By LIZ BUTTON
Customers who visit Eastchester’s Burrata restaurant on Wednesdays can enjoy live music over their pizza and pasta from local performer Michael “Leroy” Bram, who plays drums for Grammy-winning singer Jason Mraz and is a regular on the national blues and roots music scene.
Bram, who also plays guitar and harmonica and writes his own songs, has been performing his solo music each week at the Italian restaurant since May 2013. His musical style, he said, “straddles the line between blues and country, with a little ‘Louisiana swamp music’ thrown in.”
Bram, 37, has played drums for Mraz since 2007, and plans to go back on the road with the singer this summer to promote his upcoming album, tentatively titled “Yes.”
He served as Mraz’s musical director from 2008 to 2010 on the “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things” album tour. That album, which features number one Billboard Top 40 hit song “I’m Yours,” peaked at number three on the Billboard music charts in 2008.
Most recently, Bram has recorded and performed with other popular artists like Joss Stone, John Popper of Blues Traveler, G.Love and Special Sauce, and Colbie Callait.
Burrata owner Chas Anderson said that, after two years on the scene, he was looking to branch out his restaurant’s offerings and knew he found the perfect debut performer after hearing Bram perform at a restaurant in Cos Cob, Conn. “I thought he’d be an awesome fit for a little live background music while people are enjoying their meal,” Anderson said.
Burrata, which is located at 425 White Plains Road, features specialty cuisine like Neapolitan wood-fired pizza and fresh pasta, he said.
Each week, Bram, a 1999 graduate of Purchase College with a degree in concert drums, plays songs from his past three solo albums.
Bram, who lives in Thornwood with his wife and daughter and hails from Long Island, said he started playing the drums when he was four years old after his parents bought him a Toys “R” Us drum set.
“I really, really fell in love with it. That same year, my grandparents bought me Buddy Holly’s greatest hits and Elvis’ greatest hits,” he said. “I really flipped for it at an early age.”
Bram plays at multiple instruments on his newest album, “Suitcase in the Hall,” which was released Oct. 2, 2013, on independent blues label Vizztone Records and features classic and original blues, country and American roots music styles.
“It Don’t Matter Where You Get Your Appetite as Long as You Eat at Home” takes the prize for his favorite song, and song title, on that album, Bram said. He wrote “It Don’t Matter…” while out on tour, he said.
“When you are on the road as a traveling musician, you have a lot of temptation in a lot of places,” he said.” I wrote this song to remind myself of that.” While touring on the road with Mraz, Bram has had many amazing musical and life opportunities, he said, but his most memorable experience was recording with famed country artist Willie Nelson.
In 2010, Mraz’s and Nelson’s two management teams arranged a collaborative recording session with the two artists, and Bram was invited to record the drum section. They spent a whole day recording, and Nelson invited them to hang out at his house afterward, Bram said.
When it comes to his own career as a performer, Bram, who also leads own blues and rock band, “Michael Bram and the Alternators,” has made appearances on television and at festivals all over the world, and has toured with various accomplished blues and roots artists like 2007 Blues Music Awards nominee Dave Gross, 2008 Blues Music Awards nominee Gina Sicilia and iconic Cajun musician Steve Riley.
Bram also plays another regular solo gig at Q in Port Chester every Monday. On May 15, he will begin a Thursday night residency at Noma Social in New Rochelle. His Wednesday show at Burrata starts at 7 p.m.