"Willems, who has become a permanent fixture of the Australian country underground since relocating here from Louisiana, has produced another cracking record with 'No Band Here Till Friday'...There are very few people making country music this good in this country." Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine Jan 2012
Bryen Willems (a.k.a. “the Swamp Duck”) fronts a five piece band called Bryen and the Bayou Boogie Boys - playing a mix of originals and drawing from a virtual treasure trove of the best country, blues, swamp and southern rock from the last 50 years.
Bryen’s second album was released in early 2012, titled NO BAND HERE TILL FRIDAY. Recorded at Unit 4 Studios, with producer Gary Brown – the album is a honky-tonkin’ collection of originals, obscure covers and well known classics.
In addition to fronting his own band, Bryen also has the privilege of playing bass or guitar and providing backing vocals for one of Australia’s top vocalists Nicki Gillis with whom he’s worked for a number of years.
Bryen also works with Bruce McCumstie doing a "Willie & Kris" acoustic show - presenting the songs of Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson and they also work with Rob Wilson and Daniel Thompson presenting the "4 Highwaymen" Show - songs of the Highwaymen - even viewed and enjoyed by Amy Nelson (daughter) and Cathy Guthrie personally on their last visit to Australia!
Bryen has worked as an announcer in country radio on Sydney's 2RRR88.5FM and at Festival 101.5FM during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
His musical interest was sparked only after settling down in Australia, having moved from his Louisiana home with wife Karen. An Australian citizen for a number of years now, Bryen’s musical influences are of bayou heritage with an Australian flavour.
His second album NO BAND HERE TILL FRIDAY is a fine addition to any Honky-Tonker’s musical library. The album features self- penned tracks HELLO BEER and co-write LET’S BE IN LOVE. It also includes two co-writes with multi-award winning writer Allan Caswell including his first single TWO FOR ONE COCKTAILS and SHE LET HERSELF GO.
Also featured is LONESOME HIGHWAY BLUES, a song written by Barry Tashian (from “The Remains” and “Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band”). The track has Barry and Holly Tashian doing the guitar work on the track recorded when they were last in Australia.
He’s thrown in a couple of duets with The Harmonators and local Sydney Country Chanteuse Mary-Anne Burton, and the final track of the Mel Tillis penned HONKY-TONK SONG with Mr. Redd Volkaert doing the honours on lead guitar and some new interpretations of some classics by Steve Earle, George Strait and Johnny Paycheck. As country as country gets…!
His debut album TOO COLD AT HOME, features self-penned tracks HONKY-TONK SONG, BEER AND LIPSTICK, co-writes DEEP DOWN I’M SHALLOW, BABY ARE YOU RUNNIN’ and the beautiful duet AS LONG AS I LIVE with songbird Nicki Gillis.
Bryen and the Bayou Boogie Boys shows are just the thing when you need to hear some of that hard core honky-tonk - Of course, if you'd rather have some nancy-boy, sissy, pseudo-country pop stuff you'll have to look elsewhere - none of that around here!
Bryen resides in Sydney, Australia with his lovely (and patient) wife Karen and two great kids (who aren’t kids anymore!) Jacqueline and Jake.
“In a country music scene where authenticity is gauged by how strine your vowels can get, Bryen Willems is the real deal. He is transplanted to Australia from Louisiana, which only goes part of the way to explain the immediate charm, impact and realness of Too Cold At Home.The real kicker is Willems’ voice – a shivering, righteous baritone so crunchy it makes Dale Watson sound like Charlie Louvin. The arrangements and production, courtesy of the late, great Les Scott and Gary Brown, sizzle like a juke joint barbeque. Bryen Willems is my new country music hero, just as he should be yours.” ***** Jason Walker, MusicAustraliaGuide
“Must talk about the music. Bryen’s worn-in twang is the real deal on a mix of creditable originals and outlawish to reverent covers. It’s never too late to start cold and take it on home.” Keith Glass, Alternate Highway, CapNews
No Band Here Till Friday (2012) - Distributed by The Planet Company
Too Cold At Home (2007) – Distributed by The Planet Company
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