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Freak Flag

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iTunes Review

Greg Brown represents the very best in contemporary roots music. His voice is a worn gate, rusted but functional, not very pretty but part of a classic landscape. He has been making records since the ‘70s. His songs have been covered by everyone from Willie Nelson to Carlos Santana, Iris DeMent (his wife) to Joan Baez. Freak Flag was recorded in Memphis, after a lightning storm wiped out the sessions in Minneapolis. Brown sounds relaxed, despite the setbacks. His reliance on simple folk, country and blues structures give him an easy fallback plan and songs such as “I Don’t Know Anybody In This Town” (recalling the early work of Johnny Cash) and the countrified “Let the Mystery Be” are all the stronger for it. “Flat Stuff” is a stunner, a gentle fingerpicked ballad that’s dark and spooky like an ancient tune being sung by a man at the bottom of his luck. He’s sounding more and more like Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, another aged veteran dispensing stories and wisdom to anyone willing to listen closely.

Customer Reviews

Great New Release!

I caught one of the first shows of Greg's tour for this album and I really liked the new material, especially Tenderhearted Child and the title track Freak Flag. What a great song writer and performer. I highly recommend checking out this release! If you get a chance you should also check his live show with Bo Ramsey: two guys, a handful of guitars, and a bunch of great stories wrapped up in songs!

Mixed emotions

A master of unparalleled wit and angular lyrical craft, it's hard not to seek out any new morsel of Brown's music. A wonderfully intrinsic part of my treasured music since childhood, I can't help but get excited about a vast majority of his body of recorded work to date. Yet 'Freak Flag' seems to fall a bit short of this legacy, although still admirable in its own way. Brown's gravelly bass vocal grows richer and more sonorous, even if the occasional lyrical melody seems to sag, trading spry humor for bleaker pastures. Still, the sincerity and texture of these songs is a firm reminder of the appeal of the Brown-Ramsey collaboration, and a clear sign that this fine artist remains hard at work.


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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Freak Flag, Greg Brown
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Customer Ratings

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