Greg Brown @ Crescent Ballroom

Singer-songwriter and folk troubadour Greg Brown is more than just another guy with a guitar and resonant voice. Brown's ability to forge a musical style that melds Appalachia, folk, and blues with lyrics that capture the spirit of the land and the people who live and work on it has made him a chronicler of time and place. That place is typically the Midwest, where he was raised and still resides. Numerous forces collided to shape Brown's outlook: his Pentecostal preacher father, the Appalachian and Southern music played by his grandparents, the coal miners and railroad workers who passed through southern Iowa, the food and kitchen gatherings at his home. And like the farmers he saw toiling in the fields, it all created a fertile foundation for sowing his songs, which feature lively characters, places, and scenes anyone can relate to while offering clear insight into the human condition. His capabilities as a storyteller make those songs — frequently sung with laid-back cadence in a deep, swampy tenor — stand out with imagery so strong that listeners can't help being part of the scene. With more than 20 releases, Brown has spent a lifetime unfurling the Midwest — one person or place at a time. — Glenn BurnSilver


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