A lover of adventure, Brenda has traveled spontaneously in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan. She has covered most of the U.S., including a 9,000-mile bicycle trip that brought her to Texas from Iowa (by way of Canada, Nova Scotia and the East Coast) in 1991, guitar in tow.   She came to a halt in Luckenbach, TX just in time to learn about the Kerrville Folk Festival where she worked on staff, attended the songwriting school, and performed in the staff concert. She decided to stay in Texas one year.   The plan was to write songs and pursue performing in Austin while finishing her thesis for her MA in Music Education/Music Therapy.   She would work and save money and continue on the bike trip at the end of that year.   Well, she did a lot of what she planned, but she did not save money and pedal out of Texas.  It was the end of the bicycle trip, but the start of Brenda's singer/songwriter endeavor; a path she is still on today.

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                                             - Cartoon by Amy Cartee

Brenda has a beautiful voice that seems to wrap itself around each note and makes it her own!
- Graham Warwick, Hill Country Happenings, Kerrville, TX

Who is Brenda Freed?

When did Brenda start performing?

What brought Brenda to Texas?

What are Brenda's acts?

Where has Brenda performed?

Who are Brenda's influences?

What is Brenda's philosophy on performing?

Performance Highlights

Who is Brenda Freed?

The first thing you notice about Brenda Freed is her contagious laugh and her boundless energy, charged with passion and personal power.  Brenda Freed is a musician who wears many hats reflecting her many interests.  Her "hats” include performance, teaching, music therapy, songwriting, publishing, recording, and philanthropy

Brenda was interviewed about her many “hats” in the Spring 2005 Issue of the Arts & Literature magazine Literati Magazine.

Brenda has a good time wherever she goes.  She loves life and has always been one who tries to do as much as she can every day.  In Brenda's world, there are rarely enough hours in the day to accomplish what she would like.  Yet, she is serious about allowing herself to be spontaneous, whether to have fun with her husband, Michael D’Eath, their family (including 5 grandchildren, T-Birdy dog and kitties Jumper, Sammy and Ginger), friends, or to be supportive of their needs.   Brenda is a Cancer and values the special relationships in her life.   In fact, they are her first and foremost priorities, no matter how busy she gets.  She also thrives on live performance (Performance Highlights).  Performing and spending time with a few special friends have been her lifelines during challenging times.
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When did Brenda start performing?

Brenda Freed is from Burnside, Iowa.  One might ask, "Where the heck is that?   It is a town of about 100 people 80 miles north of Des Moines.  Even with the limited opportunities of a small town, Brenda has been singing all of her life, at every opportunity imaginable, and she always knew she would do something associated with music.  She started by singing solos in church as a young girl where, very early on, she also developed an ear for singing harmony.  However, her first instrument was the organ which she studied by taking lessons at age seven.  Piano and trombone came 4 years later (dropping the organ except for an unsuccessful attempt at church organist) and at age 13, she got her first guitar and taught herself to play.  Within a few months, she was performing publicly, singing and playing guitar, which she continued throughout her school years.

In college, Brenda started playing and singing in cover bands and continued doing so until she arrived in Texas in 1991.   From that point on she has been writing much of her own material and playing as many as a 100 gigs a year for several years.     Click here for more performance highlights.
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What brought Brenda to Texas?

A lover of adventure, Brenda has traveled spontaneously in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan. She has covered most of the U.S., including a 9,000-mile bicycle trip that brought her to Texas from Iowa (by way of Canada, Nova Scotia and the East Coast) in 1991, guitar in tow.   She came to a halt in Luckenbach, TX just in time to learn about the Kerrville Folk Festival where she worked on staff, attended the songwriting school, and performed in the staff concert.   She decided to stay in Texas one year.   The plan was to write songs and pursue performing in Austin while finishing her thesis for her MA in Music Education/Music Therapy.   She would work and save money and continue on the bike trip at the end of that year.   Well, she did a lot of what she planned, but she did not save money and pedal out of Texas.  It was the end of the bicycle trip, but the start of Brenda's singer/songwriter endeavor.
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What are Brenda's acts?

