Q&A Scene: Brian Mackey

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

The new album is Broken Heartstrings and was recorded down in Nashville TN with the a great bunch of session players: Mark Hill on bass (Keith Urban), Jeff King on some of the guitars (Dave Matthews), and Sam Ashworth on drums (The Civil Wars). It was a fun album to make, drank moonshine and it shows ;-)

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

[pullquote]My scene is at the moment Big Wongs General Tsos Chicken as I get sauce on the keys typing to you :-)[/pullquote]I’d have to say BBQ Pulled Pork because not everyone is allowed to consume it but wants to :) I think. I hope ;-)

Which song resonates most strongly and why?

I’d have to say Philadelphia because it’s the most honest of the tracks. From the day I wrote it. It was not censored by fear of insulting anyone and I got my point across in a way that makes me smile. Plus I do love Philly.

Any on the road anecdotes?

Never underestimate the power of birth: I was traveling to a show and pulled into a truck stop for fill and a lady was giving birth in the Dorito aisle. Not only did I pass on the Doritos, I learned that people pull together in such times of need, instinctively, to bring a life into the world. It would be a great thing if we thought about this in times of war.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

A truck stop birthing … :) Everyday life mostly, no one is as interesting as real.

What’s next for you?

Well, we’re shooting a video for the song “The Day” this month in CT so real excited about that. It’s being directed by film director Greg Friedle. Gonna be fun !

What’s your scene?

My scene is at the moment Big Wongs General Tsos Chicken as I get sauce on the keys typing to you :-)

Thanks much for the listen!


Brian Mackey is spreading a message of honesty to fans across the country with his eclectic blend of pop-rock and folk-inspired lyrics. “My songwriting is really just an autobiographical musical,” muses the New York based artist. “Ironically enough, I’ve never been a fan of musicals.”

Mackey released his 4th release and first full length album, “Broken Heartstrings” this on November 10th, 2014 (With pre-sale on iTunes November 4th). This release was co-produced by Brian and his long-time producer Sam Ashworth, who also produced his Honest Love EP, as well as several other songs on his “Red EP”. Earlier this year, in honor of Earth Day, Mackey released his single, “America”, on April 22nd, which also is included on “Broken Heartstrings.”

While ‘Broken Hearstrings’ was two years in the making, Mackey comments about his ups and downs of the process:

“A lot of loss went on around me during the entire process of making this album, both negatively and positively. The name of it came about from my need to break away from an oppressive relationship that tried to make me feel guilty during the entire time. I decided that it would be appropriate to name this new release ‘Broken Heartstrings”. Not that my heart is broken – just the opposite; the bond has been broken, the stuff that holds you back, a liberation, a new beginning.”

“This album is about putting aside all fears of saying the wrong thing,” he explains. “It’s about putting the rose colored glasses on the floor and smashing them with your foot, and feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Standouts on the project include “Desire”, “Are You Listening”,”Philadelphia” and “The Day.”

Some of Music City’s finest singer/songwriter/musicians have joined Brian on his projects: producer/singer/songwriter Sam Ashworth, son of songwriter and producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars, Switchfoot, Amy Grant) and Six Pence None The Richer’s guitarist Matt Slocum. On his upcoming album, “Broken Heartstrings”, famed guitarist Jeff King (Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood) and bass player, Mark Hill (Keith Urban, Reba McEntire) both recorded with Mackey.

In addition to his new album, Mackey spent the summer shooting his new music video for his single “America” with friend and frequent director, Nick Cavalier and photographer, Andrea Coan. CMT Edge exclusively premiered this new video with a Q &A. Check out the premier here.


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Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.