A local radio personality, Kevin Matthews, here in Chicago, turned
me on to the music of Junior Brown a little over a year ago. He was
playing the song "Highway Patrol," doing an interview, and
I just thought that his guitar playing was so cool. Junior Brown,
being in the country genre of music, I figured would start to get
some radio play, but it sure as shit didn't happen here in Chicago.
Nope, the music of Junior Brown probably wasn't cutesy enough, maybe
a little too on the edge, or maybe it was just too cool. I'm betting
on the last of those.
A Concert Review
Anywho, Junior Brown was headlining a gig at the House of Blues,
and few of his closest fans showed up as well as a lot of tourists
just to say they've been at a show at the House of Blues, and, well,
yours truly, and you know what, he still amazed me.
The last time I saw him he opened up for The Mavericks, and I was
duly impressed then. This time was no different. Junior and his
band, consisting of his wife, Tonya Rae, a dude on an upright bass,
and another dude playing a snare drum (yup, that's it, one snare),
blasted through some older ones, hit some newer ones, and tossed in
a few covers to compliment the bunch.
In all honesty, I can't comment too much on the set list because
the only CD I am familiar with is "Junior High" which came
out a couple of years ago, so the classics of "Highway
Patrol" and "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" were
obvious. But even not knowing the newer songs, one thing I do know
is that Junior isn't one for witty crowd banter - I think he lets
the lyrics of his songs handle that job, but what always seems to
impress the people who have never seen him is his guitar work.
Playing his guit-steel, a double neck combo of an electric guitar
and steel guitar, Junior uses off-beat tuning and just a wailing
precision that made a lot of those tourists take note and listen.
Me, I already knew it was there, I just enjoyed it.
So what else needs to be said about Junior's show? Well, I told
you he has some fun, witty, and meaningful lyrics, I told you about
his guitar playing, he has the maybe the best dressed band in the
business, and his show is fun. Well, this show did have some
problems, and most of it technical. There were some mike level
problems from where I was listening, some mixing problems,
especially while Junior was wailing out some blues jams (way
over-amplified and distorted), and it was too bad because it sort of
ruined a really good show. I'm torn because normally I would knock a
rating down a notch, but he still impresses me every time I see him,
so I guess I'll let it ride.
Well, Junior Brown might be too cool for country, but he isn't
too cool for me. Liked him from the start, still like him now, I
just wish the country radio people weren't so stuffy headed and
would give him some of the radio play he deserves. Oh well. TWO
THUMBS UP for Junior Brown at the House of Blues in Chicago.
That's it for this one, I'm The Dude on the Right!!! L8R!!