Brent Hutchinson

Doing Between 150 and 200 shows a year both solo and in a power trio, self-managed Brent Hutchinson is one of the hardest working up and coming Blues Rock Musicians Today. Inspired by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Robben Ford, Eddie VanHalen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Robin Trower and many other great guitarists, Brent is known for his explosive brand of Rock 'N' Rolling Blues. Which is also punctuated with sweetness and subtlety in just the right places. That special intense guitar playing is complimented by strong, clear vocals. 

Brent learned his craft as part of The Red House Blues Band, Double Cream, Planet Graffiti, and The Offenders. Brent recorded two albums with his band Planet Graffiti between 2009 and 2013, enjoying two UK tours with award winning American tourists The Billy Walton Band, and he has shared the stage with other top talents including Hamilton Loomis, Danny Bryant, Ryan McGarvey, Rob Tognoni, and Rebecca Downes.

With the recently formed Brent Hutchinson Band, Brent is taking his own music and profile to the next level. Even as Brent's recent E.P, 'This Is Me Now', produced by Gary Shaw, is being enjoyed by his fans, a brand new album of full band tracks is now out and getting rave reviews. The album has followed hot in the heels of a superb live review in Blues in Britain magazine and very well received performances supporting Rob Tognoni at The Beaverwood Club and Rebecca Downes at Club V.

2017 has seen Brent and his band hit the ground running opening for Stevie Nimmo, Mike Zitto, Danny Knowles as well as their own Headline shows and Festivals Such as Blues at Barleylands, Woodsbury Blues Fest and coming up The Upton Blues Festival, Tuesday Night Music Club and The Bullfrog Blues Club to name just a few. The Band also earned a place in the IBBA top Picks for May and placed in the top 40 most played!

Brent and the band are working hard to get the recognition they deserve and are preparing to tour Europe and the U.S.A in future. Brent Hutchinson “..the best guitarist you have never heard of…” Blues In Britain….. YET!! 

PAST PERFORMANCES INCLUDE As well as 100s of clubs and bars across the whole of the U.K. The Upton Blues Festival, The Cluny Newcastle, The Greyhound Nottingham, The Beaverwood Club Chistlehurst, The Boom Boom Club Sutton, The Half Moon Putney, The Elm Hall Hotel Rock and Blues Club, The Bell Inn EnfIeld, Lily's Music Lounge Hayling Island, The Scarborough Blues Club, Portsmouth Guildhall, Loungefest, The Jerrico Tavern, The Eastney Cellars, The RMA Tavern, Skegness Blues Festival.....and more more more!......


Reviews



"...One of the best bands we have ever had open for us.!." - Laurence Jones

" A brave independent album that rarely wavers from the primacy of the songs."- Pete Feenstra

"An eleven-track release from a UK outfit fronted by power picker, Brent Hutchinson, Smoke And Mirrors is an album that features hi-energy, power-fuelled and driving guitar and vocals throughout. Sub-titled, Unplugged, the expectation is of a gentler sound than in fact roars from this release. Hutchinson himself previously fronted power trio Planet Graffiti before setting up this new blues-rock trio under his own banner, so this should perhaps come as no surprise. The band is already making its presence known at UK events and festivals where they have shared billing alongside the likes of Mike Zito, Laurence Jones, Steve Nimmo and Rebecca Downes. Hutchinson had a hand in writing most tracks here and he includes a few previously released numbers from his work with Planet Garffiti here remastered, and a few from his own acoustic EP, This Is Me Now. The result is an album that genuinely includes a variety of styles and touches, - bluesey, soulful and searching with a firm grip on the ever-popular, power trio format that remains a corner-stone of modern blues and is loved by many." Blues Mattters Magazine



Self release [Release date: 01.04.17]

There’s nothing deceptive about ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ or the expressive inner voice at the core of both the lyrics and melodies of 11 well written songs.

The Brent Hutchinson Band impressively avoid obvious clichés with a perfect melange of songcraft, intricate band interplay, sweeping melodies and a locker full of guitar tones that draws the listener in. But while the sonic detail of the acoustic-to-electric title track, the beautifully sculptured instrumental ‘Stevie’, the rhythmic intricacy of ‘Freight Train’ and the acoustic ‘Out For More’ are the building blocks of an album full of rich musical detail, ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ is an exercise in the band’s ability to shape thoughtful arrangements. As a result ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ is more than a jobbing blues-rock album. Repeated plays allow the songs to breathe and shine, while the eloquent guitar work and cool rhythm section – which consistently supports the grooves and subtle dynamics – means the album has the lovely liquid feel of a musical journey across 11 tracks. In that respect the riff driven, cutting edge opener ‘Boy Gone Bad’ is slightly misleading, as it suggest a hard driven rock/blues album. And while there are some brusque moments when the band reveal what they do so well in a live setting, there’s a sufficient depth to the material to suggest they will expand their musical horizons with more gigs.

