Subject #3: Brian Straw
Filmed November 29, 2007 at his loft after a show at the
Brian Straw, 31, is a solo singer-songwriter from Cleveland, Ohio. I met Brian in 1999 when he played a show with my now-defunct band at the now-defunct Speak in Tongues all-ages venue. Few people came to this show, but I was struck by Brian's spare acoustic guitar compositions that showcase his rich bass voice and penchant for ambient electronics. I believe that he played the cello as well, though my memory of this hypothetical cello is over eight years old.
After our show at Speak in Tongues, Brian expressed an interest in touring from Cleveland to the Pacific Northwest on his own, working on a fishing boat for an undetermined period of time, and touring back to Cleveland. In 2001, he achieved this dream—he purchased a van, toured alone to Bellingham, Washington, and worked on a fishing boat off the Pacific Coast for one month, occasional pulling 24-hour shifts. I do not think that Brian altogether enjoyed the fishing boat experience. Eventually, he returned to Cleveland, where he has been working as a sound engineer and writing music for a "magnum opus" for the past four years.
When touring along and facing hardship, I occasionally think of Brian Straw on his fishing boat.