In 1993, at the age of 20, Culbertson landed a six-album recording contract with the Mesa/Blue Moon label. He recorded his debut album in the Chicago apartment that he was then sharing with three college friends. On his website, Culbertson said, “I always tell the story of having to stop recording so that the large truck could go past, or the ambulance siren would subside.” The album, released in 1994, was called Long Night Out; it hit the charts immediately, and stayed in the adult contemporary top five for ten straight weeks. During that same year Culbertson met Michelle, the woman who was to become his wife; the two were married in 1997.
The three-phase arc of a longtime relationship serves as the muse of R&B-jazz hit-maker Brian Culbertson’s trilogy of instrumental albums that he wrote, produced and performed with creative input from the 800-plus members of his Hang Club. On Friday (May 6, 2022), the third disc in the series, a collection of hopeful songs titled “The Trilogy, Part 3: White,” drops on the BCM Entertainment label. It’s Culbertson’s 25th album that to date has launched nearly forty singles to shoot to number one on the Billboard chart.
Culbertson composed the thirty songs that populate the three albums thematically along what he describes as the three-part arc of a long-term relationship: the hot and steamy “falling in love” phase, the rocky middle when perhaps they even break up for a bit, and the couple reunites to live “happily ever after” phase. The first album in the series, the sensual and romantic “Part 1: Red” was released last October and the second set, the melancholy “Part 2: Blue” streeted in January. “Part 3: White” is slightly more diverse stylistically with the uplifting urban grooves, nuanced contemporary jazz and shimmering pop songs fostering feelings of hope as the relationship thrives and endures.
All three albums in “The Trilogy” were crafted with input from the Hang Club, a tiered membership program via Patreon that Culbertson formed in 2020 tied to the weekly Friday night show that he streams live on YouTube. Hang Club members were granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access into every aspect of Culbertson’s creative process: from songwriting, arranging, recording, producing and mixing.