Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown
Bloodshot Records BS-143
The late author Larry Brown had no songs, per say, but rather stories and books. Living in Oxford, Mississippi, Brown captained the local fire department before the literary bug got into his blood. He’d eventually leave the helm of the OFD to pursue writing fiction. Of the latter, Brown wrote in a straightforward and gritty style. Enamored by many, his stories were knee-deep in the pathos of the rural Southern working class. Highly fond of music, particularly a plethora of alt country and roots artists making their way through his neck of the woods, it occupied a spot in his writings as well as his downtime – Brown liked to spend those breaks from writing picking on his guitar. When he died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004, there was an outpouring of grief from the alt community, many of whom Brown befriended. With the newly released tribute titled Just One More: A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown, it’s payback time of sorts by many of those musical pals. Rarely do you come across a tribute recording to a writer. Maybe that was the magic of Brown whose relationship with many of those taking part in this outpouring inspired them to the point of writing a song in tribute. This highly “personal” approach separates Just One More from the all-too-many soul-less, trot-out-the-stars tributes. It also makes this an extra special recording with a number of songs that are truly moving, and with heart and soul to spare. Take Cary Hudson (ex-Blue Mountain), who also calls the Oxford area home and spent much time with Brown. His “Song In C” recalls times tooling around with Brown chomping down hush pups and fried catfish and filling a cooler with ice and beer and low riding over the Mississippi backroads, which was a favorite pastime of Brown’s. Produced and compiled by indie rocker Tim Lee, it’s just the tip of the iceberg on an album that features an impressive array of performers. Among the participants contributing tracks with Brown on the brain are Greg Brown and daughter Pieta, Alejandro Escovedo, Robert Earl Keen, Vic Chesnutt, North Mississippi All-Stars, Ben Weaver, Bo Ramsey, Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, T-Model Ford, and Jim Dickinson. A real nice touch is the inclusion of Brown himself performing a number he wrote called “Don’t Let the Door” which closes things on sweet, albeit frisky, note. Recommended. (Bloodshot Records, 3039 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618, or www.bloodshotrecords.com)
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)<...