A singer/songwriter whose music combines equal portions of passion, heart, and swagger, Boston native Jake Brennan first made a name for himself as the lead singer with the punk band Cast Iron Hike. Joining the band in 1993 when he was 19 years old, Brennan went on to cut an album and an EP with Cast Iron Hike, but he eventually grew tired of the rigid musical boundaries of the band and developed a taste for country, blues, and roots sounds, some through the influence of his father, Dennis Brennan, a fellow musician with a loyal Boston following. In time, Brennan stepped out on his own and formed his band the Confidence Men, featuring Eric Barlow on guitar, Scott Janovitz on keyboards, Rob Dulaney on drums, and Binky on bass.
Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men started gigging on the Boston club circuit and got a break in 2001 when they shared a bill with a reunited version of Treat Her Right, with Paul Q. Kolderie sitting in on bass for the late Mark Sandman. Kolderie, a respected record producer, was very impressed with Brennan and his group, and invited them over to his newly opened studio for a three-day recording party. The sessions produced the bulk of Brennan's first album, Love & Bombs, which was released by the Yep Roc label in the fall of 2004. A documentary on the sessions, Singer-Songriot, was also released as a bonus DVD with the album's first pressing. That same year, Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men also won WBCN's prestigious Boston "battle of the bands," the Rock Rumble, and the group opened tours for Tommy Stinson and Evan Dando. ~ Mark Deming