Mr. B. (Mark Braun)

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Mr. B.
Birth name Mark Lincoln Braun
Born 1957
Flint, Michigan
Genres Boogie-woogie
Instruments Piano
Labels Oldie Blues

Mr. B. (born Mark Lincoln Braun, 1957), is an American boogie woogie pianist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Flint, Michigan, Mark Lincoln Braun was the youngest of the three children of Phil and Sally Braun. He became interested in the piano through recordings that his father had played and began studying under the likes of Boogie Woogie Red and other famous area musicians. Between listening to records as well as the local musicians, and receiving one on one instructions from the local musicians, Braun's music career had begun. Mark began playing by listening and watching the local musicians perform at local venues and private lessons. Whilst immersing himself in the blues and boogie traditions and culture, Braun graduated from Flint Southwestern High School and was accepted into the prestigious University of Michigan. After completing three years towards a Bachelor of Arts in History degree, Braun decided to drop out and pursue a career in blues and boogie woogie style piano.


He moved to Ann Arbor as a young adult, and learned to play rock and pop piano at age 15, but was converted to blues and boogie by a Jimmy Yancey record his father gave him.

Mr. B. is a dedicated blues piano revivalist, recording tunes made famous by Yancey, as well as Little Brother Montgomery, Professor Longhair, Mercy Dee Walton, Amos Milburn, and Sunnyland Slim, among others.


My Sunday Best[edit]

1994 - This is another trio date with Kurt Krahnke (bass) and Andy Conlin (drums). Also featured prominently is the legendary drummer, Roy Brooks. "The changes in direction serve to literally amaze the listener, taking them through a range of moods and colors that are generally not experienced in such a setting. Truly, in Braun's hands, musical genres are bent into a pervasive whole, with no regard for anything but the purity of intention and the transference of joyous emotion … this is musical empathy at its best. This is not just a case of a local boy making good, this is a statement of a world class musician playing for his hometown fans." Detroit Metro Times Magazine. Recorded live at the Kerrytown Concert house in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Track Listing:

  1. My Sunday Best
  2. Deep Excavation
  3. Little Brother
  4. Swanee River Boogie
  5. La Piragua
  6. Blues for a Carpenter
  7. Thunder & Lightning Boogie
  8. When I Lost My Baby
  9. New 44 Blues
  10. Roll 'Em Pete
  11. Deep South Blues
  12. My Sunday Best

Hallelujah Train[edit]

Released on 3 September 1996 - Mr. B meets the Bird of Paradise Orchestra. This was an exhilarating and challenging collaboration, a mix of original and standard compositions all presented in unique arrangements for a 16 piece band. "From the opening 'Hallelujah Train' to the practically unbelievable 10 minutes of sheer energy in the finale, 'B's Boogie Woogie,' this album kicks out all the stops." - Louisiana Country Magazine. Recorded live.

Track Listing:

  1. Hallelujah Train
  2. Brauny
  3. One Room Country Shack
  4. My Sunday Best
  5. Little Brother
  6. Down the Road Apiece
  7. Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  8. Air Mail Special
  9. La Bailarina
  10. Deep Excavation
  11. B's Boogie Woogie

Mr. B Live[edit]

Mr. B Live at the Kerrytown Concert House 2002 - This is a solo date and the first since B's BOUNCE in 1984. This set features many of the great standards of the blues and boogie school recorded in front of an audience on a beautiful Steinway model C at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. The Concert House has featured dozens of luminaries from the world of jazz piano, and this recording documents a highlight in their series. Mr. B returns to his roots for straight ahead blues and boogie piano playing at its finest.

Track Listing:

  1. Pinetop's Boogies
  2. When the Saints Go Marching In
  3. After Hours
  4. Jimmy's Stuff
  5. Cow-Cow Blues
  6. Honky Tonk Train Blues
  7. Sunnyside of the Street
  8. Vicksburg Blues
  9. Chicago Breakdown
  10. My Babe
  11. St. Louis Blues

Cheek to Cheek[edit]

Mr. B. has been visiting Ann Arbor for the annual art fair. This was technically his first act. Every year he brings his bike transported up right piano and plays songs on the U of M campus. His most famous act is the 'Cheek to Cheek Boogie' where 2 people boogie on one piano switching positions. Until recently his only partner in this act was Bob Seeley.


External links[edit]