Greg Brown Returns to The Treehouse!
Greg Brown has little left to conquer in the music world, what with multiple Grammy nominations and an astonishingly deep songbook that’s been covered by dozens of artists (including Willie Nelson & Carlos Santana, Iris DeMent, Ani DiFranco, Gillian Welch, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Baez, Victoria Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Shawn Colvin, Richie Havens, and Tim & Mollie O’Brien, to name just a few.
Above all else, Brown is a story teller. With a one-in-a-million slant that only he can bring, accompanied by the perfect chunky guitar riffs, Greg Brown will rock you, rock you to sleep, or just rock your world in a way you didn’t realize existed before. No two performances with Greg Brown are alike, so even if you’ve seen him a hundred times, you will never see all he has to offer, so don’t miss another chance!
One of American folk music’s most prolific and profound singer/songwriters of the past three decades, Greg Brown has earned respect from his peers and a far-flung, passionately-devoted fan-base. His burnished, intimate baritone and seemingly effortless gift for swinging, organic melody, combine with a humble, unvarnished poetic grace that can imbue even the most mundane, everyday human endeavors and emotions with quiet dignity, startling insight and gently twisted humor.
During the 1980s, his reputation was established through frequent touring and recurring performances on A Prairie Home Companion. He has recorded more than two dozen albums, including his 1986 release, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, when he put aside his own lyric writing to set poems of William Blake to music. Rolling Stone’s 4-star review of his album Further In called Brown “a wickedly sharp observer of the human condition.” 1997’s Slant 6 Mind earned Brown his second Grammy nomination.
Brown has an established history for allowing his music to be used to raise funds and awareness for environmental and social causes. The Solid Heart CD benefitted In Harmony, an organization that supports foster children. Solid Heart also features Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer and Kate MacKenzie. In 2001, he released Down in the Valley: Barn Aid Benefit Concert. In 2002, Going Driftless: An Artist’s Tribute to Greg Brown, sent proceeds to The Breast Cancer Fund. Contributing their renditions of Brown songs to the album were Ani DiFranco, Gillian Welch, and Shawn Colvin, as well as Brown’s three daughters.
Greg’s mother played electric guitar, his grandfather played banjo, and his father was a Holy Roller preacher in the Hacklebarney section of Iowa, where the Gospel and music are a way of life. Brown’s first professional singing job came at age 18 in New York City, running hootenannies (folksinger get-togethers) at the legendary Gerdes Folk City. After a year, Brown moved west to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where he was a ghostwriter for Buck Ram, founder of the Platters. Tired of the fast-paced life, Brown traveled with a band for a few years, and even quit playing for a while before he moved back to Iowa and began writing songs and playing in midwestern clubs and coffeehouses.
Known for his personal and intimate concerts, Brown’s most revealing recordings are live. These include The Live One (recorded in Traverse City, Michigan), Live at the Black Sheep, In the Hills of California: Live from the Kate Wolf Music Festival, Live from the Big Top, recorded at the Big Top Chautauqua in Wisconsin. In 2007, he was nominated for a Folk Alliance Award for Contemporary Artist of the Year. At the personal request of copacetic, eclectic and abiding film star Jeff Bridges, Brown contributed two songs (including “Brand New Angel”) which were recorded by Bridges for his Oscar-winning role as rugged, faded country star ‘Bad Blake’ in the Oscar-nominated “Crazy Heart.” His wife, Iris Dement, is a national folk treasure in her own right.
Greg Brown on Prairie Home Companion