Dupont songwriter, Bret Alexander, to recieve Lifetime Achievement Award
Bret Alexander already has a game plan for this year’s Steamtown Music Awards. He’s going to show up wearing all black, clench a glass of bourbon on the rocks and accept the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Northeastern Pennsylvania’s music scene. The event is taking place at 7:30 p.m. on September 17 at The V Spot in Scranton — with a red carpet experience kicking off at 6 p.m.
For more than 20 years, Alexander, who lives in Dupont, reigned as the main songwriter, and a guitarist, for The Badlees. He’s responsible for such songs from the group as “Fear of Falling,” “Angeline Is Coming Home” and “Don’t Let Me Hide.”
Alexander says his passion for songwriting stems from the idea of creating something from nothing.
“You’re taking a piece of your life, your thoughts, or your philosophy, and turning it into something that resonates with who you are,” he said. “Chances are, if it will resonate with me, it will resonate with someone else. And when it does, that’s the best part.”
Alexander spent most of the ’90s touring the world with The Badlees, he said. The group performed throughout the U.S., Canada — even China. After spending most of the ’90s on the road, Alexander refocused his passion on an additional musical endeavor. He opened a recording studio, Saturation Acres, now in Dupont, in 1999. The studio used to be located in Danville.
He said the studio started out as a place for The Badlees to record their own albums. The studio would come to evolve into a safe haven for regional artists to grow, develop and make friendships. Even Breaking Benjamin recorded there. In 2001, Alexander said the group recorded their first EP that helped them get a record deal at Saturation Acres.
The recording studio proved to be a “musical melting pot” where Alexander would learn from the artists he mentored.
“You’re learning to work with people who don’t think like you,” Alexander said about recording at a studio. “You can apply what you learn with your own music. It opens you up to other ways of thinking. You don’t get that exchange of everyone’s process when you’re recording alone in your basement or with your band.”
Alexander said he doesn’t have a speech planned for the night of the SMA’s, but he knows he’ll start out by thanking his wife, Kelly, and daughters, Harlow and Scarlet.
If he offers any advice to the musicians in attendance who are just starting out, he’s likely to advice people to constantly connect with other artists.
“Surround yourself with as many people as possible and be open to learning from them,” Alexander said.
Aside from being honored, Alexander said he looks forward to watching people in the NEPA music scene be honored for their own achievements.
“It’s great to see how much great music is being made in this area,” Alexander said. “When I started out, I don’t know if there were enough people making original music for there to be an award show. It’s great to see there is now.”
Reach Justin Brown at 570-991-6652 or on Twitter @wkdr