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Interview:
Turning 30 Doesn't Faze Brett Dennen
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Singer-songwriter Brett Dennen turned 30 this year, which wasn’t traumatic but wasn’t his preferred age, either.

“Actually, I’m really looking forward to 31,” the California native explains. “I kinda want the year of 30 to go by quick. I enjoyed being 29. I really enjoyed being 27. I just enjoy odd numbers better — odd numbers of songs, whatever; it always feels right when it’s an odd number.

“But in terms of a decade milestone like 30, I don’t know. I just go by how I feel, and I feel great.”

Some of that has to do with the success of his 2008 album “Hope For the Hopeless,” which was his highest-charting release so far and features guest appearances by Femi Kuti (“Make You Crazy”) and Natalie Merchant (“Heaven”), while Mandy Moore appears in the video for the former. He’s still riding that wave, but Dennen also is starting to consider his next album.

“I’m trying to clean the slate and come at it with a whole different point of view, a whole different intent,” he says. “I just want something that’s a little more like a Brazilian samba kind of thing. I’ve really been getting into the samba records of the ’70s; there’s a really lively spirit that comes through that I don’t hear on a lot of other records.

“Maybe I need to go down there, save up for a trip (to Brazil) or somewhere they play that music. Or listen more. But there’s something magical about it I’d like to re-create for my next album.”



Brett Dennen and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 24) at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $20 with a $64 four-pack. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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