If you create a Pandora station based on John Prine, Cory Branan will come up quite a bit. And while that Venn-diagram will have its share of similarities, one thing is for sure. John Prine did not play the Driftwood Char Bar last evening.


The Driftwood Char Bar sits on the quieter side of Nicollet avenue. Surrounded by homes and a gas station, it isn’t your commonly found Blues Saloon or hole-in-the-wall bar with a stage. The Driftwood houses many paintings and tapestries by local artists and offers plenty of space for bands and patrons alike, and a perfect stage for Cory Branan and his three piece band whom he dubbed “the low standards”. Make no mistake though, they are more than just a band who can crowd a barroom. A good handful of people in the audience knew Cory’s songs word for word, and had been waiting to see him with a full band for quite sometime. Cory had stopped by the Turf Club in years past with just his voice and a guitar, so the addition of a bassist and a drummer was a real treat for fans.


The band is touring in front of Cory’s new album “ADIOS” which will be released April 7th. The month-long tour stopping at bars and breweries, as well as a handful of shows at this year’s SXSW festival, before making their way up north to continue on the road. Cory kept the energy high throughout his set, both with a band and then solo with his guitar. Not only was the music fun, but Cory and the band also kept the audience entertained with little anecdotes of their self deprecating humor. “We’ve been on the road for 24 days.” he said while tuning his guitar after a song. “In case you weren’t able to smell it on us.”


Cory Branan and the Low Standards isn’t a band who gets better the closer it gets to closing time. Their Alt-Country songs were filled with lyrics that hit home for many, and great guitar-work mixed in between. Even though hockey and basketball were playing on the TVs, all eyes and ears were tuned into the band.


Say hello to “ADIOS” on April 7th, and check out a preview posted earlier here.


Special thanks to Cory for the music, and Larry for the beer.


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