What could be more American than folk rock, steel-string honky tonk and hometown baseball? Catch all three this summer when Austin-based Guit-steel vituoso Junior Brown, purveyor of hard-edged honkytonk and down-home Americana, opens for folk and rock legend Bob Dylan on Dylan’s third annual tour of America’s minor league baseball parks.
Junior Brown’s career has covered almost as many styles and miles as the Greenwich Bard himself. Initially a disciple of ‘60s rock icons like the Beatles, the Kinks and their contemporaries, he later veered off into the blues and country, and spent the ‘70s honing his guitar chops to a razor’s edge in tiny honkytonk bars along the Southwestern border. He launched a recording career in the early ‘90s that eventually led him to Telarc, where he released Down Home Chrome in 2004. Guitar One praised his “big-hearted vocals and savage guitar skills,” while No Depression likened his incendiary fretwork to “a buzzsaw on the loose in a pillow factory.” The Washington Post simply called him “one amazing guitar player.” Down Home Chrome spurred appearances on Letterman, Leno and SNL, and eventually a shot at the big-screen as narrator/balladeer for the 2005 feature-length comedy, The Dukes of Hazzard.
The month-long Bob Dylan tour, dubbed “a grand slam” in previous years by The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, takes the field in 20 ballparks between August 12 and September 9, 2006. Along the way, Junior’s astonishing fretwork and witty songcraft will serve as the perfect foil for the thought-provoking and highly influential musical imagery that has made Dylan an icon of American pop culture for more than four decades.
A tireless road warrior, Junior is no stranger to the live stage – be it in a smoky club, a festival amphitheater or an idyllic ballpark. His most recent Telarc recording, Live at the Continental Club / The Austin Experience, released in September 2005, is a testament to his prowess in front of a live audience. Armed with his unique Guit-steel – an otherworldly double-necked machine of his own making that marries the six-stringed guitar with its steel counterpart – Brown blasts through twelve tracks that mix the best of country, blues, Tex-Mex, Western swing, rock and roll and countless other shades of electrified American music. The result is a high-octane rollercoaster ride that careens from one emotional touchstone to another – from the rollicking to the poignant to the humorous and beyond.
Live at The Continental Club / The Austin Experience is a window into the rare and riveting experience of Junior Brown in front of a live audience. More than just a string of entertaining songs – and that would be enough where Junior’s concerned – it’s an ear-opening journey with a few surprises along the way. Wherever your point of origin – north or south, rock and roll or country, edgy or genteel – this recording will pull you out of your chair, put the shake in your shoes, and quite possibly dismantle every preconception you’ve ever held about music in general.
August 12 Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI
August 13 Cooper Stadium in Columbus, OH August 15 Applebee’s Park in Lexington, KY
August 17 Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta, GA
August 18 Ernie Shore Field in Winston-Salem, NC
August 19 Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, MD
August 20 Falconi Field in Washington, PA
August 23 First Energy Stadium in Reading, PA
August 24 McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI
August 26 Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, MA
August 29 New Britain Stadium in New Britain, CT
August 30 Frontier Field in Rochester, NY
September 1 Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY
September 2 Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY
September 3 Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, PA
September 5 Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne, IN
September 7 Mayo Field in Rochester, MN
September 8 Sioux Falls Stadium in Sioux Falls, SD
September 9 Newman Outdoor Field in Fargo, ND