“My brain is cloudy,
my soul is upside-down...
When I get that low-down feeling,
I know the blues must be someplace around.”
(Bob Wills – the King of Western Swing)
DENNIS LICHTMAN - clarinet, mandolin, fiddle
TAMAR KORN - vocals
RAPHAEL MCGREGOR - lap steel guitar
SKIP KREVENS - electric guitar
KEVIN DORN - drums
ANDREW HALL - upright bass
The Brain Cloud is the brain-child of multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman and vocalist Tamar Korn. Regarding the diverse influences in their sound, which could loosely be described as western swing, says Lichtman, “Western swing is a quintessentially American music – a meeting point of all American musics that had come before it – jazz (from ragtime through swing), bluegrass, Appalachian old-time fiddling, Tin Pan Alley popular songs, early country, Mississippi Delta blues, western cowboy songs...”
The Brain Cloud draws its inspiration from this fearless smashing-together of genres. Live shows are where the band excels. Tamar’s voice is reminiscent of an old 78 rpm record, and she brings lively spirit and improvisational freedom to each song – not to mention her jaw-dropping “muted trumpet” and “violin” vocal solos. And Lichtman, equally at home on mandolin, fiddle, and clarinet, leads the band’s arrangements in a way that keeps the audience (and the band) excited to see what’s coming next. That is, if the audience hasn’t already left their seats to crowd the dance floor.
The band’s third full-length album, Live at Barbès (released April 2017) was recorded at the legendary and intimate Brooklyn venue where the band has held court every Monday night since 2011.
In early 2010, Lichtman joined forces with Tamar Korn, whom he had known for two years as bandmates in the now-defunct, old-timey jazz outfit the Cangelosi Cards. Their mutual love of a wide variety of American roots music led them to form The Brain Cloud initially as a side project to the Cangelosi Cards. Since then, the Brain Cloud has performed at Lincoln Center, major jazz festivals on both coasts and in Canada, and has found success among the thriving swing dance scene in New York and elsewhere.