A lifelong resident of Columbus Ohio, Brian Griffin has spent most of his adult life working as an award winning artist, receiving a degree in Fine Arts at The Ohio State University and working as a Graphic Artist at the Upper Arlington Public Library.
All the while, he wrote songs. Songs about everyday life and songs about how people can mistreat and harm each other. Songs about hate, love,war and peace. Over 500 songs.
With the march of time, the need to get these songs heard has grown to the point of taking action. Since April 2000, Brian has been a regular performer at various acoustic open stages around Columbus including the Thirsty Ear Tavern, Club 202, Woodlands Tavern, and the Shrunken Head. Brian has also performed at the Ohio State Fair, Three Cups Coffeehouse and the Harvest Moon Coffeehouse. Brian has also played at many benefit concerts, and has been a featured performer at vigils against the death penalty and has sang at anti-war/pro-peace rallies.
In February 2002, work began on an debut album, Late Bloomer released in March 2003. Songs from the CD were featured on CD 101‘s Frontstage program and Brian was a guest performer on Bob Fitrakis’s Fight Back! show. In September and October 2004, Brian played an “Open Stage Tour” of the Central Ohio area to raise voter awareness for the upcoming presidential election.
The EP Dispatches From the HomeFront was released before the election. Recording continued for the second full length CD HomeFront which was released in June 2005. In August and September 2005, Brian returned to the studio to record a a 3rd CD of non-political songs. The resulting CD, LoveLoss was released in October 2005.
In 2006, Brian continued playing shows and benefits around Columbus including the “Clash-a-thon” at Skullys Music Diner and was the first performer at the Comfest‘s Solar Stage. In June 2008, Brian created a children’s music program “Sing-A-Story” where Brian would read a book about a classic song and then perform the song with the audience.
A low profile was kept in 2009 with performances at the Townes Van Zandt tribute and a set at the final Ohio Hempfest. Starting in January 2009 Brian started releasing “Video Demos” of songs written over the previous four years. Brian performed rarely during this period.
In early 2011, Brian started to emerge from his hiatus from performing. Re-energized by the protests against the anti-union Senate Bill 5, Brian led protests and was featured on the front page of the Columbus Dispatch (2/23/2011). Later inspiration was provided by the Occupy Movement in the fall of 2011. Brian returned to the studio to record the internet single, Gonna Rise Up, that was also featured in the Occupy Columbus compilation CD. At various actions and protests, Brian started playing with other musicians involved in the cause of social justice including Greg Kilcup(organ), Ewan Todd (sax, flute) along with Michael Ravage and Myke Rock (founders of the legendary Columbus Punk rock band Screaming Urge). The assembled group became known as Uncle John’s Statehouse Band (UJSB) and performed at the Ohio Statehouse and at other rallies and protests during the fall and winter of 2011/2012.
The start of 2012 found Brian continuing to perform for political events and for tributes to many of rock and folk music”s greatest artists. A new song and recording, American Spring, spoke of a new American revolution rising from the Occupy Movement. In March, for an special Occupy event. UJSB played a full electric set of Brian’s original songs and covers of classic protest songs.
Brian was interviewed and permfromed live on the radio shows The Other Side of the News and The Blue State Diner. It was around this time that Brian was contacted by Columbus music legend Willie Phoenix about recording a new album with Phoenix producing the sessions. Recording began in May of 2012. The 1st track recorded, Reason In Rhyme was released as an internet single. For future sessions Brian took members of UJSB (which now included Mike Powers (drums) and Bart Lambert(bass/guitar) and renamed the group Brian Griffin and the HomeFront Band. The group opened for Willie Phoenix for a number of live shows and performed at the 2012 Comfest. Recording for the new album continued through the summer and fall of 2012. Future plans include playing more shows in the Central Ohio area and recording songs for the next release.