The heart of the matter

Briar Rabbit will be playing a free concert in the Hub of Kilcawley Center Wednesday night. The concert is the second of YSU Student Activities’ Penguin Pre-Party concert series for spring semester.

The rhythm of the blues runs through the veins of guitarist and singer Briar Rabbit.

Hailing from Metro Detroit, Rabbit always had a passion for performing music. Growing up, he began to pursue his dream of becoming a professional musician by performing in the high school band, choirs and musicals and attending Chicago’s Second City Day Camps. After graduating from high school, he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. where he majored in music business and management.

Rabbit said music is something that has always come as second nature to him.

“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing,” Rabbit said. “I enjoy expressing myself through words and the music I play.”

Rabbit said he likes to describe his music as “thought-pop,” meaning that he wants his listeners to have a message to take away after hearing his music.

“It’s really lyrically driven,” Rabbit said. “On my new CD, a lot of the songs are about getting back in touch with yourself and getting to the heart of the matter.”

Rabbit credits his family as being influential when it comes his music career. One of which is his uncle Riley B. King, also known as the “King of Blues,” B.B. King. Rabbit said his uncle is one of his biggest fans and really credits King for helping him pursue his dream of becoming a musician.

“Having him around really helped. Growing up I would think, ‘Hmm he plays music, maybe I should play too,’” Rabbit said. “I really admire how he conducts himself musically and is always very humble. I hope I can take those qualities and carry them on into my career.”

After releasing his first record in 2011, Rabbit has toured through most of the 50 states, playing at college universities and summer festivals.

His show Wednesday night at YSU will be one of his first stops on his promotional tour for his new CD, “In Your Bones.”

Rabbit, along with Korby Lenker, will be performing in Kilcawley Center’s The Hub on Wednesday, and said he’s never been to the Youngstown-Cleveland area before and was very excited to find out he was booked to play at YSU.

“I love playing at campuses and universities. It’s always so intimate, and you really get to feel the vibes of the crowd you are playing for,” Rabbit said. “I love small towns. I’m excited to see the campus, too; it’ll make me feel like I’m back in college and going from class to class.”

Cori Pavlicko, senior and intern for YSU Student Activities, said that she was excited that Student Activities booked Rabbit for another one of the Penguin Pre-Party concert series.

“Erin Driscoll had a good relationship with Korby Lenker’s agent, and he offered both acts together. We didn’t know he was B.B. King’s nephew until after he was booked either,” Pavlicko said. “They are both different artists compared to what we have had in the past though.”

As for the future, Rabbit hopes to continue touring and maybe book some more universities throughout the year.

“I love touring, because the more shows you play, the more people become invested in your music, and you’ll start to grow a strong fan base,” Rabbit said. “I just want everyone to hear my music and feel relaxed and happy. I play music to share my passion with the people I play for.”