It was a quiet night at Fireside CafÃ©. The stage was set up and the lights shined on the Atlanta, Ga. born-and-raised country singer, Brandon Stiles, who tried to liven the lounge for the very few students who actually paused to hear him.
During the show, he sang a mix of both rock and country songs from artists like Keith Urban and Bruce Springsteen. He even sang a few of his own songs.
When he was little, Stiles said he grew up listening to The Beatles and Johnny Cash records. He started playing music at about 6 years old when he, his cousin and his brother started a little band.
“We got a paper drum kit, cheap guitars, and we sold tickets to our grandparents for a dollar,” Stiles said.
Stiles said he got serious about music when he was 25. He admitted he was not always a huge country fan until four years ago when a friend of his got him listening into Keith Urban.
“Keith is a good crossover because he is a rock and country guy,” he said.
He has been touring around the country for about three years and is still going strong. He plays for crowds of anywhere from 10 to 1,000 people, he said.
Normally his band members tag along, but he came to Fireside by himself and sang with just his acoustic guitar because he said it is hard to bring all the equipment and members up north.
Castleton freshman Katelyn Schowlin, who happened to be at the Campus Center during Stiles performance, noticed how this country crooner’s show was very vacant.
“My friend and I were sitting above Fireside, when we decided to get a snack,” said Schowlin. “When we had gone inside, we both commented on how such talent had such a small audience. It was depressing.”
Of course, everyone had gone home for the weekend for some St. Patty’s day festivities and this is Stiles first time being in the state of Vermont.
“He played well and did a great job at trying to keep the audience entertained,” said Alex Guyette, who was one of the few others who showed up for the show.
Sodexo worker, Jay Tice Jr., who was working at Fireside that night, shared the same sentiments as Schowlin.
“I felt bad for the guy,” Tice said. “It sucks when you try to showcase your talent, and no one shows up to see it.”
Two weeks ago, Stiles finished his second EP album.
Stiles said he soon plans to move from his hometown, Atlanta to Nashville, Tenn. to sign with a new record company.
“The goal would be to get a publishing deal and then be an opener for a major act,” he said.