The Miners Foundry presents renowned folk icon and one of the greatest living American songwriters, Greg Brown, Thursday, August 30. This is Brown’s only concert in the Greater Sacramento Area.
One of the leading contemporary folk artists of our time, Brown’s music reflects a poetic spirit while also sounding thoroughly down to Earth; his deep, craggy voice expresses quirky humor and the mysteries of life and love with equal skill, and over the course of a career that’s spanned more than five decades, he’s earned a passionate following for his heartfelt and uncompromising music.
His music has been covered by many of the top folk/roots singer songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Ani DiFranco, Iris Dement, Gillian Welch, Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Rolling Stone has called Brown, “A wickedly sharp observer of the human condition.” While Paste Magazine wrote, “Brown, like (Bob) Dylan, deeply understands that all North American music is related to the great ebb and flow of its roots traditions and the songs that grew out of it. From Hank Williams to Blind Willie McTell, American roots culture is a dark and vital source for artists to tap into that gives weight and context to songs that wouldn’t exist otherwise.”
Brown was born in the Hacklebarney section of southeastern Iowa and raised by a family that made words and music a way of life. His seasoned songwriting, storytelling, and music are deeply rooted in that place.
His mother played the electric guitar, his grandfather played the banjo, his grandmother was a poet, and his father was a Pentecostal preacher. Brown’s youth was spread across a map of the Midwest as they moved between churches (and even denominations), but music was always a staple. Gospel and hymns, classical, hillbilly, early rock and roll, country, and blues coalesced into a simmering stew of sound. Brown studied classical voice and piano as a child and also sang with choirs and in state competitions. At six he took up the pump organ and at twelve he learned the basics of guitar from his mother.
At 18, Brown won a contest to play an opening set for singer Eric Andersen in Iowa City, who then encouraged him to head east. Moving to New York, Brown landed a job at Gerdes Folk City in the Village running hootenannies. Next he tried Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but after a few years he moved back to Iowa. He recorded a couple of albums on his own (44 & 66 and The Iowa Waltz), then began working on the renowned national radio show A Prairie Home Companion and touring nationally. After Brown teamed up with Bob Feldman in 1983, they re-released Brown’s first two albums under the name Red House Records — the beginning of the now legendary folk/roots label that has released nearly all of Brown’s thirty-one albums.
Brown’s last studio album was 2012’s Hymns to What Is Left. He now considers himself semi-retired, touring occasionally (the last time he was in Nevada City was 2016), writing sometimes and not recording at all. He and his wife country-folk artist Iris Dement, still happily live on his grandparents’ land in southeastern Iowa.
KNOW & GO
WHO: Miners Foundry Cultural Center presents Folk Legend Greg Brown
WHEN: Thursday, August 30, Doors 7:00, Show 8:00pm
WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
TICKETS: $32/ Advance General Admission, $35/ Door General Admission,
$45 Limited Reserved (rows closest to the stage). Tickets are available online at
www.minersfoundry.org, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry,
(530) 265-5040, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.