  • Him & Her Brenda’s musical preferences.  Brenda now does jazz renditions of some songs from the Songbook Concerts in her solo act and Him & Her. 
  • Brenda Freed Solo – Brenda is always prepared to perform solo when the occasion arises.  She is described as a generous performer with an exuberant, energetic stage presence, engaging songs and a clear, soulful voice.  She tells stories-with-wit and presents her songs as gifts to each listener.

For a complete Schedule of Brenda’s performance acts, Click here.
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Where has Brenda performed?

Brenda has performed throughout Texas, on the East Coast, in Ireland, and toured California, the Midwest and England several times. "Performing on an elevated stage in front of 3,000 people is such a rush, she says, "Just having that experience like we did when Texas Hot Flash opened for the Charlie Daniels Band was amazing!”  However, some of her favorite performances have been smaller audiences in intimate settings or performing the Douglas and Freed Songbook Concerts to people who truly appreciate hearing live music from their past.  

Brenda has performed in concert halls, small auditoriums, festivals, house concerts, churches, bookstores, retirement homes, pubs and bars, indoors, outdoors - you name it - and under any kind of conditions from freezing and raining to humid and muggy, to the beautiful breezy open air festivals of England.   Click here for performance highlights.


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Who are Brenda's influences?

Brenda's voice has been compared to Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Diane Schuur, and Nora Jones. Recently, she has been listening and studying everything Eva Cassidy recorded, and Ellis' latest recording. Although Douglas and Freed Songbook Concerts retired in 2010, the music had a major influence on Brenda. Brenda now does jazz renditions of several songs from the Songbook Concerts in Him & Her and in her solo act.

The variety of styles in Brenda's influences reflects the versatility of her voice. This vocal versatility and her eclectic taste in music have made Brenda's music difficult to categorize because she also writes in a variety of styles. However, the common thread throughout her music is her strong voice that has an incredible range and is clear as a bell, no matter the style of the song.    

Brenda has always loved harmony and since childhood has harmonized to any music she hears, whether a harmony part was being sung or not. She grew up harmonizing with groups like The Beatles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Simon & Garfunkel so these performers have been the major influences of how she hears harmony in the female vocal groups she has put together.   Interestingly, even though she had not listened much to the Andrews Sisters, Brenda's group, Texas Hot Flash, was often compared to them.
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What is Brenda's philosophy on performance?

Brenda's philosophy is:   "I define my own art and I determine if it is any good or not. No one else can define my art for me.  The bottom line is for me to feel good about my art, to love what I am doing and to have a good time doing it.  Whenever I start worrying about what others think, I always get into trouble and all the enjoyment goes out of performing.  The only way to stick to my philosophy is to constantly be raising my own bar and working on meeting it.  The real challenge is for me to maintain a sense of fearlessness about the whole thing."   
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Performance Highlights

2012
Brenda Freed
- Voice Instructor at Voice Workshop, 2012 Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX; Expert on Healthy Vocal Maintenance panel for Health & Wellness for Musicians session, 2012 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX; Coordinated 7 other songwriters for Austin corporate team building event and started www.songteamaustin.com with Jean Synodinos. Brenda sang and coordinated background vocals on Jack Motley CD.

Michael D'Eath
- Harmonica soloist on CD's by Tracy Weinberg CD and Marghi Allen; Played Karen Abrahams' Showcase during SXSW, Austin, TX.

2011
The BobTom Reed Band Venue Highlights - Poodies Hilltop Bar & Grill, Spicewood, TX; Green Mesquite, Austin, TX; 1rst Down & Stassney, Austin, TX, Saxon Pub, Austin, TX.

Brenda Freed released Effortless Harmony Singing with Brenda Freed – A Vocal Harmony Instruction Course.

Brenda Freed: Voice Instructor at Voice Workshop, 2011 Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX; Expert on Healthy Vocal Maintenance panel for Health & Wellness for Musicians session, 2011 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX.

Him & Her - Performed at Annual Rice Festival, Fischer, TX; Saxon Pub, Austin, TX; played regularly throughout the Texas Hill Country
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2010
Him & Her Venue Highlights –NeWorlDeli monthly gig, Austin, TX; Third Coast Music Songwriters Showcase, Austin, TX; Showcases at Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX; Vanishing Texas River Cruise, Lake Buchanan, Burnet, TX; Caroling in the Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX; Michael D’Eath played with Claudia Nygaard on the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance Main Showcase Stage, and on the Kerrville Folk Festival Threadgill Stage for the  John Vandiver Tribute.

