“I’m trying something new this time,” reveals folk-rock singer/songwriter Brett Dennen of his decision to release two EPs this year instead of abiding by the industry’s one-album-every-two-years standard. “I’ve noticed, since my first record, it works for a while to out 10 or 12 or 14 songs every two or three years, and I’ll still continue to do that. It’s kind of heartbreaking though when you go away and put all this time and energy into something that, by the time you tour your release, people have already either forgotten about it, moved on, or decided they like your old songs better,” he laughs. “I’m looking for a situation that allows me to be more prolific. I write all the time, but I don’t always get to finish things or put things out because it’s stuck in the cycle of releasing something every two or three years. I’m hoping that it will open up something new for me so I can keep writing and moving through the mountains and rivers of creativity.”

On February 16th, Dennen released Let’s…, the first of the two EPs slated for 2018. Let’s… follows up his last album, 2016’s Por Favor which, from Spanish, translates to “please”; For Favor suggested a need for something, a desire to make a change—a word that Dennen felt alluded to asking for something to come into your life. Now, with Let’s…, he makes a conscious effort to step out, and create an open-ended invitation to band together with friends and strangers alike to get the party started. “I think about songs I love all the time and what I love about them. I was thinking about songs you may hear at a wedding reception, and there are ones that immediately get people out on the dance floor because they’re bangers or barnburners or panty-droppers or whatever,” he laughs. “Then, there are songs that subtly get the party started, where people trickle onto the dancefloor, you know, like ‘Naive Melody’ by the Talking Heads,” he says, as he begins to sing and articulate the various instrumental riffs in the song for my own private serenade. “It starts the party, and then somebody plays The Temptations, and then it all begins.”

Dennen partnered with songwriter/producer Dan Wilson (Dixie Chicks, Adele) to bring Let’s… to life. “He was a total jerk, I had to do all the work myself. No, I’m just kidding,” he laughs. “I love that guy, I admire him so much. It just feels good—I like being around him, I like being creative with him, I’m not really open to doing that with a lot of people. Dan is a great singer/writer, musician, and producer,” Dennen adds. “He’s just a joy to be around.”

Currently on tour to promote his new release, Dennen will make a stop at Nashville’s City Winery on February 27th. “I played there a couple of years ago; I knew it was going to be good, but it was one of the best shows I’ve ever had in Nashville!” he admits. “It started a couple of years ago, I saw Deer Tick play there, and it looked like they were having a good time. I’ve played everywhere in Nashville there is to play, but there’s something about that place. I actually got people to dance, didn’t you hear?” he jokes of the notoriously tough Nashville crowd. “I thought it would’ve made the news!”

It’s also a nice pairing between venue and artist (see what I did there?), as the Northern Californian has gotten into the wine business himself with his own line of Rosés, consequently named Dennen Wines, featuring his own artwork on the labels. “It’s really cool. When I’m at City Winery, you bet I’m gonna be like ‘Who’s in charge here? Why don’t you sell my wine?’ The City Winery in Chicago carries it, I want to make it happen. I’ll be like ‘I will play only City Winery for the rest of my life if you sell my wines,’” he declares. “It’s all part of the experience. Wine makes people feel good, it makes listening to music a lot better. I know when people are drunk, I sound a lot better,” he adds with a laugh. “To me, it’s about getting people together and having a meaningful experience. That’s what I’m doing across the board in my life, with all of my other endeavors, trying to work it all together into an experience of having fun, but having fun for the greater good,” he says. “I want to put a smile on people’s faces.”

[Click HERE for tickets and show information.]

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