Cory Branan joined the ranks of Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn, and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst at the dawning of the new millennium as one of the many impressive singer/songwriters to watch. Born and raised in Southaven, MS, Branan was surrounded by music from an early age. His father, Dallas Branan, was a local drummer. By his teens, the younger Branan was playing death metal and eventually fronted a Black Sabbath cover band. It wasn't until he was in his early twenties that he explored the music of John Prine, a move than urged him to pick up a guitar and start writing songs. In 2000, the Memphis chapter of NARAS awarded Branan with the Phillips Award for Newcomer of the Year. He didn't even have a recording contract yet, and the honors started rolling in. Two years later, Branan made his label debut with Madjack with the release of The Hell You Say. 12 Songs followed in early 2006.