The BobTom Reed Band Venue Highlights – Austin debut at Green Mesquite, Austin, TX; Albert Dance Hall, Albert, TX; played throughout Texas Hill Country.

Douglas & Freed Songbook Concerts retired their four shows they had been performing throughout Central Texas since 2002.

Brenda Freed – Healthy Vocal Maintenance expert on panel for Health & Wellness for Musicians session, 2010 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX; Voice Instructor at Voice Workshop, 2010 Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX.
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2009
Him & Her Venue Highlights – Old Settler’s Festival, Campground Stage, Driftwood, TX; England tour including Furley’s 150th Anniversary at famous Winchester College, Portland Arms, Portland, and Balcombe Place, Sussex, England; Vanishing Texas River Cruise on Lake Buchanan, Burnet, TX; Michael D’Eath performed regularly with Graham Warwick at Blue Monday, The Auslander, Fredericksburg, TX.

Brenda FreedHealthy Vocal Maintenance expert on panel for Health & Wellness for Musicians session, 2009 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX; released Effortless Music Reading Measure Cards by Brenda Freed.

Douglas & Freed Songbook Concerts performed their four shows regularly throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

The LaserTones (AKA BobTom Reed Band) performed throughout Texas Hill Country
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2008
Moondance Treasures Music Publishing produced a showcase room and performed several showcases at the National Folk Alliance Conference, Memphis, TN showcasing over 30 musicians (7 of whom became 2008 Kerrville New Folk Finalists).

Him & Her Venue Highlights – Weinberg House Concert Series; Him & Her Band, Green Mesquite, Austin, TX; Caroling in the Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX; Vanishing Texas River Cruise, Lake Buchanan, Burnet, TX; performed throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Him & Her co-found The LaserTones that played in Texas Hill Country and became The BobTom Reed Band in 2010.

Brenda Freed Solo– Texas Songwriters in the Round, Llano, TX; Mesa Ranch, Austin, TX; Caroling in the Cave at Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX; released Effortless Singing with Brenda Freed – A Vocal Instruction Course.

Douglas & Freed Songbook Concerts performed their four shows regularly throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
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2007
Moondance Treasures Music Publishing produced a showcase room at the National Folk AllianceConference, Memphis, TN showcasing 30 musicians.

Him & Her – Performed House Concert for Cabin 10 Group, Kerrville, TX; Concert in the Cave at Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX; Vanishing Texas River Cruise, Lake Buchanan, Burnet, TX; performed throughout Texas Hill Country; Showcased at Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, Austin, TX; started playing with BobTom Reed.

Brenda Freed – Voice Instructor at Voice Workshop, Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX.

Douglas and Freed Songbook Concerts added Irving Berlin Show to their repertoire of shows and performed all four shows regularly throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
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2006
Moondance Treasures Music Publishing produced a showcase room at the National Folk Alliance in Austin, TX showcasing over 40 musicians, (3 of whom became 2006 Kerrville New Folk Finalists).

Him & Her Venue Highlights – Arlene’s Grocery and The Baggott, New York, NY; Vanishing Texas River Cruise, Lake Buchanan, Burnet, TX; performed regularly throughout the Texas Hill Country.

Brenda Freed Solo – Live on KCTI Radio, Gonzales, TX with Texas singer/songwriter legend, Aaron Allan; performed 2 solo Christmas Shows – Caroling in the Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX.

Brenda Freed retired from playing bass in O’Malarkey

Douglas & Freed Songbook Concerts performed their three shows regularly in Austin and throughout the Texas Hill Country. 

Texas Hot Flash re-united to perform an a cappella Christmas Show, Emily Anne Theater, Wimberley, TX.
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2005
Texas Hot Flash, Brenda's main performing group at that time, won an Austin Music Award in Austin Chronicle Music Poll for Best Performing Band in their category; It was a great last year for Texas Hot Flash before members moved on to pursue other performance endeavors.

Texas Hot Flash released 3 CD's: What You Hear is What You Get, recorded live at Pioneer Town Theater as part of the Wimberley Concert Association Concert Series; Live! Underground, recorded live in Longhorn Cavern Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, recorded live at Moondance Recording Studios, Dripping Springs, TX.

