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About Andrew Brown

Tragically under-recorded until late in his career, Chicago blues guitarist Andrew Brown still had time enough to wax a handful of great singles during the mid-'60s and two '80s albums (unfortunately, both of them were only available as imports) that beautifully showcased his fluid, concise lead guitar and hearty vocals.

The Mississippi native moved to Chicago in 1946. With Earl Hooker teaching him a few key licks, Brown matured quickly; he was playing in south suburban clubs -- his main circuit -- by the early '50s. His 45s for USA (1962's "You Better Stop") and 4 Brothers (the mid-'60s sides "You Ought to Be Ashamed" and "Can't Let You Go") were well-done urban blues. But it wasn't until 1980, when Alligator issued three of his songs on its second batch of Living Chicago Blues anthologies, that Brown's name began to resonate outside the Windy City.

Producer Dick Shurman was responsible for Brown's only two albums: the Handy Award-winning Big Brown's Chicago Blues for Black Magic in 1982 and On the Case for Double Trouble three years later. But Brown was already suffering from lung cancer when the second LP emerged. He died a short time later. ~ Bill Dahl

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