Cory Branan is a natural-born storyteller, his seemingly conversational, painstakingly crafted anecdotes benefitting from a hard-eyed stare at hydra-headed life experiences. Not unlike his musical and literary pedestal sitters, from John Prine and Leonard Cohen to Raymond Carver and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Cory's gift for detail and phrase-turning is a thing of wonder. We had our eye on Cory for just about as long as he's been honing his air-tight, clever version of the perfect storysong. For those who don't know him, though, Branan is the owner of two well-crafted, kinetically charged albums--2002's The Hell You Say and 2006's 12 Songs--on Madjack Records. From the two releases came standouts ("The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis," "A Girl Named Go," "Tall Green Grass," and many others) that we've listened to in embarrassing amounts, and then probably annoyed our friends with to boot. He has garnered praise from Rolling Stone, GQ, Billboard, and performed on Late Night with David Letterman. Cory has a well-documented history with groups like former label mates Lucero, musicians of his ilk who trend toward the rawer end of roots music (The Loved Ones' Dave Hause, Chuck Ragan, Two Cow Garage, Drag the River's Jon Snodgrass), and rock stars like Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional), who has covered Cory's gorgeous "Tall Green Grass" and been a reoccurring tour mate. Never one to shy away from an itinerary of non-stop cross-country shows, Cory possesses a unique performance style that enables him to gravelly sing a coy double entendre in one ear of the audience, while yelling the most beautiful love song into the other.