Paul Brandt – Getting back to his gospel roots

Paul Brandt’s newest record Just As I Am, released in October, is an interesting departure for this Canadian country star and multi-music-award winner. Just As I Am is a reference to Brandt’s gospel roots, and the record is a collection of traditional favorites. If you’re not interested in an album with overt Christian themes, this may not be for you. Although Paul Brandt’s resume is impressive, not only is he the most awarded male Canadian country artist in history, he’s also had five consecutive number one songs, starting in 1996 with the release of My Heart Has History.

Brandt is no stranger to U.S. country charts either. My Heart Has History, along with the follow-up track I Do, both reached top 10 on the U.S. country music charts, and I Do has long since gone on to become a perennial wedding-reception favorite. Brandt’s album Calm Before the Storm went on to sell one million copies internationally; he’s written songs for Johnny Cash, Dave Matthews and others; and he’s also produced tracks for new Canadian country-trio, High Valley.

This album, recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, is certainly a musical departure for Brandt, but one that he prefers to refer to as a journey back to the songs he says inspired him and his personal faith. Brandt has chosen to recreate some of the most traditional gospel songs of the past century, digging deeply into his own musical roots.

Brandt says: “These songs have brought, and continue to bring, joy, comfort, conviction and inspiration to the lives of many people.” His relationship with gospel is genuine, having begun singing at the West Hillhurst Gospel Hall at the tender age of six. Brandt’s brought in plenty of guest stars on Just As I Am, pulling in artists like Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Dan Tyminski, John Anderson, The Whites, The Isaacs, Jon Randall Stewart and High Valley. His renditions of classic gospel songs like Old Rugged CrossAmazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me and When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder, are sung and performed sincerely and earnestly, and it’s easy to tell that he has an honest and heartfelt love for these songs.

The album was produced by Brandt, Gordon Mote and Ben Fowler, and overall they have taken a warm, relaxed, and understated approach. Brandt calls this record a real labor of love, and believes these songs hold universal appeal.

Brandt is currently planning a Just As I Am tour for 2013.

Just As I Am is available on itunes or directly from his website at:

Follow Brandt on Twitter:@paulbrandt