In many ways this is a brave independent album that rarely wavers from the primacy of the songs. Sometimes it takes a while for the fuse to spark, so while the opening gnawing wah-wah of ‘Better The Devil You Know’ locks into a funky groove, it isn’t until the resolving hook that Brent’s vocal sounds wholly convincing. But as with much of the album as whole, you can feel the band have faithfully constructed the basic elements which they then set about colouring impressively. Listen for example, to the understated intro of ‘Two Kinds of Woman’, which leads to a big chorus and spiky guitar work, before a line without any electric guitar at all on a clever tension build. The perfunctory finish ultimately leaves the listener wanting more. And it’s that clever dynamic device that levers us into the quasi anthemic ‘Hero’, on which Brent emotes over a gently strummed acoustic, before an uplifting harmony vocal on a song with real feel and presence. His intricate solo paints an emotional picture to fill the vacuum left by the lyrics.  It’s also a great example of a guitar solo that actually lifts the song rather than dominates it. The following atmospheric instrumental ‘Stevie’ is arguably the highpoint of the album. Yes, there’s inevitable echoes of SRV, but Brent delivers his own mixture of restrained sumptuous tones and intricate harmonics as part of an emotive composite, shot through with a climactic solo that gives the song real impact. And it’s that subtle combination of subtle pacing, balance and restraint that allows ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ to forge its own unique identity, which is not an easy task in the well populated rock/blues world. That said there still a few familiar influences – the intro to ‘Bad Advice for example, could almost be The Doobie Brothers, while the rumbling back-beat of ‘Catfish Swampers’ has a Texas feel, but the rock solid rhythm section and dirty toned solo means they fill their canvas impressively.

‘Smoke And Mirrors’ works hard to reveal its quality. The songs flow together nicely, the solos percolate and bubble up to the surface and the hooks lodge anchor deep in the memory. By the time of the fast, walking bass line intro of the acoustic Django Reinhardt styled ‘You’re Gonna Get It’, they’ve enjoyed a good day’s fishing and done enough to draw us in, hook line and sinker. 

**** Review by Pete Feenstra Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 20:00





Review of Smoke and Mirrors By Nigel Foster

Smoke And Mirrors

Brent Hutchinson Band This is a Blues Rock power trio in every sense of the word, based on the South coast the band are steadily building a growing reputation for their high energy, high quality live shows. Now comes the band’s debut album Smoke And Mirrors that comprises 11 original compositions from head man Brent Hutchinson, showcasing his prowess as a songwriter and arranger of some craft and the trio’s prowess as very accomplished musicians. There is subtlety and variation too in the fact that the final three cuts are acoustic. Hutchinson keeps things concise and focused with the album clocking it at a lean 46 minutes.

Boy Gone Bad opens proceedings with a fiery flourish structured on a hard edged driving riff melding with deep drum and bass lines. Things really do get ‘bad’ when Hutchinson ups the ante hitting the wah wah pedal hard for added dynamics and power. The force of the music matched by the urgent vocal.

Better The Devil You Know keeps the pedal to the floor as Hutchinson’s Telecaster squeals in pain, before it drops in to the solid rhythm section groove and snatched incessant riff.

The pace drops a notch on the quite delightful title track that sweeps along on a gentle backline melody that is embellished by Hutchinson’s deft, fluid and expressive fret work. All combining to lift up Brent’s lilting vocal. The song’s brilliant solo is entirely in keeping with the mellifluous mood of the piece, adding rich layers of sound. As soon as I heard this melodic tune I was transported back to Thin Lizzy’s ballad Sweet Marie, taken from the Johnny The Fox album. As a lifelong Lizzy fanatic that is the greatest compliment I can pay the band.

Two Kinds Of A Woman picks the pace back up as the band jump in to a Texan style Blues shuffle. Pulsing drum and bass runs lay underneath Hutchinson’s string slaps and the deeper toned vocal.

Hero follows and is immediately a standout track for me. Acoustic guitar drifts out and opens out a soaring melody that nestles alongside empathic drums and bass. Hutchinson adds an impassioned vocal narrating the tale of the ‘hero’ at the song’s epicentre. Just before the three minute mark Hutchinson plugs back in and unleashes a wrought plaintive solo, notes like shards of glass falling and shattering from the fretboard and as the intensity builds he depresses the wah wah pedal again for added feel. Really lovely piece that captured my full attention.

Close your eyes and conjure up a vision of Stevie Ray Vaughan and hold it in your mind’s eye as you are enveloped by the beauty of ‘Stevie.’ Hutchinson really does capture the passion, touch and feel of the great man as his fingers dance across the frets and strings, hands almost joined at times and the tremolo arm pulled tight as a torrent of notes flood out. No plagiarism here just respect and hero worship.

