His monster guit-steel playing, mirthful lyrics and distinctive baritone create a signature style that throws a curve-ball into honky-tonk, with a country soul and rock ‘n’ roll spirit.
There are a lot of reasons to brag about living in Austin TX for a few glorious years in the early ’90s – before the dot com boom, when housing was cheap, beer was cheaper, and the city hadn’t lost many of the classic venues that later fell to the wrecking ball. If I had to name a signature classic Austin experience, wandering over to the Continental Club on any given weekend to check out Junior Brown and his long-time rhythm guitarist the lovely Miss Tanya Rae Brown remains at the top of the list.
Junior Brown can easily claim his place in the pantheon of guitar gods. Necessity being the mother of invention, he built his first ‘guit-steel’ double-necked guitar/steel guitar in the mid-80s to allow for ease of transitions on stage. Brown coaxes performances out of this two-headed musical beast that are nothing short of jaw-dropping for those seeing him for the first (or second, or third) time.
His baritone voice lends a certain weight to otherwise lyrically playful songs, like “Hillbilly Hula Gal,” “My Wife Thinks You’re Dead” and “Venom Wearin’ Denim.” It’s this combo of intense musicianship, vocal prowess and somewhat goofy songs that makes for an entirely entertaining package, one that Brown has been delivering from a tiny stage in a crowded club in Texas for more than 20 years.