IN REVIEW: Cory Branan brings rare trio show to The Burl

By Matt Wickstrom

Cory Branan and The Low Standards at The Burl on May 22, 2019. Photo by Matt Wickstrom

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Cory Branan, a Texas Troubadour by way of Memphis and Mississippi, returned to The Burl on Wednesday evening for a special full band show featuring The Low Standards. Having the band with him made for a stark contrast from Branan’s last Lexington performance, a solo show also at The Burl in August 2017.

After an opening set from locals NP Presley & The Ghost of Jesse Garon, the trio of Branan and the punked-out Low Standards took to the stage performing a range of hits from the artist’s discography including “The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis,” “Survivor Blues,” “Yeah, So What,” “You Got Through,” “A Girl Named GO” and “Skateland South,” among others.

After a string of tunes with the band Branan ushered his bassist and drummer away to perform a handful of songs solo, putting his strikingly poetic and graphic storytelling on full display as he began taking song requests from a small, yet very attentive crowd that included “Tall Green Grass.”

One of the night’s most special moments came amidst Branan’s solo stint. After performing a gaggle of songs, Branan called out for friend and fellow singer-songwriter Justin Wells to come up from the crowd to play a couple of songs. Wells obliged, taking hold of Branan’s guitar (but not messing with his fancy pedal board) on a rendition of “The Dogs” from 2016’s debut solo effort Dawn in the Distance along with a cut from his highly-anticipated upcoming effort before handing the reigns back to Branan.

Upon Branan’s return, the artist performed a couple more songs solo prior to welcoming his band back to the stage. Branan and the Low Standards then jumped into one final stint of genre-bending songs, jumping seamlessly from punk to rockabilly, country and even blues on the jammy number “Walls, MS” from the artist’s most recent, 2017 effort Adios.

View a video I captured of “Walls, MS” and the blues-soaked jams within along with a handful of photos from the show below.


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