This Thursday, the Bijou Theatre will host old-school legend and prominent guitar player Greg Brown. After a 30-year career that includes the release of his 23rd album, Brown is no stranger to the guitar. Combining elements of blues, old country and folk music, Brown truly represents a style that is all his own.
“I draw from old church music, the old Appalachian style, the old style of country blues,” Brown said. “I kind of lost track of where rock music was going a while back, so its influence can’t be felt much, if at all, in my music.”
Brown comes from a family that listened to all types of music. His mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played the banjo and his father was a preacher who used singing and music heavily in his church services. After learning from these styles and traveling to New York City and Los Angeles when he was 18, Brown finally settled back in his home state of Iowa, where he began touring around small-scale Midwestern clubs. Since then, his music has been performed by musicians such as Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana, Michael Johnson and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
But even with two Grammy nominations and high ratings in Rolling Stone magazine for his albums, Brown has never strayed from his original sound and has managed to keep much of his original fan base intact. Interestingly, the only album that didn’t feature his own songwriting was titled “Songs of Innocence and of Experience,” which was actually a series of William Blake poems sung to background music written by Brown.
In his latest album, “The Evening Call,” Brown continues to explore the highs and lows of the American experience. With his deep, dry voice and thick Midwestern accent, Brown’s beats inevitably do not follow a set time.
“I’m from Nashville, so it’s good to see some real country music artists still hanging in there,” said Randall Chase, a junior in economics.
Thirty years of experience doesn’t hurt either.
“I never know what I’m going to play before I step on stage,” Brown said. “I just try and get a feel of the place and go with it. We recorded the new album in Memphis, which is full of history and ghosts and all sorts of things, and they all affected the music itself.”
The concert is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 each. The show will also include Brown’s long-time friend, Bo Ramsey.
For those who wonder what country music was like before Kenny Chesney and Gretchen Wilson, Greg Brown is a good place to start.
Veteran guitarist keeps it real
Published: Wed Feb 07, 2007 | Modified: Wed Feb 07, 2007 01:08 p.m.