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    Brian McComas

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    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Sixteen Again lyrics
    2Let Love Lead The Way lyrics
    3Too Far Gone lyrics
    4You'd Have Never Said Goodbye lyrics
    599.9% Sure (I've Never Been Here Before) lyrics
    6I'll Believe It When I See It lyrics
    7Never Meant a Thing lyrics
    8That Won't Ever Change lyrics
    9Come With Me lyrics
    10I Could Never Love You Enough lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Brian McComas [2003]


    "I feel like this is a calling," says Brian McComas, "just like it would be for a preacher or a race car driver or a doctor. For me, making music is like breathing."
    Brian's life has been filled with moments that bear out that sentiment, with perhaps none so pivotal as the one that took place outside an outdoor amphitheater in Branson, Missouri, when he was 16. He was a hungry songwriter wannabe standing outside a chain-link fence near legendary songwriter Paul Overstreet's tour bus. Raised on a variety of country and pop music, Brian had gradually become a passionate fan of Overstreet's uplifting beautifully crafted, stone country songs. Now he wanted to get one of his own simple demos into the master's hand.

    "He came over to the fence," says Brian, "and I said, 'Hey, I love what you do. Is there any way if I sent you something that you would listen to it?'" Overstreet gave him the name of his publishing company, and Brian sent a tape. "They actually called me back," says Brian, still delighted with the memory. "They said, 'The songs aren't there yet, but we'll keep accepting your material--and we don't normally do that.' I was thrilled to death. I thought, 'If I'm at this point now and I've just been at it a little while, maybe someday I'll get to the point where I can actually craft something that somebody'll listen to and want to sing themselves."

    The determination and respect for craftsmanship he evidenced at sixteen eventually brought him to that point, turning small-town dreams into a full-fledged artistic vision.

    Brian's parents have military backgrounds, and they met at the Pentagon, where both were employed. Brian was born in Bethesda, Maryland, but grew up primarily in Harrison, Arkansas, in the heart of the Ozarks. "I didn't realize just how beautiful it was until I moved away and came back," he says. "My friends and I would spend a lot of time on the Buffalo River nearby, starting a fire, fishing, and hanging out all night."

    He was a sports fanatic, playing basketball, football, and baseball, until injuries steered him toward tennis, where he was part of two state championship teams.

    Brian heard a variety of country and pop music growing up, with influences that went from Don Williams, George Jones, and Clint Black to Buddy Holly, and James Taylor. He'd even turn on the local classical station at night as he drifted off to sleep. "I loved music, and I could sing you every song on the radio," he says. "I was making up things of my own by second or third grade." He sang in church and in a school choir, but it was popular music that captured his imagination.

    As his tastes matured, he became a fan of Randy Travis and George Strait, which led him to songwriters like Dean Dillon, Don Schlitz, and Overstreet. He began writing more, singing lines into a little boom box because he couldn't play an instrument. At 14, he knew he'd need help getting his vision onto tape. He told a friend, "I've got these songs in my head and I don't know how to play guitar. I need somebody who can tell me what chords I'm singing to." That led him to David Farmer, a local musician who worked patiently with him and eventually took him into a small local recording studio. "He was my lead guitarist on the first sessions I did," Brian says, "and he was how I was able to find the means to actually turn my thoughts into charted music."

    It was one of the early tapes he and David did together that earned him the call from Overstreet's company and kept him jazzed about writing. "I'm a night person," he says, "and after hanging out with my friends or playing football or studying for the night I'd stay up until 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning, just writing, and I'd barely be able to wake up the next day. But the sun would go down and my creative juices would start flowing."

    Brian went to the University of Arkansas for a year, mostly to honor his mother's wishes, but the big education he got was musical. "I got tired of not knowing how to play guitar or write down my own songs, so I'd sit in the hallway at two in the morning teaching myself to play. In fact, the sound carried so much they eventually made me stop." But he had learned, and when he transferred after a year to South West Missouri State University in Springfield, he began using every bit of his spare time playing with his buddies. They performed in coffeehouses and at parties in people's homes, and Brian backed up a nondenominational church group.

    "That's when I realized how much I liked playing my own music in front of people." As his friends began to graduate, though, he took a look at his own future and decided it needed to be in Nashville. His Mother and Stepfather set aside their nervousness and bought him a guitar as a going-away present.

    "I moved into the back of a small house," he says. "It was a bathroom and a kitchen/living room with a pull-out bed. Mostly, it was piles of clothes and a TV set." He wrote songs, played in an informal band with some college friends, and set about meeting people.

    Brian lives outside Nashville, and sports remain a big part of his downtime. "I love to watch them and to play them," he says. "I have a blast lowering a basketball goal to eight-and-a-half feet, getting a couple of buddies together for a game, and acting as if we're actually tall enough to dunk the ball. I also enjoy golf because one great shot can bring you back the next day. That's what I tell Leon about playing live. Everything can go wrong at a show, but if one thing feels right, it brings you right back. There's that kind of intensity." He also treats writing as a hobby, turning to poetry, short stories, or screenplays when he's not working on songs. "I don't have a choice," he says. "Good or bad, I feel a need to write those ideas down."

    Both the honesty and the intensity that color his talk about music show through in the work itself, and Brian is able now and then to enjoy the success that dedication has brought.

    "The pursuit itself can be constant," he says, "whether you're writing or making the album or getting it ready for release, that sometimes you can lose sight of the thrill of it. But there are moments, like when we've been in the studio for three hours and everything's kind of getting tired and I just stop and think, 'I'm really doing this, the thing I dreamed about when I was a little kid,' and the fact that I've been given this opportunity can blow my mind."

    He recognizes the role of good fortune, of the good people around him, and hard work and dedication in the mix that is his first taste of success.

    "I feel like I'm very fortunate to be here," he says, "but also like I'm supposed to be here."

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