Multi award winning Singer/Songrighter, Brendan McMahon, grew up in the small town of Kapunda near South Australia’s Barossa Valley. He discovered his love of music at the tender age of 15 after being “awed and floored” seeing Jimi Hendrix play on television; amazed by the sounds that Jimi could pull from a guitar and captivated by the iconic performer’s showmanship. Borrowing money from his mother (and paying it back at $2 a week) he promptly bought himself a $60 guitar and amp rig from a mate.
Initially wanting to be a glam-rock superstar in the 80s and 90s (think Van Halen, Kiss, Def Leppard), McMahon later transitioned to the more storytelling driven tunes of songwriters such as Paul Kelly, Harry Manx, Richard Thompson and Garth Brooks, artists that continue to inspire him today.
Spending his late teens and early twenties as a lead singer/lead guitarist in rock cover bands playing across Adelaide and country Victoria, McMahon honed his skills the hard way – in front of demanding Australian pub and club crowds. In 1998, and now bitten by both the song writing and performance bug, McMahon released a 7-track EP called ‘Picture This’ with his band The Cunning Stunts. ‘The songs, mostly pop rock, now seem too cluttered and uninteresting compared to the music I write today, but I still love to listen to them once in a while as they bring back great memories.”
In 2015 and 2016, Brendan released the solo albums ‘Falling To Earth’ and ‘Marker 7-58’ under the moniker of Satellite Gods, and in doing so was fortunate enough to collaborate and work with some renowned Australian musicians including Peter Maslen (Boom Crash Opera), Jason Vorherr (Darryl Braithwaite), Bob Spencer (The Angels), Simon Hosford (Vanessa Amorosi) and Wilbur Wilde (Ol’ 55).
Brendan explains “I met these fabulous musicians through the recording studio I use (Soggy Dog Recording Studio in Upwey, Victoria). Not only did they contribute their instrumental talents to these albums, they also opened up my eyes to new concepts and helped me understand the importance of ‘leaving space’ in the music.”
After supporting artists such as Boom Crash Opera, Russell Morris, Wendy Stapleton and The Chantoozies in Australia, Brendan released the LP ‘On This Fine Occasion’ in 2017, which received great reviews both locally and internationally.
“Whatever it is that makes his music just so amazingly addictive, the American audience is not only ready to take Brendan McMahon in as one of their own, but they’re ready to catapult him to a level of fame that he hasn’t already previously known in his already well accomplished and hard-fought career in this business.”
- Cash Box Magazine, Canada
“McMahon’s personal style of song writing discovers a new peak with this release thanks to his continuing refinement of the cinematic imagery powering his song writing. ‘On This Fine Occasion’ is an intensely human collection; Brendan McMahon doesn’t write about life as he would have it, but rather life as he sees it … it’s one of the more substantive studio recordings I’ve heard yet in 2018.”
- Vents Magazine
“I am amazed by this music … It’s so beautifully written and full of stories, expression and peace. Listen”
- Beat Media
In 2019, McMahon, who now calls Melbourne home, released ‘In The Moment’ – his 4th solo album. Maturity, reflection and drawing on his personal experiences, his inspired yet refined lyrics again take listeners on a captivating journey.
Recorded with Steve Vertigan at Soggy Dog Recording Studios, and again drawing upon Australian music royalty in its creation – namely Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Danny Spencer (Jimmy Barnes Band), Brett Kingman (James Reyne Band), and the previously mentioned Peter Maslen and Jason Vorherr, plus a string trio from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (Sarah Curro, Gabi Halloran and Paul Zabrowarny), this powerful album embraces the essence of story-telling and leaves you thinking about the songs long after the last track finishes.
Having visited over 50 unique and varied countries over the last decade (McMahon and his wife share an extensive and adventurous bucket list), Brendan’s travel experiences, specifically his observations of history, cultures, people, architecture and nature are at the root of his creativity and songwriting. These themes again feature prominently throughout ‘In The Moment’.
November 2020 saw the release of ‘No Rush Today’, an album that debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes country music chart on release. McMahon feels his 5th solo offering cemented him in the Country Rock space. The album delivered 3 top 10 AMRAP singles, Jack, Sugar Cane Man and Wired to the moon along with strong charting on many other Australian charts including a No.4 position in France with Sugar Cane Man.
Once again, the collaboration of Soggy Dog Studios (Steve Vertigan) and McMahon, along with the incredible session musicians from previous albums, has delivered an album of stories about personal journey, travel experiences and people.
The 17th of June, 2022, marked the release of 'As The Road Unfolds', the most successful record to date. It debuted as the highest selling Australian album on the iTunes Country chart. It has also delivered no less than 6 chart topping singles - Jenni J, When I See You Tonight, I Feel A Change, Skin & Bone, Gundry's Track and Back Roads.
“I strongly believe that 'As The Road Unfolds' is my most cohesive and strongest offering yet”, McMahon says. “We’ve spent a lot more time fine tuning the tracks as we’ve had a lot more time to listen to them in the last 12 months due to the lockdowns. I’ve also recorded a lot more of this album in my own studio and the studio of Aussie guitar virtuoso, Simon Hosford which definitely added more colour to the end product”.
“I’ve found it really exciting in 2021 & 2022 to be getting strong airplay all over the world… my songs are now being played in Ireland, England, Scotland, Canada, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Luxemburg… it’s one of the positives of global reach to new audiences through the internet” states McMahon.
'As The Road Unfolds' won the Australian Country Music Peoples Choice Award for best album at the 2023 Tamworth music festival.
Where to from here...? With 2 chart topping tracks from the highly anticipated 7th solo album already released, 'New Country Morning' and 'Time Rolls on' and the powerful and poignant 'I Hear Your Voice (The Soldier)' featuring the very talented Montana Sharp due for release in early April 2023, it all ahead full steam for this year.