The great river of American music has thousands of tributaries and most of them converge on a guy named Junior Brown.
Brown gets classified as country which is fair because most of his music really is country, but a lot of it is something else entirely.
The son of a professor of musicology, Brown has gifts that are so unusual he had to design his own guitar. He says it came to him in a dream.
It’s part standard electric and part lap steel guitar and he can make it do things that are, frankly, freakish and illegal in a half-dozen states.
In this video he does his song called “Hung it Up” and you can clearly hear influences from a touch of Hendrix to Bill Haley and the Comets to Leon McAuliffe. At times he throws a little Dick Dale in to his show as well.
He’s a bit of a cult figure. Brown goes on stage with one stand up base, one snare drum and his wife on rhythm guitar. And then a tidal wave hits.
Sometimes he gets a little carried away with his country side and a bit too cornpone, but the man is, without question, a genius of the guitar. You could sit him down with anyone from Willie Dixon to Willie Nelson (a vastly underrated guitarist himself) and he could fit right in. He’s a tremendous talent and has never found a vast audience.