Singer/songwriter Brandi Shearer is a sultry, emotionally engaging vocalist who combines folk, pop, country, and jazz into her own unique style. Although raised on a rural farm in Oregon, Shearer was encouraged to sing and play music by her grandmother, which also led to her receiving a guitar as a gift from her father. In her teens, Shearer began to study classical guitar and voice, a combination that ultimately won an opera scholarship to a local college. A student exchange program brought her to Hungary, where, ironically, she became exposed to the music of a variety of legendary American jazz and blues artists, including Billie Holiday. Subsequently, she dropped out of school and began performing in clubs and bars in Hungary and France.
In 1998, Shearer moved to San Francisco, CA, and released her debut solo album, Museum, which featured contributions from jazz guitarist Ted Savarese. She also spent time playing rhythm guitar in Savarese's jazz-oriented ensemble Drizzoletto, which further developed her knack for writing and performing music. Shearer released two albums within a few months in 2003 -- Music of a Saturday Night and Sycamore -- both of which helped garner her a strong local following. Among that following was Amoeba label owner David Prinz, who booked her for a live recording with the gypsy jazz Robin Nolan Trio in 2005. Various tours and performances followed, including an appearance with Nolan at Austin's SXSW festival, all of which led to Shearer releasing Close to Dark, her debut recording for Amoeba, in 2007. Love Don't Make You Juliet followed in 2009, with acclaimed Norah Jones producer Craig Street adding a smoky elegance to the material. ~ Matt Collar