About Junior Brown
“You don’t find stylists today like you did in the Ernest Tubb era. That’s what sets
Junior aside from a lot of other artists. He’s got his own style. And his rapport
with his fans, he draws a vast audience, from young college kids up to the older,
traditional country music fans.”
--David McCormick, owner, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Nashville
“Junior told me once that he was very impressed by Jimi Hendrix, by the way he
was very wild, and yet he was very controlled. He knew where everything was
going in a solo, and he (Junior), I think tries for the same effect, and I think he hits
it virtually every time.”
--Mitch Mitchell, drummer, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Though these two quotes attempt to explain his uniqueness and wide range musical
capability, though not vague, the quotes are so dissimilar as to provoke a curious
sense of mystery for a reader uninitiated with the phenomenon known as Junior
Brown. Of course, to anyone who has seen Junior sing and play live, or heard any
of his ten albums, will no doubt understand the connectedness in what the two
quotes mean, and more often than not will have some quotable Junior observations
to add of their own. What it all boils down to is this: with his unique voice, more
unique songwriting craft, and even more unique double necked “Guit-Steel”, there
has absolutely never been anyone like Junior Brown.
Born 1952 in Cottonwood, AZ., Junior showed musical talent at an early age playing little melodies
on the family piano before he could talk. Curiosity led him
to an old guitar in his grandparents’ attic, thus setting the stage for a lifelong
interest in the steel strings. After a series of high school dance bands, he hit the
Country dance club circuit full time while still in his teens. This continued for
decades all over the United States and many excursions abroad. After settling in
Austin, Texas, with his wife and rhythm guitarist-singer, Tanya Rae, he began his
weekly tenure at the legendary Continental Club where the band successfully
honed their craft leading ultimately to a major label signing (Curb), a Country
Music Association Award (CMA), three Grammy nods, a Bluegrass Music
Association Award (IBMA) with legend, Ralph Stanley, duets on record and video
appearances with everyone from Hank Thompson and George Jones to The Beach
Boys and Stone Temple Pilots. Then came movies (Me Myself and Irene,
Trespass, Still Breathing, The Dukes of Hazard, Blue Collar Comedy Tourl and II),
TV shows (X Files, Chris Issac, Austin City Limits), multiple appearances on
Letterman, Conan, Saturday Night Live, and even a cameo appearance in
SpongeBob Squarepants. And there were the national ad campaigns, like The Gap,
Lee Jeans and Lipton Tea.
Lately Junior has been concentrating just as hard as always on his songwriting
skills with his more recent material, which still references dry wit, serious
sentiment and instrumental prowess. Some of these new songs show a previously
uncharted direction into modern technical jargon. Just one listen to selections like
“Hang Up and Drive” or “Apathy Waltz” and you will have no doubt that there is
more here than just simple Retro-Billy. These songs are about today and Junior is
still performing them “Junior style”.
So what more does one say in an attempt to describe a truly one-of-a-kind music
legend, who is doing what he does better now than ever before? How does
someone describe the indescribable to one who hasn’t seen or heard?
What comes to mind for me is the title to one of Junior’s early albums which refers cleverly to
his creation, the “Guit—Steel”, the instrument consolidating standard and steel
guitars allowing him to switch mid-song between the two while singing.
So what are you waiting for? GUIT WITH IT!
Sep 03 ThursdayMissoula, MT, US Top Hat
Sep 14 MondayDenver, CO, US The Walnut Room - Walnut St.
Sep 24 ThursdayNewport, KY, US The Southgate House Revival - The Sanctuary
Sep 25 FridayBloomington, IN, US Bluebird Nightclub
Oct 10 SaturdayDallas, TX, US Granada Theater
Feb 20 SaturdayWyomissing, PA, US Building 24 Kitchen and Bar