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Greg Brown

OVER AND UNDER (Trailer Records) • Greg Brown

Good music doesn't get much more down home than this. It sounds like he's playing in your kitchen. I mean that in a good way, because if you've ever heard a great songwriter playing in your kitchen, you know that's the best.

Although it's not listed in the credits, I reckon that's Greg whistling the solo for "Mattie Price," that's a good tone, there. It sounds like Brown's singing songs about the people in the neighborhood, and recording them with his jammin buddies from the neighborhood. He says in the credits that this bunch of cronies have jammed around town for 20 years. ("...except Zollo. He's too young to have done that. But he plays with great soul.")

Dave Zollo is the president of Trailer Records, and plays Wurlitzer Electric Piano on this disc. Greg's road cohort and producer Bo Ramsey plays electric guitars. (Trailer also distributes the fine Bo Ramsey video reviewed in last month's issue.) Steve Hayes plays drums and percussion, Dave Moore the button accordion and harmonica. Al Murphy is on fiddle and mandolin and Bob Black on banjo and five string lap guitar. Aside from Bob, all the fellas sing background.

"There's a whole lotta money in Fairfield, I'm gonna get me some." Several Iowa towns and rural issues and attitudes come up in the songs. When I interviewed Greg a few months back about his great Covenant release, he mentioned that he'd written a bunch of songs directly afterward, and laid them right down with his friends and put them out on their local label. Well, here they are, and I like it a lot. It's so simple and honest, like a conversation with a friend that's not in a hurry. And if that was as easy as it sounds, there'd be more records like this around. He does some cussin, does some mean preachin, barks like a dog and lets it all hang out in general. Sometimes Bo's got his guitar tuned down so low it sounds like the strings are gonna fall right off the bridge. It's an absolute must have for Brown fans. We recommend you check out this disc and other fine releases at Trailer Records, they'll be glad to send you a catalog.  • FG

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