Bryan Bassett is a guitarist, song writer, recording engineer, producer, and music professor who played with Wild Cherry, Molly Hatchet, and Foghat. He received 2 Grammy Nominations, an American Music Award, 2 Platinum Records, and 3 Gold Records. Six records that he engineered reached #1 on the "Living Blues" radio charts, 3 and 1 won the W.C. Handy Award. Bryan has appeared on The Grammy Awards, Midnight Special, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Dinah Shore Show.
Bryan was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1954. After seeing the Beatles and Stones on TV, he wanted to play guitar. His parents gave him a Harmony Rocket guitar and a small Harmony Amp for Christmas. An older Italian gentlemen and excellent guitarist, Jerry Conderato, taught Bryan proper playing technique. Bryan was quickly able to chord along with his favorite 45s. After, graduating from Pittsburgh’ Central Catholic High school in 1972, he studied music and English at the University of Pittsburgh through 1974. While in high school and college Bryan played with several Pittsburgh area cover bands.
In 1975 Bryan became a founding member of the reformed funk band Wild Cherry, who scored a number 1 hit in 1976 with the classic song "Play That Funky Music". Bryan’s signature guitar hooks lead off the song. The band was named Best Pop Group of the Year by Billboard, and received an American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year, as well as a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Vocal Group and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo. The album earned 3 Gold and 2 Platinum records. Bryan recorded on three of the band’s Epic Records albums. Five of their singles reached the Billboard charts. Wild Cherry toured with “The Average White Band”, “The Isley Brother’s”, “Earth, Wind and Fire”, “The Jackson Five” and the “Commodores”. Bryan left the band in 1979 before it recorded it’s fourth album.
During the early 1980s Brian played with several Pittsburgh bands including T-Dice, Airborne, The Silencers, and The Mystic Knights. After leaving Wild Cherry, Bryan led the hard rock band Airborne. They played for several years releasing two locally produced albums. Airborne was working on an album in a Miami studio with producer Felix Pappilardi of Mountain and Cream fame, when he died from a sudden tragic accident. Unable to land a major label deal, “Airborne” disbanded. Byran joined The Silencers when guitarist Warren King left playing with them until they disbanded. In 1984 Dom DiSilvio, owner of the Decade club, asked Warren to form an "all-star" band to bring in customers on club's slow Monday nights. Thus the Mystic Knights were formed with Bryan, Warren King, keyboard player Gil Synder from the Houserockers. and former Silencers drummer Ron 'Bryd' Foster. The Mystic Knights became a popular blues act and appeared in several Iron City Beer commercials performing their song "Spread Yourself Around."
Around 1984 Brian left the Mystic Knights moving to Orlando Florida become an engineer, producer, and session guitarist for King Snake Studio. Owned by Bob “Rattlesnake” Greenlee, who got his start in the music business playing in high-school rock bands with Duane and Gregg Allman, King Snake studios specialized in Blues and R&B recordings. King Snake produced recordings for the Alligator and Ichiban labels. Bryan recorded, mixed, and produced over 75 Albums/CD's for during his 15 years with King Snake through 1999. His guitar was featured on more than 25 blues albums artists such as "Rufus Thomas", "Kenny Neal", "Lucky Peterson", "Alex Taylor"(featuring James Taylor) and the "JB's"(James Brown's famous horn section).
Warren King, who Bryan had played with in Pittsburgh, also became an engineer and session guitarist at King Snake. The studio house band, The Midnight Creepers, was comprised of Bryan, Warren, Byrd Foster (former Silencers drummer, gritty vocalist Mike Galloway on harp ,and bassist Bob Greenlee. The Midnight Creepers also performed at clubs in the Orlando area and released three albums: "Breaking Point" on Wild Dog Records and "Wild" and "Wild Dogs" on the Ichiban label. Bryan also played “Blue House” a central Florida blues band.
One evening in 1988 the great rock guitarist “Pat Travers” brought “Lonesome Dave Peverett” to one of my band’s shows. Dave and I hit it off and began a lifelong friendship based on our mutual love of “Blues” music. Dave asked me to go on tour with him, which I gladly did, and we played together for 4 years. In 1992 Foghat reformed with their original members.
Guitarist Pat Travers, a good friend of Bryan, brought guitarist Lonesome Dave Peverett of Foghat to one of the Blue House shows. Lonesome Dave jammed with the band becoming fast friends with Bryan. Dave hired Bryan to tour with him "Lonesome Dave's Foghat" from 1989 through 1993. They played over 150 shows worldwide each year.
On tour in Europe Bryan met and became friends Danny Joe Brown and Bobby Ingram on the band Molly Hatchet. Asked to join the band in 1993, Bryan toured with Molly Hatchet for seven years through 1999. Bryan appeared on three of Molly Hatchet’s releases "Devil's Canyon" in 1996, the "Silent Reign of Heroes" CD in 1998, and Kingdom of XII in 1998.
Bryan left Molly Hatchet to rejoin Foghat as Rod Price’s replacement in 1999. Bryan wrote songs on several of Fog Hat’s CD: "Return of the Boogie Men", "Road Cases", and "Family Joules". He engineered and produced 'Family Joules' CD, the double CD 'Foghat - LIVE II', and their "The Official Bootleg DVD, Volume 1". Bryan continues to perform and record with Foghat. He also works as a freelance engineer / producer along with begin an Adjunct Professor of music at Daytona Beach State College.