Brightwell & Moran
Americana artist Kelly Brightwell and folk-rocker Woody Moran serve up catchy melodies and heartfelt messages with their collection of Eclectic Acoustic folk-rock tunes. This Portland, Oregon-based act has a sound reminiscent of The Civil Wars, Birds of Chicago, and UK band The Shires. They released their first EP under the project name “Radio Stranger” in 2016. Their follow up release scored high marks from Music Connection Magazine in November 2017, and they were included in the year's Best Unsigned Bands. That same year, they had an Official Showcase at the Folk Alliance Region-West Conference, and opened for David Wilcox's only Portland appearance. Brightwell & Moran are the Global Award winners of the 2022 Talent is Timeless Songwriting Contest, and just released their Abbey Road recording of the winning song “Bare Boards”. “Land of Plenty”, their newest recording, comes out as a full EP in Spring 2023. Brightwell & Moran perform as a duo and a full band in the Pacific Northwest region, playing house concerts, listening rooms and festival stages. They are currently looking for licensing and placement opportunities.
What happens when you pair a gravel-voiced groove master with a sensitive Americana-infused soul? When you mix the detailed observations of a world traveler with storytelling that brings emotional landscapes to life? You get the award-winning songwriting team of Brightwell & Moran.
In 2014, Americana artist Kelly Brightwell (BMI) and folk-rocker Woody Moran (ASCAP) wondered if writing together could be a way to create something with a broader appeal than their own individual efforts. They soon realized that they had an amazing synergy and complimentary songwriting process. Their goal? To write songs that can become part of the soundtrack of people’s lives.
Brightwell & Moran serve up catchy melodies and heartfelt messages with their collection of Eclectic Acoustic folk-rock tunes. Initially performing together under the project name “Radio Stranger”, this Portland, OR based act has a sound reminiscent of The Civil Wars, Birds of Chicago, The Swell Season, and UK band The Shires.
They released their first EP “Radio Stranger” in 2016. Their 2017 release “Radio Stranger: Crosstalk” scored high marks from Music Connection Magazine in Nov 2017, and they were included in their Best Unsigned Bands of 2017. That same year, they had an Official Showcase at the Folk Alliance Region-West Conference, and opened for David Wilcox's only Portland appearance . They are the Global Award winners of the 2022 Talent is Timeless Songwriting Contest. This spring, they will be releasing their Abbey Road re-recording of the winning song “Bare Boards”, as well as their third EP “Land of Plenty”.
Brightwell & Moran perform as a duo and a full band in the Pacific Northwest region, playing house concerts, listening rooms and festival stages. They are currently looking for licensing and placement opportunities.
BARE BOARDS - ABBEY ROAD (2023) Recorded at the hallowed halls of Abbey Road Studios in the fall of 2022, this song was Brightwell & Moran's winning entry in the Talent is Timeless Songwriting Contest. The original tune was included on their second EP, and has been reimagined as an upbeat country shuffle, featuring stand up bass, mandolin and fiddle as well as a choir of fellow Portland singers. JAM Records in London spearheaded its worldwide digital release.
LAND OF PLENTY (2023) Brightwell & Moran’s latest EP was written mostly over Zoom at the height of the pandemic. This collection of songs reflects both the difficult times and hopeful moments of that historic period. It was initially released as singles in late 2022, with the full EP plus bonus track out in the spring of 2023. Produced by Dean Baskerville (Sheryl Crow, Pink Martini, Everclear), the sound is a sonic departure from prior releases. Jangly acoustic guitars and solid vocal harmonies are still present, but now electric guitars and strings flesh out the arrangements. Players included Jeramy Burchett (Drums), Jean-Pierre Garau (Keyboards), Christian Kinyon (Bass and Slide Guitar), and Matthew Schuyler (Electric Guitar). “River Flow” is a country rock anthem about letting go of life's expectations to be exactly where you are. “100 Pair of Wings” is a folk ballad that looks to birds as teachers and guides through our grief. “Girl in Hollywood” sees our dreams on the big screen and encourages us to go after them. “Land of Plenty” traces the difficult and momentous events of 2020. “Lovely Day” imagines the contours of a perfect day, when the pandemic was finally over and we could see each other’s faces again.
