Dogwood Events‘ inaugural tour came and went as quickly and refreshingly as a midday summer storm, quenching fans’ thirst for great music and memorable performances. Covering four cities in seven days, the PBJ Tour brought the eclectic and powerful music of Billy Moran, Jason Manns, Briana Buckmaster, Paul Carella, and (eventually) Hayden Lee. Each performance was a success, and fans up and down the U.S. east coast flooded social media with their accolades.
Because we love the musicians who took part in the tour so much (and maybe because we don’t want the celebration to end), we at Nerds and Beyond are shining our own spotlight on each member of the PBJ Tour. And today’s spotlight focuses on the inimitable powerhouse that is Briana Buckmaster.
Briana’s soulful vocals are well known throughout the Supernatural fandom. She has become a staple at Creation Entertainment’s Supernatural conventions over the last several years, performing with house band Louden Swain at Saturday Night Specials all over the country and beyond.
But Briana has been writing and performing music long before we ever met Sheriff Donna Hanscum. She crafted her singing and performing talents in school theatre all throughout her childhood and into college, ultimately graduating with a degree in Theatre Arts. She has performed in numerous professional musical theatre productions, and last July, Briana released her debut album Begin, which was listed as the #1 Blues album on iTunes on the day it was released.
Briana has become so beloved for her vocal talent that, when Louden Swain frontman Rob Benedict was forced to back out of some concerts in December of last year because of scheduling conflicts, she was asked to fill in for him. So seeing her be chosen as one of the artists to take part in this historic inaugural tour came as no surprise to anyone. Her performances are consistently entertaining. She can have an entire crowd out of their seats loudly singing along with her during “Gunpowder and Lead.” She can also hold an audience completely captivated and silent, as she sings about love and heartbreak in “Better Than That.” She can sing any genre of music — soul, hard rock, pop, country — and she complements others’ voices and styles effortlessly.
Briana is an undeniable star who can hold her own on any stage, but to see her perform on the PBJ Tour was especially wonderful, because we were able to see her take part in a more laid back, relaxed atmosphere than the brightly lit electric ones in which we’re accustomed to seeing her. Fans were treated to the songs we’ve come to know and love, such as “Good Love,” “Do I Move You,” and “Wave,” which packed larger emotional punches than usual in their raw, acoustic versions. The rendition of “Shallow” that she and guitarist Billy Moran have created has become incredibly popular amongst fans (primarily because it’s a rare opportunity to hear Billy sing), and Briana’s emotionally charged voice complements Billy’s rich sound perfectly.
There were several surprises as well. Briana and Billy performed an original song, “Going Home,” that they wrote together. It’s a hopeful tune with smooth-as-silk guitar hooks that are hard to forget. And as a nod to the impending end of Supernatural, the pair also performed a stripped-down and downright haunting version of “Carry On Wayward Son” that instantly brought tears to the eyes of many audience members, mine included. Briana has mentioned before that there isn’t a part of her life that Supernatural hasn’t affected, and her love for Supernatural and its fandom was evident in her flawless delivery of the show’s theme song.
The PBJ Tour gave us the Briana Buckmaster that we love: the wildly talented, sexy, empowering and hilarious artist who loves to interact with fans and sing some damn good music. She strives to perform the very best she can every time she takes the stage, each lyric steeped in emotion to tell the story behind the song. But we also got to see another side to her, one that was more subdued, because these venues required it. She was still able to showcase all the power of her bluesy, sultry voice, even in the smaller intimate settings of this tour, without overpowering the music or the other singers that shared the stage with her, all while shining as brightly as she always does.
Over a relatively short period of time, Briana’s fans have had the pleasure of watching her come into her own as a singer. She came into the Supernatural world with plenty of talent and experience under her belt already, but each performance on the convention circuit has made her stronger and has allowed her to carve out her space in the music world. Each performance of hers is somehow better than the last. And the strength of each performance brings out the best in everyone that’s on stage with her, which always makes for a great show.
Now that the tour has ended, what’s next for Briana? When she isn’t breaking hearts from the music stage, she splits her time between Vancouver and Los Angeles, juggling her many other projects. Currently, she is focusing on finishing up her run on the Canadian cartoon Chip and Potato. She also cohosts the successful The Wayward Podcast with fellow Supernatural alumna Kim Rhodes. And in our recent interview with Billy, we learned that he and Briana are working on more original music, to be released at a later date.