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Say, I got me a little, little woman, five foot from the ground. She's five foot standin' and she's four feet lyrin' down - Bob Campbell, Starvation Farm Blues

Author Topic: Michael Jerome Browne  (Read 2919 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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Michael Jerome Browne
« on: July 04, 2008, 07:19:08 AM »
Caught Michael Jerome Browne at the Montreal Jazz Festival last night, playing one of the freebie shows. He put in a great set for an overflow crowd. One highlight for me was a real nice version of Tommy Johnson's Button Up Shoes, or Morning Prayer. It was a little odd seeing a crowd like that eating it up as well. Tommy J. Lives.

Michael's last CD has not been mentioned on Weenie, I think -- a double-disc, one live electric set, one a reissue of his self-titled first CD. It's called "Double". And he said there's a new one on the way this fall.

Earlier in the evening, I saw Richard Thompson performing a solo acoustic show (a ticketed event). He was masterly, a truly exciting guitar player and a joy to watch.

Not a bad night of music!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 09:49:35 AM »
I caught Michael Jerome Browne at the Mile End Guitar Shop last night and was treated to a really enjoyable night of music. I've known Michael for some time now and always knew he was damn good, but he's sounding just great in recent years. His playing is so strong - confident, intricate and deeply musical without ever sounding guitaristic or showy. While he was playing a National Trojan in Vestapol tuning, I noticed how inventive he is in that tuning, leaving out a lot of the Vestapol clich?s us mortals rely on. His singing is as good as ever, really one of the best vocalists playing this stuff.

The venue was a luthier's shop that four or so young builders share in a warehouse, and they've been hosting concerts for awhile, though this was my first time making it to one. Over the course of the evening, Michael also played a small Gibson 6-string (B25?), old Guild 12-string, fiddle and fretless gourd banjo. He plays a variety of styles (country blues, country, Cajun, old-time, modern electric blues etc.) but last night in what I think was over two hours of acoustic music, he focused mostly on blues material in preparation for a trip to Memphis for the blues competition there. The two sets included material from George Carter, Muddy Waters, Frankie Lee Sims, John Hurt, Blind Lemon, Jesse Fuller, JB Lenoir, Uncle Dave Macon, and others I'm forgetting. Jesse Fuller's version of Take This Hammer (aka Railroad Worksong) is a favourite of mine, and I hadn't heard Michael play it before. I've worked on it in the past, and I'm gonna steal it. The Frankie Lee Sims tune was Married Woman, I believe, though I am not really familiar with Sims. I need to correct that.

There was also a substantial amount of original material. Frequently my reaction to original material in this genre (or many other genres) is "when will it be over?" but MJB's songs, written with his wife B. Markus, are more than a cut above - they really stand beside the material from the 20s through to the more modern stuff that he covers.

Anyway, if he's playing near you and you haven't seen him before, rest assured it's worth the bucks to make it out for the show. I believe he's playing a few shows in Eastern Canada before heading to Memphis for the start of February.

Offline Johnm

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 11:20:01 AM »
Hi all,
Just to add to uncle bud's assessment of Michael Jerome Browne's singing and playing, I had occasion recently to transcribe two of his recorded performances for lesson requests.  One of the songs was electric, a sort of Lonnie Johnson-ish slow blues, and the other was a slide piece in Vestapol a la Tampa Red.  In both instances, the singing and playing were superb.  I think Michael Jerome Browne must be one of the very finest practitioners of this music out there now.
All best,
Johnm

Offline Rivers

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 05:21:06 PM »
Thanks for the heads up UB and JM, I will certainly keep an eye on MJB's schedule. He has nothing planned for TX at present unfortunately.

Offline frankie

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 07:12:17 PM »
Likewise - I keep hoping he'll make it down the east coast at some point!

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 02:53:37 PM »
Here's Michael adding to the blues/bluegrass confusion with a Flatt and Scruggs tune:


Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Michael Jerome Browne
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2011, 05:43:38 AM »
On the basis of that video, he can go on confusing as long as he likes. Very nice.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

 


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