Brett Dennen’s second most-played track on Spotify is an upbeat, cheerful tempo song about his dog titled “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog).” Yes, really.
And it’s good. Yes, really.
Dennen—a relentlessly optimistic singer-songwriter from California—and his songs have been a staple on my family road-trip playlists since his first album in 2005. His wholesome and thoughtful lyrics and wordsy-folksy sound is unique in both it’s approach and delivery—but it’s the deliverer who steals the show when live.
It’s the shock of red hair. And the fact that he stands 6’5. And the boyish charm. And the sometimes bare feet (see also: boyish charm). He develops an instant connection with his audience that most performers don’t have, and it’s amplified by small size of the venues he plays, like the one he will play Tuesday night in Salt Lake—the 300 person-capacity The State Room.
And while it’s true that his nasally—sometimes whiney voice may be somewhat of an acquired taste—it’s also true that you’ll always know him when you hear him after the first taste.
Brett Dennen plays The State Room Tuesday, January 31. Tickets are sold out, but you might have some luck at your local Graywhale location.