Born in Saint Louis, Missouri to parents from rural southern Indiana, Brian grew up exposed to the older dance music and songs of the Upland South and the lower Ohio. A natural singer from very early on, this exposure inspired him to venture deeper into the singing traditions of Ireland later in his youth. Along with songs, Brian learned old-style step dance and dance tunes on the tin whistle, button accordion, and concertina in his late teens while involved with a cultural organization whose aim was to promote the pairing of Irish traditional music with dance.
It was also during these formative musical years that Brian was introduced to Áine Meenaghan (Nan Chamuis), a native Irish speaker and singer from the Conamara region of western Co. Galway now residing in Chicago, Illinois. Brian learned many songs from her repertoire and in so doing enriched his singing style and elevated his Irish language skills toward an uncanny fluency. Given his affinity to West Galway, his instrumental style on accordion and concertina is rightly influenced by the melodeon music and rhythmic patterns associated with the sean-nós dancing of this region. The culmination of his early dedication to these traditions came when Brian became the only American to ever win the coveted Sgiath Uí Dhálaigh shield at the 2002 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Listowel, Co. Kerry; adding his name to the award's long list of noted All-Ireland Champion singers including Joe Heaney, Frank Harte, Paddy Berry and Brian’s current singing partner Len Graham.
Brian has performed extensively in North America at gatherings such as the National Folk Festival, Mission Folk Music Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, CityFolk Festival, Old Songs Festival, and Lowell Folk Festival; and in Ireland at events like Lá na nAmhrán, Cruinniú na mBád, BLAS International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance, and Cuairt na mBàrd. He has also taught at many of the foremost summer music schools in the U.S. and Canada including the Catskills Irish Arts Week, Swannanoa Gathering, Milwaukee Irish Festival Summer School, Grand Canyon Celtic Arts Academy, Goderich Celtic Roots College, Augusta Heritage Center Irish Week, and CCÉ Music Arts and Dance Week, to name a few. His various recordings have been featured on many radio programs in Ireland including Céilí House on RTÉ and Lán a’ Mhála, and Béal Maidine on RnG as well as on various NPR programs in the States including the Thistle and Shamrock and Celtic Connections.
Brian currently resides in Washington, D.C.