Over the course of more than three decades, three world tours as lead guitarist and collaborating on thirty -three studio albums, Brian Carmona has continued to evolve, develop, and challenge himself as a musician. As singer, song writer and producer of his debut album, THIS IS ME, Carmona finally felt he made is biggest creative leap yet. Based in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia for the past 12 years, Brian Carmona is a Brooklyn born guitarist/songwriter who delivers his own brand of blues rock with Latin, R&B and funk influences on this all-original, self-produced debut album.
A first-generation American whose mother hails from Colombia and the product of a musical family, Carmona’s a soulful vocalist. He picked up the six-string at age 11 and developed his own distinctive style, influenced most by the three Kings — B.B., Freddie and Albert, Carlos Santana, Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix while also playing drums, bongos and other percussion instruments along the way. Carmona is rooted in the past and it’s clear he learned his moves from musicians some three generations ago. Brian emphasizes how the American roots of music is grounded with the ‘60s notion of blues and soul, all filtered through the prism of ‘70s classic rock. Which isn’t to say Carmona ignores the straight stuff: much of his original music is modern- His roots are just that- roots, not anchors, allowing the group to grow, often in unexpected and quietly thrilling ways.
“I’ve been wanting to produce my own record for a long time,” he says, explaining that he met with numerous candidates before concluding that he should make the move. "What I wanted to provide was a place for musicians to come and feel they could express themselves, and contribute in their own voice the way I was able to contribute in mine.”
"I have a great, great band—the most gentle, genuine, musically open-minded people," he says. "I push them some, but they always respond with creativity, and they inspire me to open things up musically. The versatility of my live band has been a gradual concept I've been working on since I started playing at the Parchment Farm in Portland, Oregon in 1994. Back then, we would play three- or four-hour shows. We had horn sections, extended jams, improvisational songs, and whatever else would come from the ether. This current group of players I have on the road with me has re-inspired me to be more open, and less protective. I think THIS IS ME reflects this attitude, and the vibrations are very much reflections of the connections.”
"I've always loved such a wide range of music." Carmona adds, discussing some new influences, which were pulling him toward a new genre direction. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Latin old school, Afro- Cuban rhythms and flavors, and I am wanting to open up that box a little more, and will be the direction I take on my upcoming new project Winter 2018” he says. "I've always loved ’70’s R&B, and now with streaming services, it's so easy to sample so much new music."
For Brian Carmona, THIS IS ME is the fulfillment of dreams and aspirations—musical, personal, and professional—that he’s had for a long time. “All you can ask for as an artist is the chance to create what you hear and feel inside of yourself,” he says. “For my first time producing, I could not have been luckier—I was able to get into the heart of every single moment of this record.”