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44 & 66

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Album Review

Like his debut album, Greg Brown produced 44 & 66 himself for his own Red House Records, and the setting is casual. However, this is a moodier album than Iowa Waltz, and Brown's songwriting takes a sharper turn into wider topical spaces and shows traces of the talents that would become developed to a fuller extent on his following release, In the Dark With You. Brown's humor and passion, always co-mingling with each other, is evident in this set of songs highlighted by the title track, "Downtown," and the poignant "People Hide Their Love." Brown can be hopeful and funny, giving advice in "Don't You Think Too Much," or uproarious with "Beatniks Gonna Rise Again." The music is atmospherically rich with Dave Moore's down-home and gritty harmonica playing lending itself to Brown's many styles of song. Prudence Johnson's vocals, as heard on the adult lullaby "Ring Around the Moon," would become a familiar sound in Brown's subsequent albums. This is an early album from one of the most enduring careers in contemporary songwriting and should not be overlooked. [The CD release features the non-album track, "Comin' Into You."]


Born: 1949 in Fairfield, IA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Critic Josh Kun once described singer and songwriter Greg Brown as "a Midwestern existentialist hobo with a quick-draw mouth, a bloodied heart, and bourbon on his breath." One of the leading contemporary folk artists of the American Midwest, Brown's music reflects a poetic spirit while also sounding thoroughly down to Earth; his deep, craggy voice expresses quirky humor and the mysteries of life and love with equal skill, and over the course of a career that's spanned more than five decades, he's...
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