Brant Satala
Photo by Sara Q

Brant Satala turns ‘heartfelt’ into a genre in its own right as a true craftsman in the alt-folk arena.   – John Sinkevics, Spins on Music

Brant Satala sings like he writes: With a passion and honesty that will make listeners sit up and take notice and, most of all, care about what they’re hearing.

Commanding an alt-folk approach that occupies the same rarified air as Damien Rice, Iron and Wine, Glen Hansard and The Civil Wars, the Grand Rapids singer-songwriter has long impressed Michigan audiences with his earnest lyrical observations and dynamic voice, in live settings and on studio albums such as “Running Out of Numbers” and “Planet for Poseidon.”

Now, with his powerful third full-length studio album, “The Summer Thief,” Satala is set to stir the emotions of fans throughout the Midwest and beyond with an album that masterfully meshes images of Michigan’s striking natural landscape with penetrating observations on heartache, longing and the human condition.

Bringing together in the studio a who’s who lineup of regional musicians, including A.J. Dunning (The Verve Pipe), David Molinari (Creolization), Michael Van Houten (The New Midwest), Pete Kehoe and stunning harmony vocalist Cole (Lesinski) Hansen, the self-produced 12-song collection deftly and seamlessly spans folk, rock and country.

“You are what you listen to when you are younger,” says Satala, who began his musical journey at a young age by soaking up the strains of Poco, Elton John and The Eagles after picking up a guitar at age 7. He also played cornet in an innovative, rock-oriented marching band as a teen, giving him a unique musical perspective that’s served him well as he’s honed his craft.

After establishing a solo career that saw him performing up and down the Lake Michigan coastline, and with stints in places as far-flung as tiny Pentwater (Michigan) and bustling Philadelphia, Satala’s voyage has always been about his songs and transporting listeners to the places he’s been, like characters in the track, “Passengers”:

It’s true that you were never one

To hitchhike in the midnight sun,

But I can tell you rest assured,

I’m glad you are my passenger,

‘Cause I am just a passenger with you

Satala has woven his life experiences into a rich musical tapestry on a milestone recording.  And that means “The Summer Thief” will surely steal your heart.

  1. -John Sinkevics, Spins on Music

February 2012