Greg Brown: The Evening Call (Red House/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Greg Brown: Cold and Dark and Wet
Greg Brown: The Evening Call (Red House/Elite)

Iowa-born singer-songwriter Brown is one of those singer-songwriters that other artists line up to pay tribute to: in fact Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Gillian Welch and others appeared on a tribute to him a few years back.

He's a poet (he recorded an album of William Blake poems) and is very much in the boho-Beat Generation lineage whose lyrics have the economy of American Zen poet Gary Snyder, and on this album pulls off a spare spoken-word piece without sounding forced because that is his tradition.

He has released some superb albums (The Poet Game about a decade ago is where you go after this current album), been a regular on Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prarie Home Companion (Keillor and others appear in the excellent DVD film of the singer's life and work which came with Brown's If I Had Known compilation), and is much favoured by those who know their alt.country/American folk-blues.

The Evening Call is another typically understated but intensely focused and quite dark Brown album with songs about love fading, the plight of working people when jobs go overseas and cars cost what houses used to, life as an itinerant, and love regained.

I once called him a "universal regionalist" because his lyrics seem drawn from the entirely local and personal, yet reach out beyond those confines.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Raul Malo: Sinners and Saints (Concord)

Raul Malo: Sinners and Saints (Concord)

The former frontman for the seemingly defunct Mavericks continues his credible solo career here on an album which unself-consciously bridges dramatic Spanish-influenced Tex-Mex, alt.country and... > Read more

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The Clientele: Bonfires on the Heath (PopFrenzy)

The charming, wispy and intimate pop of this London outfit has long been an Elsewhere favourite: their album God Save the Clientele was among The Best of Elsewhere 2007 and they share the same... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

More to life than cars and girls?

More to life than cars and girls?

A couple of weeks ago a strange sound came from our modest Mazda Demio so I confidently popped the bonnet. As I stood looking at the unfamiliar coils of metal and rubber it occurred to me it had... > Read more

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Dub Inc: Paradise (Naive)

Although little known in this country, the multi-culti Dub Inc from France coming here for Womad this weekend have been around since the late Nineties, have played in over 50 countries and released... > Read more