CURTIS BRAND’S music starts with the words. In the tradition of singer songwriters like Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, and Willie Nelson, Curtis playfully jabs the listener with the existential absurdity of our everyday life. He tells tales of the human condition--the lost souls, the wounded veteran, the let down lover--and blends them with delightful ditties and love songs in a performance which not only touches the sensibilities but also lifts the spirit. From Older than Dirt, a tongue in cheek celebration of the aging process which is the title song from his first album, to Dust on the Water, which memorializes the World Trade Center tragedy, Curtis' songs pull the listener across the full range of human emotions. Whether performing solo in coffee shops and house concerts or joining with the On Call Band in full concert shows, the songs of Curtis Brand reach out and speak of the people around us.
It all started in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, an unassuming, pragmatic town on the shores of Lake Winnebago. Both my mother’s and my father’s families had been there for a few generations. I had one great grandfather, a flautist, who died of the flu during the Spanish American War and another who was shot by a disgruntled employee. Even in Oshkosh life could sometimes be unpredictable. I was born during the Second World War. My father, a Naval Academy graduate, was busy with the invasion of Normandy, so I started life with my mother and grandparents in the big house on Washington Street in Oshkosh. When my father finally returned from the victory in the Pacific, uniformed and decorated, I am reported to have pointed at him and say, “What’s that.” My relationship with authority figures has been somewhat complicated ever since.
In my adult life, after years of private practice as a psychologist, the bureaucratic intrusions of managed care have caused me to change directions. Now, retired, I guess I'm a full time touring songwriter, though I tour infrequently and am fortunate to cover expenses. I see my music as an extension of my life's work, helping people I meet by sharing the stories of people and their time on the planet.