Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
One Night: Live 1982
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Actually, two nights in October 1982, a time when Greg Brown was a dark horse still building a following and discovering his lyrical genius. In those lean years, Brown worked as a regular on Prarie Home Companion and gigge... more »
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Actually, two nights in October 1982, a time when Greg Brown was a dark horse still building a following and discovering his lyrical genius. In those lean years, Brown worked as a regular on Prarie Home Companion and gigged at coffeehouses more accustomed to hosting open mics than one of the finest singer/songwriters of the time. This long-out-of-print recording provides a window into a lovely, intimate solo show that's full of Brown's folksy wit and touching, previously unavailable ballads. "Banjo Moon" and "Ships" combine sly humor and melancholy, but the satirical set pieces are the most prescient and charming. In "Dream On," Brown raps, "We're not going to drop a bunch of bombs on everybody, blow up the whole world over some little political difficulty or border dispute / Dream on, little dreamers." On "Waiting" he offers a friendly parody of Tom Waits pilfering lines from a wino. Perhaps even more than 1995's The Live One, One Night provides perspective on just what distinguishes Brown from his contemporaries. Even at this early stage, his pacing and delivery are deft, his voice is flexible and visceral, and his songs are keen, openhearted marvels. --Roy Kasten
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Essential, is all
brad lonard | Sydney, Australia | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never saw Greg Brown in 1982, but going from this record, it must have been quite an experience. His voice isn't quite the rumbling thundercloud it would later become -- in parts he sounds quite like Randy Newman -- but that wonderful Brown mix of humour (never at the expense of others) and poignancy is already in place. Sixteen songs, most of them unavailable on any other Brown release, and nearly all essential. 'Ella Mae' -- a song about Greg's grandmother that's also about the dignity of a well-lived life and how we live on in our children -- doesn't have a whiff of mawkishness or sentimentality about it, and damn near moves me to tears every time I hear it. 'Dream On' -- a beautiful example of Brown's shaggy-dog storytelling -- always provokes a grin too. That this disc was unavailable for years is a crime. Whether you're a long-time Greg Brown fan or don't know a thing about the man, you need this."
A Troubadour For Our Times
Phyllis Fisher | Houston, Texas United States | 05/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like another reviewer, I also stumbled on to Greg Brown's music by accident. There are really only a few men and women who can integrate their musical abilities with the life-stories they have to tell SO seemlessly that the listener finds it impossible to think of one without the other. Greg Brown is one of these artists. My husband and I love this CD because there is not a "bad" song in the bunch! Greg has the ability to make us laugh "Dream On", to make us wish for another time and place "Canned Goods", and to make us sad "Banjo Moon". His voice and guitar pull these emotions out of even the most cynical listener I've exposed to Greg's music. His imitation of Mr. Waits in "Waiting" is hilarious, and his story "On Records, The Sound Just Fades Away" reminds me that when I was a child, I also wondered what REALLY was going on in those radios to make the sound come out! He can also make the gentlest songs come out of that big baritone voice as in "Never Shine Sun". He has an amazing ability to modulate his voice to whatever is called for by the storyline in each piece of music which makes him his own master, and certainly not like anyone I have ever heard before. I am in the process of buying the rest of his CDs and can't wait to hear what I already have deduced, that here indeed is an artist of the highest caliber."
A trip to the eaves and attics of memory
Phyllis Fisher | 08/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went to school in Iowa City, Iowa from 1977-1981 and for the price of a beer and pizza you could hear Greg Brown at places like the Sanctuary and the Mill. There often was no cover charge. This is exactly what it sounded like. He was like a big, rough diamond that all the locals new about. You could tell he was going to shine bigger than those little places. this is really a great CD."