Of a man and two guitars

Folk Fusion

Amazing: Rodney Brannigan. DH photos by Manjunath M S

Frequently described as an amazing talent, Rodney Brannigan is the man
who can play two guitars at once with a skill and technique that is highly original and unique. He quite literally wowed the highly appreciative audience, who gathered at the Bacchus to enjoy his performance.

Informal and very forthcoming about his particular style of music, which he describes as Folk Fusion, Rodney kept the crowd rivetted with his songs, a mix of his original compositions and well-known numbers like Come Together by the Beatles.

“I grew up on a diet of Country music which I now distance myself from mainly because of an overload of it in my growing up years,” he laughs. Rodney tries not to be too overtly political or intense with his lyrics, drawing instead on his every day experiences for inspiration.

“One of my songs is called Stop the Rain, which I wrote when I moved to England and we were playing at the Glastonbury Festival. It poured incessantly and we could barely walk.”

“Another song is about the banality of Middle Class America and the mind-numbing sameness of its suburban life. People tend to live out their aspirational lifestyle through their credit cards and that very often leads them into debt and problems,” he says.

He goes on,“She Bled is a tale of an abused woman who is badly beaten by her man or so it seems till one realises it’s really about a dog being beaten and the utter helplessness that comes from being at the mercy of a cruel person whether it a helpless animal or an abused wife.”

Born ambidextrous, he put his ability to good use by leaning to play two guitars at once. Starting off the evening’s programme with his famous two guitar piece called, One Man, Two Guitars, he strummed and picked at the strings like a man possessed, creating sounds of percussion, rhythm, bass and lead parts either independently or in perfect sync.

Often, his hands were just a blur as he utilised the different part of the guitars so effectively that it seemed almost unreal. Rodney also played his original compositions like Heading South, Learn to Be Kind and The Plagiarism song.

“I am on my way to Ladakh for the Confluence, an international music festival where I will perform as the UK representative,” he says. All in all, it was a real treat for Bangalore’s music lovers who got to enjoy a sensational instrumentalist and singer-songwriter perform in the City with a special show-stopping gift — the ability to play two guitars simultaneously and well.

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