Bad Advice is next up and again quickens the pace with its bright airy feel built on funky metronomic riffing that is draped over the rhythm section groove. The vocal is equally light and bright and of a slightly higher pitch that carries the vibe before Hutchinson splits it open with a lustrous solo that has his dextrous finger picked notes weaving in and out of piano notes and more empathic drum and bass lines.

Catfish Swampers closes out the plugged in section of the album in pulsating style on sheer unadulterated boogie, pacey, punchy and urgent.

Flick the switch and you are in the acoustic section of the album but there is no drop in pace as Freight Train literally rattles along its greased rails courtesy of shuffling drums, pumping double bass and Brent’s furious licks. The vocal chimes in matching the urgency of the melody before mid-song it branches off in to a clean clear passage of verse and chorus spliced up by intricate acoustic patterns, finger picked notes that are perfectly phrased, there is a flamenco style feel to this that is lovely.

Out For More follows suit bursting forth on a strong melody of sweeping acoustic notes dovetailing with the bass lines, all lifting up Hutchinson’s higher pitched vocal.

So to You’re Gonna Get It to close out the album, fast furious guitar and bass open up a pathway to the vocal and lyric and Hutchinson matches the pace of the bright spacious melody and then he lets the guitar take over one final time to deliver an expressive textured solo that adds layer upon layer of deep rich sounds.

And there you have it Smoke And Mirrors, an excellent album from an excellent band. If this has sparked your interest then I urge you to invest in the album and search out where the band are playing live and go experience them in the raw. You will not regret it!


Review of Smoke and Mirrors Blues in Britain 2017

Performance at the Boom Boom Club Sutton For Pete Feenstra. Opener for Stevie Nimmo
Headline show at the Loft Southsea Feb 2016


From The Elm Hall Rock and Blues Club

"What a finish to the year. I have to say without exaggeration that if James Marshall Hendrix had been around he would have loved this afternoon's interpretation of his music. Can't remember how many we heard along with some excellent originals and a varied assortment of other covers. Oh it was Brent Hutchinson. Well those who hadn't heard him before were just delighted at his deft touch and powerful vocals, and those who had, well we just had a hell of a good time listening. They drove a long way today. Well Portsmouth is definitely a long way from the  Fens so if you get a chance to catch him nearer to home, do it."

Written by Nigel Foster Independent Music Critique Brent Hutchinson –

"Brent Hutchinson has carved out a name for himself as the front man of Blues Rock powerhouse trio Planet Graffiti and very fine contemporary band they are too. In recent months Hutchinson has ventured out writing and recording solo material that is firmly rooted in the ‘amps off’ acoustic territory. Hutchinson has now made three of those tracks available to showcase the fruits of his labours and first impressions are that these are ripe for sharing with the broadest audience possible."

The trio of tracks paints an expansive picture of the man’s undoubted talents as songwriter and musician. Consistently the lyrics demonstrate great maturity and reveal that Hutchinson can certainly translate images in to powerful words and narrations. As a guitarist, the man is incredibly accomplished without being clinical, managing to create crystal clear and beautiful tones from his custom built instruments. Brent’s voice is also very clear, melodic and at the same time soulful. On this little collection of curios the voice and acoustic guitar are simply but very effectively supplemented by some tuneful keys and smart vocal harmonies.

So to the three songs themselves; Moving On A ballad about the pain of a lost love and the struggle to shape a new life and move on. Hutchinson’s vocal captures the pain of the experience, lilting and fractured with some dextrous subtle piano flurries adding texture. All the while Hutchinson envelops the whole sound with sharp incisive finger picking moving gracefully through to an almost flamenco style solo, flicking out single clear notes.

Out for More The track where Hutchinson’s Blues roots soar to the surface in the lyrics and the music. A cool up tempo number painting the image of a real Blues man, loveable rogue, living on the edge, risk taker but a man with soul. The tone is set by some great honky tonk style keys while Hutchinson rips up and down the fret board squeezing out tight chord runs and a terrific lead break. A hugely enjoyable number.

Shotgun The final track and a fitting finale, the most complex of the trio. Built on a taut rhythm and Hutchinson straddling three guitar parts in one, setting the central melody with a series of chord patterns and clipped notes and then as the song builds to its climax, a glorious and beguiling solo. Here I can picture Brent’s hands working in opposites but combining perfectly. Left hand fluttering up the fret board, right hand deftly plucking at the strings producing a swathe of notes and sounds that are luxurious. Add in some deft and understated piano runs that further add to the depth and mood of the song that in my interpretation is about finding a path through life and the right path to freedom of mind and spirit. A fine collection of songs that hopefully serves as an appetiser for a full album of solo, acoustic original songs from a mighty fine musician.