With an ocean between them, Billy Brandt and Sarana VerLin don't get too many chances to play together.
But singer-violinist VerLin, who's based in England, makes the trep across the Atlantic this week to team up with Brandt for a show Thursday night, Dec. 19, at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion.
"I always feel fortunate that we are still playing together after her moving to England," says Brandt, who resides in and operates his Drum Dancer Records label out of Farmington Hills. "I guess we found that our musical relationship was worth maintaining.
"Playing with Sarana is like a Vulcan mind meld, and somehow we push ourselves to be better performers when we play together, almost like a competition. I just know I get into deep concentration when I play with her."
Brandt and the classically trained VerLin have released three albums together, winning four Detroit Music Awards. VerLin has also written for Brandt's band the Sugarees.
VerLin travels to the U.S. a couple of times a year and plays shows with Brandt in Florida as well as Michigan. He reciprocates with trips to the U.K. to perform with her there.
"We're also good at completing each others' (songwriting) ideas," Brandt adds. "I am always coming up with choruses or bridges to her tunes, or a lick. She, in turn helps me finish off stuff lyrically."
Billy Brandt and Sarana VerLin perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion. $15. 248-783-7105 or 20frontstreet.com.
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