Texas Hot Flash Venue Highlights – Opened for the Charlie Daniels Band, Firefly Festival, South Bend, IN and toured the Midwest; Belton Concert Series, Mary Hardin Baylor University, Belton, TX; Bugle Boy, La Grange, TX; Concerts in the Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX; Leeann Atherton's SXSW Barndance; A cappella 30’s and 40’s Show throughout the Texas Hill Country; Wimberley Gospel Festival; Perform last 2 Christmas Shows – Caroling in the Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Burnet, TX.

Him & Her emerged from Texas Hot Flash and performed on Outer Banks, NC; Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ; performed gigs in Austin and Texas Hill Country.

Douglas and Freed Songbook Concert Series added Cole Porter Show and performed their three shows regularly throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Brenda Freed on bass, played gigs in Texas Hill Country with Irish/Celtic band, O’Malarkey.
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2004
Texas Hot Flash placed 4th for Best Performing Band in their category in Austin Chronicle Music Poll; developed an a cappella 30's and 40's show which they performed at retirement homes and private parties throughout Central Texas and incorporated into their regular shows.

Texas Hot Flash Venue Highlights – Coffee Gallery Backstage, Altadena, CA and toured Southern CA; Cactus Café, Austin, TX; Live Oak Coffee House Series, Austin, TX; Casbeers, San Antonio, TX; Wimberley Concert Association Concert; KEOS Radio Live Performance, College Station, TX; Leeann Atherton's SXSW Barndance; Texas Hot Flash A cappella Christmas Show performed throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country and taped at Austin Community Television and aired locally; Tunes at Noon Concert, Texas Medical Center, Austin, TX; Friend's Fest, Recreation Plantation, Dripping Springs, TX; opened for and shared the stage with Sara Hickman at the American Music Therapy Conference, Austin, TX.

Brenda Freed & Michael D'Eath started performing as a duo; performed in Monterey, CA.

Douglas and Freed Songbook Concert Series performed their two shows throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
 
Brenda Freed on bass, played gigs in Texas Hill Country with Irish/Celtic band, O’Malarkey.
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2003
Texas Hot Flash placed 6th for Best Performing Band in their category in Austin Chronicle Music Poll; A cappella Christmas Show performed throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country and was joined by Michael D’Eath on harmonica.

Texas Hot Flash Venue Highlights – Old Settler's Festival, Driftwood, TX; KEOS Radio Live Performance, College Station, TX; Leeann Atherton's SXSW Barndance, Austin, TX; Texas Hot Flash videotaped at Austin Community Television that aired locally and won an award at the station; Wimberley Valley Concert Association Concert; Tunes at Noon Concert, Texas Medical Center, Austin, TX
.    
Brenda Freed started playing bass with O'Malarkey, an Irish/Celtic band and continued playing with them until summer 2006.
 
Douglas and Freed Songbook Concert Series added a Rodgers & Hammerstein Show and performed their two shows throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
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2002
Brenda Freed’s a cappella group became Texas Hot Flash while performing throughout the Kerrville Folk Festival campground; Texas Hot Flash – a cappella and then some – performed throughout Central Texas and added instrumentation to some of their songs, including Michael D’Eath on harmonica.

Texas Hot Flash Venue Highlights - Belton Concert Series, Belton, TX; Waterloo Ice House, Austin, TX; KUT Public Radio's FEMME FM Live Performance, Austin, TX.

Texas Hot Flash developed an a cappella Christmas show and performed throughout Central Texas every Christmas season through 2005
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2001
Brenda released her 3rd CD, Smilin' Inside , which received air play along with her other 2 CD's in 15 countries and 23 U.S. states.

Brenda Freed Venue Highlights - Waterloo Ice House, Austin, TX; Live Oak Coffee House Series, Austin, TX; KUT Public Radio's FEMME FM Live Performance, Austin, TX; Radio interview on KCTI Gonzales, TX.  Joined occasionally by Michael D’Eath on harmonica.

Brenda Freed formed an a cappella group to perform her original a cappella music during her regular shows which later became Texas Hot Flash.

Douglas and Freed Songbook Concert Serieswas developed starting with the Rodgers & Hart Show and performed in Austin and throughout the Texas Hill Country until 2010.
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2000
Freed duo added Michael D'Eath on harmonica and became the Freed trio; Freed trio toured England and played throughout Texas.

