Brushy One-String‘s music is as powerful as his story. Orphaned as a child, his father was the beloved Jamaican soul singer Freddy McKay. His mother, Beverly Foster, sang constantly, even touring as a backup singer with Tina Turner. Brushy was interested in music at an early age, but nothing seemed to fit. He tried playing pans in the street, but ended up turning to the guitar. After he broke all the strings, he just stuck the guitar under the bed and forgot about it until he had vision. He dreamt of playing the one string guitar but when he told his friends, they laughed at him. Undeterred, he wrote a one string arrangement of a popular song, took his guitar down to the local market and started to sing his heart out.
The news spread quickly. People began to take notice and Brushy started to make a name for himself with his original, roots music. Writing what he sees and experiences, Brushy’s approach and technique seems simple on the surface, but with his percussive taps and knocks on the guitar, he gets a lot of sound out of a one string guitar. Combined with his heart-wrenching, soulful voice, Brushy is one of a kind, writing the songs as they come to him.
“The songs come from the situations I’m in. It’s like magic: From the situation, I don’t search for something or not, not in my head or nowhere else. The song just comes.” – Brushy One-String
This natural instinct helped him get the point where he was able to record his first CD, Destiny. Filmmaker Luciano Blotta was wrapping up a film in Jamaica which focused on three young artists on the horizon. The film was the award-winning RiseUp documentary. At the end of a five year stint, Blotta was finishing up his work when Brushy sat outside of the studio and asked Blotta to listen to a song he wrote. The song was “Chicken in the Corn” and Blotta filmed it not thinking too much about it until he arrived back in the US and realized what an amazing artist Brushy was. He went back to Jamaica to find Brushy, convincing him to let Blotta represent him, even though his experience was with directors like Spielberg, Soderbergh, and John Woo, not musicians.
After Brushy’s videos hit youtube, he became a sensation almost instantaneously. People from around the world were overwhelmed by Brushy’s authentic style and fell in love with his music. By the time he recorded Destiny on RiseUp Music, he already had an international audience. This strong set of songs is an excellent introduction to Brushy’s music. While his singing and guitar playing is the focus of the record, other instruments including dobro guitar, kalimba and harmonica back him up and add ambiance to the record. Check out the excellent “Chicken in the Corn” video below and don’t miss Brushy One-String’s “They Are Going Down.” One taste is all you’ll need and you’ll be hooked. Look for Destiny at your local record store.