Lifetime musician releases his first solo songs

By day, Brian Moran is a forensic accountant for the federal government. By night, he’s singer-songwriter BriGuy WhiteHorse.

But it took a global pandemic for him to finally make his voice heard.

Moran began playing the trumpet in fifth grade. In seventh grade, he was in his first group.

“I learned the keyboard on my own,” he said.

At Shadle Park High School, he played trumpet in a marching band and jazz band, but he always wanted to play drums. So he bought an old drum kit and taught himself.

“A month later I played drums at a big festival in Corbin Park.”

After earning a degree in accounting from Gonzaga University, music became her sideline. In the 90s, he wrote songs and performed with the group Trouts Trouts.

“I was playing drums but not singing,” Moran said.

Trouser Trouts have gained followers in places like Swackhammer and Ichabod. One DJ characterized their sound as Barenaked Ladies meets The Clash.

“We played at the same time as The Mayfield Four when Myles Kennedy was with them,” Moran recalled. “We released a CD and signed with a manager.”

Shortly before their tour started, their guitarist quit and the band broke up soon after.

Moran married, had two children, and performed sporadically with a local cover band. In 2016, his son bought him a two-track recorder, and Moran began writing and recording songs in the basement of his house northwest of Spokane.

“I always thought about how my songs would sound if I recorded exactly what I had in mind and sang them,” he said. “I played all the instruments in my songs and even learned violin and banjo in one day because I felt the songs needed it.”

When the pandemic hit, he had recorded around 20 songs, never thinking anyone would ever hear them. The extra time at home fueled her creative energies.

“I’ve been writing a lot during the pandemic — probably a song every two months,” Moran said. “But I never performed my songs in front of anyone – even my family.”

It was his son, Ben Moran, who pushed him to share his music via streaming services. Ben is a musician who performs with Durnst & Friends and Big Mug Gail. He told his dad he knew someone who could help get his songs out there.

Hesitantly Moran agreed but decided he wanted to release his songs under a musical persona – BriGuy WhiteHorse.

“I’m a quarterback Chippewa. I went to a sweat lodge and was given the native name, WhiteHorse,” he said. “My kids’ friends call me BriGuy, and a pseudonym was born.”

His first YouTube release “Quarantine Blues” debuted on March 31, 2020.

“It’s about seeing the good in people,” he said.

From upbeat country-rock songs like “Broken Down Ford” to soulful ballads like “She” and “Angel”, Moran enjoys the creative freedom of writing and recording.

“I love telling stories in lyrics,” he said. “Kris Kristofferson is my favorite artist.”

He has upgraded his home studio to be able to produce his own work and readily admits that he loses track of time when composing or recording.

“I feel sorry for my wife,” Moran said. “I come here after work and the hours fly by. I am so captivated by the music. When I finally get to understand the bones of a song – oh my, there’s this sense of accomplishment!”

Streaming services like Spotify and iTunes mean his songs are heard all over the world.

“‘Broken Down Ford’ is big in Canada,” he said.

However, he does not consider himself an accomplished singer.

He addressed these feelings in his song “Can’t Play” – “Say I can’t play guitar and I know I can’t sing. I will play until my ears ring.

Although he hasn’t performed his music in front of an audience, he currently plays drums with a few local bands.

He smiles.

“I love being a drummer in the background.”

But a first public solo may be in preparation. He is working on his first EP and enjoys collaborating with his son.

“The pandemic exposed what was important to me — my passions,” Moran said. “For the first time, I sing my own songs.”

BriGuy WhiteHorse on YouTube:

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Grace D. Erickson