Review: Denny Brown – The San Francisco/Austin/Hollywood Sessions

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Last year, I got my first taste of Denny Brown. It came in the form of Fourth of July. The EP was a compilation of decades of work. Brown’s work can be compared to the likes of the best of Americana Rock with one glaring difference; he is still working very hard.

Denny Brown just recently finished the The San Francisco/Austin/Hollywood Sessions. Again, this is a compilation piece. Each track is from a previously released album. But where Fourth of July felt more of a taste for a memorable summer, The Sessions are, in my honest opinion, a perfectly balanced taste of all that is great about Denny Brown.

He has taken three tracks from Got The Whole Night (1995) and seven from Curious Dream (1997) to piece together this latest release and it truly feels as though they were all meant to be together, just as this, side-by-side.

If there is only one thing to take away from Denny Brown, ignoring all the great talents that contribute to his beautiful art, it is that he is truly an American treasure. If you were to put him and Marc Berger in the same room, you’d have two of the most impressive, and honestly important, Americana musicians of today and the experience would be legendary.

Brown doesn’t simply play music, his vocals color, his guitar imagines and his songs as a whole paint a picture of god-honest America. He doesn’t stand out in computer-generated quality, post-production, hell, not even in some overly planned hook, he is pure, unadulterated talent.

Song by song, The Sessions play out a legacy that speaks to you on an oddly personal level. You can feel the love and trepidation of “Father’s Day,” you can see the cool in “Curious Dream” and you can understand the passion in “Got The Whole Night.” In the later, his timeless lyrics even sing of the world famous Nathan’s, singing “Hot Dogs are good/coffee’s ok” and “You can’t keep warm underneath the neon lights/Darkness is so cold/if you got the whole night.”

For those who thought the past is just a memory and today’s music is all we can find, you’re wrong. The vintage American Rock of yesteryear is alive and through Denny Brown it thrives. Sit in on The San Francisco/Austin/Hollywood Sessions, close your eyes and remember when music bled with stories of Middle America towns, those passionate filled summer nights and hard work. I promise you can’t miss it.

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