1979: Brayer solo LP released, Cold Feelings, which included, Craig Smith, and legendary cat gut wizard Stuart Duncan’s historic session recording debut. The album was produced by black jack gambler, Harry Hausman. It also featured Dennis Fetchett on fiddles, Larry Blom on pedal steel, and Rodger and Terry Reed on vocals and doghouse bass. Before it fell into oblivion Ken Irwin of Rounder Records stated that it was the most promising record that he had heard in the year of 1979.
1983: Larry Sparks (The Stanley Brothers) records Brayer’s Imitation of the Blues.
1990: John Doe (X) records, Imitation of the Blues.
1994: Stuart Duncan records Brayer’s, Lonely Moon, on his self titled Rounder CD, which was produced by Bela Fleck and nominated for a Grammy that same year.
Jack Hardy records Brayer’s Three Kind of News in performance live from The Bottom Line in New York City for Fast Folk Magazine (Smithsonian-Folkways).
1995: Brayer appears on a live CD recorded at the Bottom Line in New York, performing his, Bourbon as a Second Language. Those recordings were then bought up from Fast Folk Magazine and were then made available by The Smithsonian Institute, on their Smithsonian-Folkways label.
1996: In the year end issue of Rolling Stone Magazine Ben Harper sites Brayer’s Secret Hits as one of his top ten musical choices of the year, straddling alongside the likes of Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, and the Foo Fighters.
Also that year, Brayer returns to The Bottom Line in New York, recording a live version of his, Straight Life, No Chaser, which is also now available from Smithsonian-Folkways.
1997: Alison Krauss records Brayer’s co-write, So Long, So Wrong, as the title track to her platinum follow up. The CD won three Grammys, a Gold Record, and Brayer’s contribution won ‘Song of the Year’ on the IBMA charts.
Also that year Brayer appears on Ben Harper’s CD, Will to Live (Virgin Records).
Again in ’97 Brayer’s song, Turn Your Love Down, performed by North Carolina’s ASH&W, appeared on the 4CD box set collection celebrating the 35th year of the iconic Bluegrass label, Rebel Records.
1998: The Aim Recording Company releases a compilation of Brayer performances on the CD, titled Sinner/Songwriter. Of some historic note is the cover photograph of Fontana Development by Robert Morrow which was an out-take from his images taken for the best selling book, City of Quartz by author Mike Davis (Random House), who was also (no coincidence) a Fontana native.
2001: Alison Krauss records Brayer’s slide guitar arrangement of, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, with Jerry Douglas (2001 Grammy winner, and 2002 CMA Musician of the Year) doing the slide honors, and Dan Tyminski (who went on to win a Grammy as well as the ‘IBMA male vocalist of the year’ in 2001) handled the vocal duties. The CD was titled, New Favorite, and garnered both Gold Record status and itself a Grammy Award. This songs first performances appeared on the now historic “Down From the Mountain” tour, then promoting the Coen Brother’s film, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”.
Also in 2001, Ben Harper produces a reissue of Brayer’s, Secret Hits Volume 9: Catholic and Western Fabuli as the pilot project for his new independent label, Inland Emperor Records.
Also in 2001 Brayer in profiled in the October issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine by the magazine’s senior editor Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers.
Link to article:
2002: The Smithsonian Institute compilation, Fast Folk: a community of singers and songwriters, includes a re-issue of Brayer’s Bottom Line performance of, Bourbon as a Second Language. Other performers on the compilation include, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Steve Forbert, and David Van Ronk.
Also in ‘02 country-rock pioneer Chris Darrow record’s Brayer’s, Good Imitation of the Blues, for Taxim Records of Germany.
2003: Brayer appears with Ben Harper on the CD tribute to Waylon Jennings, I’ve always Been Crazy(RCA). The compilation also included the likes of Kid Rock, James Hetfield, John Mellencamp, Dwight Yokam, and Pin Monkey.
Also in ’03, Brayer’s adaptaion of, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn, appeared on the live CD and DVD, Alison Krauss and Union Station:Live, both projects going to Platinum status.
Also in ‘03 Brayer is quoted in the book, The Complete Singer-Songwriter by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, a study that also include entries by Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, James Taylor, and Paul Simon.
2005: Two Brayer collaborations with Alison Krauss reappear on the Sony Records 4CD retrospective Box Set, Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music: Can’t You Hear Me Callin’
2005 also marked the appearance of another tribute oriented release, this of an 8CD set collection of Brayer’s archival recordings of the last days of the Inland Empire’s most regionally known and nationally respected poet, Dick Barnes.
2007: Alan Jackson records Brayer’s, Good Imitation of the Blues, on the CD, Like Red on a Rose (Arista). This project reached #1 status on the Country Music charts, as well as #4 on the pop charts in October of that year.
Also in 2007, in the grandest form of cultural exchange, Brayer appeared playing pedal steel and turkish saz with dark pop scream metal legends Atreyu on their CD, Lead Sails, Paper Anchor (Hollywood Records). This groundbreaking project produced by John Feldmann (Hllary Duff, The Used) reached #14 on the Billboard Charts.
Also in 2007, the Brayer penned, So Long, So Wrong, appears as the favorite song of two star crossed lovers divided by time travel in a Sci-Fi fantasy artfully embedded in the story line of Aury Wallington’s novel, Saving Charlie. The book was the inspiration for the T.V. series, Heroes (NBC).
Also in 2007 rock-lord Robert Plant covered the Brayer/Krauss/Union Station adaptation of The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn on CMT’s Crossroads television show, recorded on Oct. 18, 2007 in Lesbon, Tennessee.
2015 The Cox Family recorded Good Imitation of the Blues on their Gone Like the Cotton CD.