I met Clinton Hoffman at an open-mic in Upstate NY. He was brandishing an antique tenor guitar and singing homemade Christmas songs to a drunken crowd. After talking to him only a short time, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to realize he knew more about Texas music than I did. When his band showed up at my apartment to record on another project, my wife and I got to experience, first hand, what a dose of Brain Medicine will do for you.
I once interviewed Clinton. He talked about his band and his writing process. He even used his English accent. There’s also a lot more content on the show. Here:
The band is Clinton on vocals and tenor guitar, Will Frolich on mandolin, Erika Babus on vocal, Kevin Cottone on bass, and Rhett Belcher on drums.
If you listen to their EP on Spotify, “So Much for DARE,” you’ll hear witty stories from a punk blue grass point of view. It’s Americana at a party. Just listen to their song, “Two Faced Woman.” The story is easy because the sound is familiar, even with the fun, almost rap, staccato delivery.
Even though Clinton likes wit and comedy, there’s an underlying sensitive side to most of his pieces. Like in the song, “Slow Boat”, (on Brain Medicine’s YouTube), listen for the band making light of a broken heart.
The blue collar appeal in his writing is not lost on Clinton. An obvious example is, “At the Factory.” He worked shifts when I met him. In this song, he revisits his time at the factory with his unique sense of humor and pictorial references.
After taking your “Brain Medicine,” you realize this band is fun personified. I’ve hung out with them, worked with them, and put them on headphones. In all three instances, they have lifted me out of doldrums. They carry with them the spirit that everything is going to be okay. I find myself listening to them a lot these days because I need to hear that. Don’t you? -K