SYRACUSE, N.Y. – As the sun sets on Burnet Avenue, the night has just begun for the 443 Social Club and Lounge. Tucked away in the Hawley Green neighborhood, the 443 highlights live, acoustic performers.
One returning performer is Brandon Santini, who’s brought the blues back to Syracuse. The blues artist has toured all across the world, from his hometown in North Carolina to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
Santini specializes in the harmonica. He discovered a love for the instrument from a young age.
“I had a CD from Blues Traveler, and it had a booklet that said what type of harmonica John Hopper plays,” he explained. “It was like a lightbulb moment I was 15. I had my mother take me to the local music store in town, the one and only, and I took a D Harp.That was the magic thing that sent me touring and playing the harmonica all the time.”
The 443’s setup places the stage in the center of countless tables and the bar, giving Santini an ample amount of space to connect with his audiences. When he performs the blues, Santini wants his audiences feeling anything but.
“I like to try and evoke pleasantries,” Santini says. “Reminding people it’s not all gloom and doom.”
Santini is big on escapism in his music. It’s clear in his choruses. Santini performed an original number, titled “One More Day,” telling his audiences to always push forward. It’s personal for him.
“I try to make people feel more than think,” he says. “We have to think more than enough. Just come and have a good time, listen to the music and have a good time.”