Brandon Beebe

A Wisconsin musician has returned to his Rogue Valley roots to debut his first solo album.

Brandon Beebe grew up in the Rogue Valley, living in Medford, Talent, Phoenix and Ashland, and moved to Madison, Wis., four years ago. This week he's back in Ashland to perform a concert showcasing "In This Place." The album features Ashland musicians Abby Young on violin and Sophia Borgias on cello.

"This album has been a long time coming," said Beebe. "I've been working on it for the last, like, three years."

Beebe will perform songs from the album at 7 p.m. today, Dec. 29, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 717 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. Kimberley Levy on piano will open the show.

In Madison, Beebe plays in a Brazilian group and sings in Portuguese and Spanish. He's also dabbling in a hip-hop project and plays in a Prince cover band called Purple Veins.

"This is like a whole other side of myself," said Beebe of his new CD.

"This is my push to break away from that and bring my solo stuff to the world."

For the Tidings Café, Beebe performed an acoustic version of an original song called "Alright" in the living room of his mother's house in Ashland.

"In This Place" was recorded in Madison at Smart Studios, owned by producer Butch Vig and home to recordings of Nirvana's "Nevermind," The Smashing Pumpkins' "Gish" and Death Cab for Cutie's "Plans." The string pieces by Young and Borgias were recorded by Beebe in Ashland and mixed and mastered at Smart Studios.

"This album is kind of a combination of that indie aesthetic, do-it-yourself sound," said Beebe. "But then I was able to go to a world-class studio and put the finishing touches on it and make sure it sounded really top-notch. I'm just so picky, I just want it to be able to compete with what a label would put out."

Beebe's sound is strongly influenced by folk musicians such as Cat Stevens, Neil Young and James Taylor. But he also favors the music of Marvin Gaye, B.B. King, Al Green and Miles Davis. To blend folk and soul, Beebe started using a looper to create extra depth and texture to his music.

A looper is a digital sampler that combines short sections of material that can be repeated to create patterns.

"My songs come from deep feelings like Elliott Smith and Nick Drake's music does," said Beebe. "But at the same time, if I can do Prince like I did, stuff like that's a big part of me, like funk and soul music. My writing on the looper is closer to funk and soul music."

Performing at Beebe's concert on cello in Borgia's place will be Ian Greenberg, another musician from Ashland who is in town for the holidays.

"He goes to Northwestern, he's one of the top cellists in the world, for young cellists," said Beebe. "He's a friend of Abby's. So we'll have cello and violin just like on the album, and I'm going to have a couple girls singing backup. I'm going to be incorporating the looper, too."

Beebe is waiting for his album to finalize so it can be available at iTunes. Beebe will announce its release on his Facebook page,

Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her at

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