When I was about 11 or 12, the world lost Linda McCartney to cancer. I wrote her husband, my beloved musical hero Sir Paul, a letter. I placed this letter in an envelope, along with a photo of myself, and a poem to commemorate Linda, and sent it across the ocean.
Months later, I received a letter: it had a row of brightly colored stamps and an unfamiliar return address. With bated breath I opened it to discover that one of Paul’s staff had taken the time to write me to let me know that although Macca couldn’t respond personally, he had indeed read and appreciated the kind words in the letter and the poem. I still have the letter and the envelope it came in. And because of their kindness, I will always feel a special and unique connection to my hero.
Because of this, and an interesting catalogue of random experiences with a variety of notable singers, songwriters, and otherwise talented humanoids, I have never lost confidence in the Fan Letter. Whether it’s covered in stamps, or only in hopes, I think we should always hang on to those connections to people whose artistic efforts have made an imprint on our lives in some way. We should continue to wait, to search, to reach out for opportunities to see them and to thank them for who they are.
In that spirit, it is high time I wrote a blog about one of my favorite musicians, and human beings in general.
Brett Dennen- a singer/songwriter from Oakdale, California, has released three records to date: Brett Dennen, So Much More, and Hope for the Hopeless. He has made appearances on the Jay Leno Show and Last Call with Carson Daly, and has had cuts from his albums featured in Scrubs, House, and Grey’s Anatomy. In addition, Brett has released 3 live records, and has been a contributor on 5 compilations.
My personal favorite of his secondary projects is Children’s Songs for Peace and a Better World, which supports Mosaic Project, an effort to teach children about diversity, peace, and empathy through recreation, learning, and song. You can buy the record here, and Mosaic will get the proceeds. Wasn’t that easy? You feel better already, don’t you?
I have been to 5 BD shows since first hearing about Brett several years ago, bringing many enthusiastic new fans along with me. I have had the pleasure of talking to Brett a couple of times on his visits to Nashville about our mutual interest in philanthropy, music, and cross-country moves. He stands out among most musicians as someone intently connected to his fans, making his own efforts to keep those connections strong.
Birds of a feather flock together. Brett has gone on the road with like minds, amazing people who love their communities and share a mutual admiration for their fans In particular, Ron Johnson, Brett’s bassist for his last couple tours, has made my experiences at his shows that much happier and more memorable.
Brett’s music has been a light for me through many dark spaces in my life in the past few years. His optimism refuelsmy own. I listen to “Blessed” over and over, to remind me just how blue the sky continues to be each morning, no matter how black things seemed to get the night before.
I hope as a writer, that my art can connect to as many people someday. And I hope as a humanitarian, and as a friend, I can hold out that much hope and positivity to those I meet.
Thanks Brett, to you and yours.