Junior Brown

Describing The Byrds, David Fricke once said that “rock & roll at its very core is country music and. . .the best country music always rocks.” Fricke could just have easily been speaking of Junior Brown, a man who has been synonymous with the rocking end of country since he began picking and playing in the late ‘60’s. About as far as you can get from the watered down hipsterism of alt-country, Brown keeps his country just that; it rocks not through any overt attempts at gentrifying the honky-tonk, but by sheer virtue of the character of the songs, themselves. Of course, it helps immensely that Brown is an incendiary axe-man, both on the top six strings and the bottom eight of his signature guit-steel. Paired with his exciting picking style, Brown’s deep rumble of a voice makes for a gritty harmony as capable of interpreting heart-ache and fondness as it is bravado and the regrets of broken men. Brown’s self appointed mentor Ernest Tubb once admonished him to “keep it country, son.” Brown is living up to that advice, and the world is the better for it. NICHOLAS HALL

Tue., Jan. 5, 8 p.m., 2010

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