GuestPost – Brian Mackey

Singer/songwriter Brian Mackey is all heart. His songs are born from a deeply personal space with himself that just needs to make itself heard. Listening to his music (which has flavours of folk, rock, pop, and Americana) makes you feel like you’re spending time with an old friend who is offering comfort.

“I kind of draw from a place inside that needs to come out”, said Mackey.” Something happens when I’m at the piano or the guitar, where its like emotions-set-to-music” comes out. I can try and explain it in a way where it seems like Something else takes over and forces me to let it out in some matter of way”.

However, his music may affect the listener; it’s evident that its heartfelt, emotional, and passionate. And nowhere is that fact more apparent than with Brians two new singles, “SaturdayNight Sleeping” and “keep the World Alive”.

“Saturday Night Sleeping” is a song that weaves in and out of Brians personal life during the painful time when his son battled and in addition to heroin. His son, Brian, ultimately lost the battle on a Saturday night in May 2018 due to a drug overdose.

“Sometimes the most sweetest, kindest, and most giving souls can have no self-esteem”. Brian said of his son. And when that’s the case, they usually gravitate towards things that’ll give them that feeling of being bigger (having more self-confidence).

I wrote the song ‘Saturday Night Sleeping” to kind of talk to him about how I felt, you know? Like I understood all the pain he was going through”.

When I asked Brian what was the essential message he wants listeners to take from the song, he said, “don’t be afraid to say the things that you think might hurt their feelings because, you know, at the end, when all the feelings are numbed, and somebody just goes away forever, you’re left with those what if’s, and maybe I should have said this or took a harder stance”.

“Saturday night sleeping” was recorded at Sony Tree Studios in Nashville and written with his friends, Musicians Jeff King (Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn) and Tammy King (Steeldrivers).
Brian commented, “I’m just really awestruck at the skills of the musicians I worked with in Nashville.

They’re friends of mine, and I’m just really lucky to be in that position, to have people around me that can help with a vision that I had.

Brian is donating 100% of the proceeds generated from downloads of “Saturday Night Sleeping” between May 20th (National Mental Health Awareness Month) to MusiCares, a U.S. based, independent charity offering preventive, emergency, and recovery programs; a safety net supporting the health and well – being of the music of the community.

“I really believe in the case,” added Brian.” It’ll go towards rehab costs, addiction therapy, and addiction recovery and will help people who want to help themselves because there’s an underlying opioid crisis running in the background, even more so since the pandemic.

In response to the pandemic, Brian also recently released a single called “keep the world alive”, which had got national attention with a feature in Americans Songwriter Magazine and close to three million views on Facebook. The song was recorded remotely)  also with friends Jeff and Tammy King) and was written as an anthem for 2020 about how the world instantaneously changed in response to Covid – 19.

“I felt like it ( the song) was an honour to him as well, added Brian.

In addition to these two singles, Brian has spent a significant amount of time recording his next album to be released in early 2020. In 2 months, he will release a single from the album titled “Good Morning Ireland”, which describes his personal journey to Glendalough, Ireland, in which he lays his sons ashes to rest. Ireland was always a destination his son wanted to visit.

On September 1st, Brian will release his video for “Saturday Night Sleeping”, which he made entirely on his cell phone “I did it entirely on an I phone in my house. It a low budget but doesn’t really look like it. A while ago, I did a big production music video for my song “underwater.” We had a crane and the fire department there. But I wasn’t really jazzed about that as I am over Something I did on an I-phone!

Brian will soon embark on another cross-country tour starting in Houston, TX, moving to the mid-west, and then eventually hitting the East Coast. He is adamant that he’ll be playing in New Jersey at some point.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been at the Stone Pony, so that would be great. The House of Independents is a great place. And so is the saint. So there will probably be some shows out there”.

During our conversation, it came through loud and clear that Brian (born in Lakewood, NJ) has a special connection to Jersey Shore and the special quality of music that emanates from here.

He waxed poetic while talking about it. “There’s just that sound that almost has the salt air in it. You can almost hear the seagulls under it. This palpability smells like boardwalk fries. There’s just Something about New Jersey.

There’s the cold lonely nights. There’s seeing your breath in front of the Stone Pony. You know, it’s magic’. I can’t be entirely sure, but it felt like a future song was being written during our interview! If so, I cannot wait to hear it, as well as all of Brians new music and videos, which are right on the horizon.


Interviewed by Diane DiMemmo