Freed duo Venue Highlights – The prestigious 12 Bar Club, London, England; La Kiva and Ms. Tracy's, Terlingua, TX; La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX; Casbeer's, San Antonio, TX; KEOS Live Radio Performance, College Station, TX.

Brenda Freed Band played regularly throughout Texas, occasionally adding Michael D'Eath on harmonica.
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1999
Brenda Freed and Val Roessling formed the Brenda Freed Band and the group played throughout Texas, including Gruene Hall, Gruene, TX; Casbeers, San Antonio, TX; Friends Fest, Recreation Plantation, Dripping Springs, TX; opened for Albert & Gage, Executive Surf Club, Corpus Christi, TX and toured to Arkansas; Brenda nominated for the Humble Time Rising Star Award.

Brenda Freed released her Sort It Out CD with Val Roessling and the Brenda Freed Band that received airplay in 9 different countries and in several U.S. states; Freed duo toured England and the Midwest U.S.

Freed duo Venue Highlights – 12 Bar Club and Acoustic Café, London and pubs throughout England; Casbeers, San Antonio, TX; Anderson Fair, Houston, TX.
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1998
Brenda Freed released her Freed - Until Daylight CD with Val Roessling ; Freed duo played throughout Texas and toured England for 2 months playing festivals, concert halls and pubs; Toured the Midwest; Brenda's song, Simple Words, received honorable mention in the Just Plain Folks songwriting competition.

Freed duo Venue Highlights –  England tour including 12 Bar Club, London; Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge; featured act at Tapeley Festival and Broxbourne Festival; opened for Vance Gilbert, Rouse House Concert Series, Austin, TX; hosted concert series at the Austin Youth Hostile and opened for Bill Oliver, Annie Clark, Darcie Deville, Michael Smith & Kate Wallace, David Lamotte, and Eric Moll. 

1997
Brenda Freed was the weekly guest soloist with a jazz band in Fredericksburg, TX and discovered her love for jazz standards.   She also continued the Freed duo playing throughout Central Texas.
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1996
Brenda Freed teamed up with guitarist, Val Roessling, and the two played together as Freed throughout Central Texas.

Brenda Freed's Solo act opened for Sara Hickman at Sons of Hermann Hall, Dallas, TX; Brenda toured solo in England for 3 weeks playing pubs and festivals including Colchester Arts Center, Snape Festival, Antrim Arts Festival Concert, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Freed At Last female trio hosted and played at the weekly singer/songwriter night at the Saxon Pub, Austin, TX; played regularly in the Texas Hill Country; opened for Chuck Pyle, Rouse House Concert Series, Austin, TX; played Poor David's Pub, Dallas, TX.
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1995
Freed at Last female trio played regularly throughout the Texas Hill Country; opened for Kimmie Rhodes at Sons of Hermann Hall, Dallas, TX and Dana Cooper at Suzanna's Kitchen, Wimberley Methodist Church Concert Series; KFAN Radio Live Performance, New Caanan Farms, Dripping Springs, TX.
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1994
Brenda Freed formed a female trio called Freed at Last with Linda Sriro and Susan Petros.

Brenda Freed and Francie Meaux Jeaux did a repeat tour of the Midwest including the Sanctuary, Iowa City, IA and Java Joes, Des Moines, IA; opened for Austin Lounge Lizards, Poor David's Pub and Mary Ann Price, Sons of Hermann Hall, Dallas, TX; KFAN Radio Live Performance, Fredericksburg, TX.
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1993
Brenda Freed re-released her first tape, Freed at Last, with Francie Meaux Jeaux on bass and the duo toured the Midwest; Played Uncle Calvins, Dallas, TX; Heartland Café, Chicago, IL; Java Joes, Des Moines, IA and the Mill Restaurant, Iowa City, Iowa; played regularly in Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
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1992
Brenda Freed released her first solo recording, Brenda Freed, a tape of all original music; performed solo throughout Austin and the Texas Hill Country including Gruene Hall, Gruene,
TX; San Antonio Folk Festival, San Antonio, TX.
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Pre-Texas – Brenda sang in Brenda and the Wild Husbands, Iowa City, IA.
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