Larry Brown’s business card listed his occupation as “Human Being.”
Like many other professional human beings, Larry loved music. He felt music and it showed in his writing. As he moved through the world, Larry got to know a lot of musicians, and a lot of musicians got to know Larry, either personally or through his work. Just One More, A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown is a compilation of tunes by artists who were his friends, fans and peers.
With 18 tracks, 12 of which are previously unreleased, the album has contributions from a wide range of critically acclaimed artists, among them Alejandro Escovedo (whom Larry performed with periodically), T-Model Ford, Vic Chesnutt, Jim Dickinson (with Duff Dorrough), Robert Earl Keen, Cary Hudson (Blue Mountain), Brent Best (Slobberbone, The Drams) and the North Mississippi Allstars to name a few. Some of these songs were written for the project, songs for Larry and about his characters, such as Caroline Herring’s “Song For Fay”, exploring the title character of "Fay," a novel published in 2000. The album closes with a song performed by Larry himself, accompanied by Clyde Edgerton, a Southern novelist of great renown.
“The simple concept of this disc was to put together a mix tape of sorts, the type of thing that Larry would have enjoyed listening to as he drove his little truck into the gloam’ with a cooler full of beer and an ass pocket of something that burns a little bit on the way down,” explains producer Tim Lee. “I knew him and I admired his work, and you didn’t have to know Larry well to have a keen awareness of his love of music,” he says.
Mary Ann Brown, Larry’s wife concurs, saying, “Larry absolutely loved music. I think he wished sometimes that he had the talent to do music for a living. He always played his guitar every night. If he had to skip playing, he would always say he felt like the day was wasted.”
Larry Brown was born in 1951 in Lafayette County, Mississippi. He was a firefighter with the Oxford, Mississippi Fire Department when he began writing fiction, and after years of struggle and rejection, his first book, a collection of stories entitled "Facing the Music," was published in 1988.
Brown went on to publish another story collection, "Big Bad Love"; several novels, and two works of nonfiction. His writing was stark, bluesy and devastatingly honest, filled with characters who lived too hard and loved too hard, and it attracted a cult following far outside of the South. He was a two-time winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award for fiction as well as the State of Mississippi’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
His love of music led him to write for No Depression magazine on artists he loved, and to contribute liner notes for Oxford band Blue Mountain’s Homegrown album that are a model of poetic depiction. When Brown suffered a fatal heart attack in 2004, he was nearly finished with another novel, "A Miracle of Catfish," which Algonquin Books will publish in March, 2007.
Just One More, A Musical Tribute to Larry Brown, A Great American Author will be in stores May 22, 2007.
1. Greg Brown – Blue Car
2. Bo Ramsey – Forget You
3. Cary Hudson – Song in C
4. Caroline Herring – Song for Fay *
5. Alejandro Escovedo – Baby’s Got New Plans *
6. Scott Miller & the Commonwealth – Thirsty Fingers *
7. Brent Best – Robert Cole *
8. Pieta Brown – Another Place in Time *
9. T-Model Ford – Love Me *
10. Robert Earl Keen – Counting on You *
11. Ben Weaver – Here’s to My Disgrace *
12. Tate Moore – Mountain in Mississippi
13. Tim Lee & Susan Bauer Lee – The Bridge *
14. Madison Smartt Bell & Wyn Cooper – Going Down with Larry Brown *
15. Vic Chesnutt – Fish
16. North Mississippi Allstars w/Otha Turner & the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band – Glory
17. Jim Dickinson & Duff Dorrough – I’ll Remember You *
18. Larry Brown w/Clyde Edgerton – Don’t Let the Door *
* previously unreleased