Thursday, August 11, 2016

Junior Brown at City Winery

Jamieson "Junior" Brown was born in Cottonwood, Arizona, and at a young age moved with his family to a rural area of Indiana near Kirksville. His father taught him to play the piano, and he taught himself to play a guitar he found in his grandparent’s attic. As a young boy, he performed country songs at parties and school functions. As a young adult, he sang and played pedal steel and guitar on tour with the Last Mile Ramblers, Dusty Drapes & the Dusters and Asleep at the Wheel. In 1985, Brown invented a double-neck guitar, his unique hybrid "guit-steel," the top neck being a traditional six-string guitar, while the lower neck is a full-size lap steel guitar for slide playing. Since 1990, Brown has recorded seven studio albums including The American Original, which will be released by late summer. Since the 1990s, Brown and his band, including wife Tanya Rae, have been based in Austin, Texas.

At City Winery tonight, Junior Brown performed many kinds of country-rooted music, including honky tonk, western swing and bluegrass, but also blended shades of blues, surf, Tex-Mex, and even Hawaiian into the set. With his signature guit-steel hoisted onto a stand center stage, Brown moved behind it and frequently and effortlessly alternated from finger picking on the guitar neck to sliding on the steel neck, often on the same song. His other niche was the dry wit he sang through his lyrics. Brown provided an amusing performance, but city folk might find his concert to be more of a novelty than serious music.

Visit Junior Brown at www.juniorbrown.com.