Breanna Elaine blooms at the Brandon Town Hall


BREANNA ELAINE WITH Jared Johnson on bass. Photo by Susan Johnson

BRANDON—Breanna Elaine celebrated the release of Seedlings, her aptly named new album, at Brandon Town Hall on Friday, February 10. The audience was soothed and moved by her performance and seemed to come away convinced that this prolific local songwriter is, indeed, a blossoming artist destined for a flourishing career.

Brandon was an important stop on her album release tour and Breanna was excited for the show, noting that she organized and largely paid for this hometown show out-of-pocket. Her determination, though, did secure several sponsors in the community, as Café Provence, Sister Wicked, Greg Colm Masonry, and Red Clover Ale Company backed her effort. 

Breanna’s celebrity is the definition of true grit. She quit her day job just over a year ago to focus on music full time. Having faced numerous challenges, including being homeless with her young son for a time, she has worked tirelessly to realize her dream. Starkly personal lyrics and music describing her traumas and triumphs captivated the audience. 

Kristian Montgomery opened the show with energetic country(ish) rock, reminiscent of Gregg Allman’s heartful deliveries and John Hiatt’s infectious energy. Accompanied by Brian Hobbs’ soulful harmonica for a few songs, it was fitting that Montgomery opened for Breanna, as his music—four albums’ worth so far—also elevated him out of some hard times. 

Introducing Breanna, Montgomery recalled when he first heard her play at a music festival. “It takes a lot to impress me, and she really turned some heads.” At only 25 years old, Breanna has certainly distinguished herself already.

Backing her was Jared Johnson, an expressive bass player from Rutland who toured nationally with The Samples, and drummer Aaron Martin, also with national touring experience with The Garcia Project. 

Performing all original songs, Breanna showcased her vocal dexterity and wide range of styles. Generally classified on music sites as folk/rock, as the evening went on, it was clear she transcends definition. She’s been compared to Jewel (though Breanna’s covers of Jewel are in many ways superior to the originals), Alanis Morissette, and Janis Ian. Tack on an early Fiona Apple song and it’s easy to understand just how diversely her talent runs. 

THE OPENING ACT, Kristian Montgomery with Brian Hobbs on
Photo by Susan Johnson

Her musical edginess began to show itself when she switched her acoustic for a bright-red electric Les Paul and sang the provocative “Earthquake.” “Dirty Water,” which had a groove like floating down a lazy river, was followed by “I Don’t Care,” a song that sums up her path as a small-town musician not making a living wage, but refrains “I believe in my magic so I wish upon myself, cause I’m a shooting star” capturing her hopeful passion. 

“All You Ever Did” was sharp and raw with a 4 non-Blondes vibe and the haunting “Where the Snakes Live” told of a friend who died from a drug overdose. Concluding with “It’s a Wrap,” Breanna sang of the future in the palm of her hand.

Magnum Pro Audio out of Rutland provided lights and a great sound. The venue was made complete with Dallas Ladd serving up her awesome food (by the way, she should patent the pecan bars) and Red Clover supplying our favorite beers. 

Breanna’s show did not disappoint. She was pleased as well, “I have never in my entire life felt so much love and support from a community.” Montgomery summed it up best: “I see great things in her future.”

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