SINGLES (2020) Barefoot Nightlife & Top of the World were released as digital singles in early 2020. Produced by Michael Henchman at 2nd Floor Studios, Vancouver WA (also on Bass Guitar, Percussion and Backup Vocals), with Jean-Pierre Garau (Keyboards), Jeffrey Koch (Electric Guitar), Donald Schultz (Drums - Top of the World) and Jeffrey Anthony (Drums - Barefoot Nightlife). The first song celebrates the simple pleasures of life and love, while the second tune encourages us along the ups and downs of our journey.
RADIO STRANGER: CROSSTALK (2017) “Crosstalk” is the technical term for leakage between two audio circuits. These songs showcase Kelly and Woody’s individual musical strengths, as well as the places where their talents have fused. Produced by Rob Stroup at 8 Ball Studios with Jean-Pierre Garau (keyboards), Michael Henchman (bass), Jeff Koch (electric guitars), and Jeffrey Anthony (drums). “Bare Boards” has the feel of an Alison Krauss song written to a Marc Cohn composition. It’s a story song that follows the life of an old house. “Anybody’s Everything” is a John Mayer-inspired soft rock tune that celebrates the early stages of a passionate romance. “Take It or Leave It” comes out of the gate with a driving guitar riff and tight Eagles-era harmonies, featuring a strong woman’s perspective in a troubled relationship. “Don’t Judge Me” tells an Americana Noir tale of an unlikely savior with dark lyrics, haunting percussion and a good dose of Dave Matthews’ style. “After the Storm” is a modern-day political parable wrapped in a catchy Bruce Hornsby inspired pop-rock anthem.
RADIO STRANGER (2016) The project name "Radio Stranger" came from the shared experience of searching through radio stations, in the hope of finding a great song that you've never heard before by an artist you didn't know until that moment. Brightwell & Moran want to be that new artist who plays your next favorite song. The EP was recorded and produced by Rob Stroup at 8 Ball Studio. It features some of Portland, Oregon’s ﬁnest musicians live in the studio, with no prior rehearsals: Jean-Pierre Garau (keyboards), Michael Henchman (bass), Jeff Koch (electric guitars), and Jeffrey Anthony (drums). The collection of hook-y and rhythmic tunes are held together by lush instrumental textures and the combined voices of Brightwell & Moran. “Whisper in the Night” is a driving love song reminiscent of Jackson Browne, “Good Money After Bad” is an upbeat Norah Jones-style country number, “Madonna of Tears” is a classic ballad in the vein of Emmylou Harris, “Rockabye Moon” recalls a sexy Ricki Lee Jones, and “Night Over Water” captures the intimate energy of The Swell Season.
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Shimmering Folk Americana
Portland, Oregon's Kelly Brightwell sounds like Neko Case meets Patty Griffin, or Jonatha Brooke with a dash of Karin Bergquist (Over the Rhine). According to producer Rob Stroup, “Kelly writes songs that are evolved, with themes that are literary, meditative, and explore parallels between our lives and nature. She sings with the smoothness of Sarah McLachlan, but with a bit more Americana grit and charm.” Her songs have received critical acclaim by the Tucson Folk Festival, the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival and the Just Plain Folks Music Awards, among others. You can follow her solo work at www.KellyBrightwell.com
Acoustic Music That Grooves
Oregon-based folk-rocker Woody Moran is a singer/songwriter with a truly unique sound. Woody weaves excellent guitar skills with breezy, laid back vocals and a strong groove. His lyrics tell captivating stories and he’s got a knack for catchy melodies. Music Connection Magazine’s glowing review of his latest recording, “Sitting In Aztec Chairs” commented, “Moran’s a relaxed, genial artist whose music conjures a kinder, gentler, friendlier world, one we can all experience, at least for a short while."