion pictures The Boys of
Abu Ghraib, starring Sara Paxton (Last House on the Left) and Sean Astin (Lord
of the Rings); 29,000 Wishes, 1 Regret, directed by Oliver Robins
(Poltergeist); Fake; and Fathoms Deep. "Honest Love" also garnered
some advertising and TV placements: Unicef's "Live Below the Line"
campaign, and "Out on the Road" in Travel Channel's, "The Layover"
with Anthony Bourdain.
“'Color Blue’ was written in a few
different places,” says Mackey. “It started out as a guitar song, after the
basic idea came from looking out my car window in the wintertime. I brought the
idea back into the house, worked on it there, and then put it out of my mind.
Later I went down to Nashville to record a different set of songs. On my break
I noticed a grand piano in the church, which was converted into a studio, and
finished the rest of the song on the piano and ended up recording it.”
Whether it is a winter view through a car
window or a morning sunrise, Mackey finds inspiration everywhere. “There are so
many experiences in life that you use to paint your picture. It could be the
smell of the air, or a look in the eyes of somebody that you meet along the
way. It could be a conversation with an old friend. It could be a TV show. It
could be a powerful romantic thing or something funny. It could be somebody
dying or somebody being born.”
The Florida native’s influences are as varied as
his inspirations. Mackey, a classical pianist, loves modern masters Bob Dylan,
Jim Croce and The Beatles as much as composers Mozart and Beethoven.