Brian Whelan Band with Mike Stinson

“Brian Whelan barely looks old enough to be shaving, but don’t let the boyish looks fool you: This Seattle native is a battle-hardened veteran of the music wars. Whelan has been around the block more than once working as a side man for the likes of Ted Russell Kamp, Randy Weeks, Tony Gilkyson, Mike Stinson, and, most recently, as a multi-instrument utility man for Dwight Yoakam’s red hot band. But late last year Whelan, who began singing onstage at eight years old, stepped off the bus long enough to record his first solo LP, “Decider,” and it’s a twangy, power pop rocker that brings nothing but smiles and tapping toes. The album showcases Whelan’s triple threat musical abilities; he has a rare and tasty singing voice (all the better to sing harmonies in the Yoakam band), plays any damn instrument he decides to well, and he writes smart songs for , as Nick Lowe says, “Now People.” In fact, to get a handle on what Whelan sounds like, think no further than Lowe pop masterpieces like “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” or “Cracking Up.”” –