Last April in “The Great Lost Career of Marty Brown,” I bemoaned the fact that country singer Marty Brown had not had a major label CD release since 1998, and I imagined how one day Brown would be rediscovered with a pile of songs he had been writing and recording for more than a decade. While I still wait for Brown to recapture the fame he deserves, the many responses to that post revealed that many people still love his music. Fortunately, Brown continues to perform at local venues and continues to write new songs at a healthy rate. He recently even put out a new homemade music video. And back in 2002, Brown put together a collection of songs on an album called American Son as a comeback of sorts, but it was never released. I recently discovered that Marty Brown and his wife Shellie Brown were making that CD available for the first time, so I ordered one immediately. I was not disappointed.
American Son is a collection of the type of songs fans might expect from Brown, as he sings about love (i.e., “Love Happens,” “Make My Heart Your Home,” “Where’d You Come From?”), country fun (“Work Hard Havin’ Fun,” “Crackerjack”), and perhaps influenced by the time the album was recorded not long after 9/11, a couple of patriotic songs, including the title song and the still relevant “P.O.W.’s at the V.F.W.”
Many of my favorite Marty Brown originals are his heartbreak songs, and that is true for American Son too. Brown always has had a great talent for turning a clever phrase and when he combines that writing skill with his great classic country twang, he cannot be matched by anyone recording today. His heartbreak songs on this album include “Friends,” where the singer tells a love that he cannot “just” be friends, and “The Devil Was an Angel Too.” The latter song has a refrain from the apologizing man that seems so clever I wonder why nobody else has thought of it. I also wonder why nobody else has covered the outstanding song.
I have had the CD on repeat play for the last two weeks, and today my favorite song on the CD is “Leavin’ Side of Me.” The title tells you what it is about, but when you hear Brown’s voice say, “And I think it’s time you saw/ The leavin’ side of me,” the vulnerability and pain breaks your heart like what you hear in the great songs of Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, and Otis Redding.
Because the album was not an official release, there is no fancy CD packaging, but Brown will autograph the CD for you for free. More importantly, it is the music you want, and they did not skimp on the recording. The quality of the sound, the musicians, and Brown’s voice, are all top notch.
Conclusion? If you are not familiar with Marty Brown’s work, you may want to check out some of his other music first, but if you are a fan, American Son is another excellent CD to add to your collection (or a great holiday gift for someone who likes genuine country music). You may order American Son by emailing Shellie Brown at email@example.com for more details. They also have other new music from Marty Brown, including Marty Brown: All American Cowboy, Marty Brown Exclusive, and a Christmas CD. (FYI, I have no affiliation with the sales of the new CDs and am providing the ordering information as a service to other fans like me.) You may find updates on upcoming shows on Marty Brown’s Facebook page and in the comments to our previous post on Marty Brown’s career.
What is your favorite Marty Brown CD? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)