Archive for the Hash BROWN Category

Hash BROWN & The BROWNSTONES – Have Some Fun 2002

Posted in BLUES, Hash BROWN on November 18, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Hash BROWN & The BROWNSTONES – Have Some Fun 2002


While you’re out pounding the streets for independent releases, be sure to look REAL hard for the wonderful CD put out by Texas bluesman Hash Brown & The Browntones. Hash Brown is well known around the Lone Star state as one of the many hot guitar players from the Dallas / Fort Worth area. But on Have Some Fun! (Browntone Records), Brown strictly plays harmonica, and plays it quite well, I might add. He also capably handles all of the vocal chores on the album’s 13 cuts. Brown (nee Brian Calway) makes sure that his guitar playing is not missed by lining up fellow hot shots Jon Moeller, Nick Curran and his young protégé Elliot Sowell to handle the guitar chores here. There’s nothing real complicated about Have Some Fun!, no special hidden messages to be imparted. Instead, this album is just straight-ahead blues, played well and with lots of gusto and feeling. The real keeper, and one to which I will listen frequently, is the novelty jump blues “Poultry Queen Boogie.” It’ll have you clapping along throughout, and the line “…I’m hanging with the woman that I have eggs and poultry with every week…” will remain in your sub-conscious for years to come. The album opens with a slow Texas blues, “Blues For April Green,” immediately showing that Brown is no slouch either vocally or on the harp. He also shows off some impressive harmonica chops on the Sam Myers slow blues “I’ve Got The Blues.” The backing bands on both of the sessions captured here are solid ensembles; I especially liked Matt Farrell’s piano work on the shuffle “The Woman I Love.” Long live independent releases! Have Some Fun! is a good one
The Browntones concept was the brainchild of Dallas bluesmen Brian “Hash Brown” Calway and Shawn Pittman in 1998. The basic idea was to put together a band to play harp driven blues. Pittman subsequently moved to Austin, but the Browntones concept was kept afloat by Hash Brown using different musicians. Money problems meant that there was a hiatus after the first recording session in June 2000, but fortunately things picked up, allowing things to be completed in May 2002, albeit using another version of the Browntones. The end result is “Have Some Fun!”
The album opens nicely with “Blues for April Green,” which defines the style of the Browntones. There are subtle shades of SRV, Fab T-birds, and maybe even a little early Bluesbreakers about the way they play. It all fits nicely together, with Brown leading from the front on harp and vocals. The band then shift up a gear for the first swamp blues influenced number, “Ain’t No Way.” The second, “Hot Dog,” is a risque blues with shades of Slim Harpo in the harp playing.
For someone who is best known as a guitarist, Brown is a more than capable harp player. On “Celluphone Blues,” for example, which chugs along neatly, his playing calls to mind the great Snooky Pryor. He also plays chromatic harp on “The Woman I Love,” which has a nice walking bass line, courtesy of John Bradley. The harp also combines surprisingly well with Elliott Sowell’s guitar on the T-Bone Walker style “Poultry Queen Boogie.”
In addition to the eight original tunes, there are five covers, starting with Sam Myers (“I’ve Got The Blues”), and ranging through to “Muskadine Blues,” one of Little Walter’s first recorded tracks. The latter precedes the closing track, “Hey Little Baby,” where the Browntones are reduced to the duo of Jon Moeller (guitar) and Hash Brown. It is a more down home blues tune, and it is easy to imagine this as a call-and-response song in a live show.
“Have Some Fun!” certainly achieves its aim: it sounds like the band had fun recording it, and it certainly makes for pleasurable listening. There are no real great surprises here, with a familiar feel to many of the songs, all of which are all performed well. Even though two different line-ups were used during recording, you would be hard pushed to identify which songs came from which session. “Have Some Fun!” should appeal to blues lovers everywhere–particularly fans of Texas blues–and shows that there is still plenty of life in the old dog yet.
01.Blues For April Green
02.Ain’t No Way
03.I’ve Got The Blues
04.You’ve Got To Lose
05.Celluphone Blues
06.The Woman I Love
07.Glory Of A Man
08.Poultry Queen Boogie
09.Hot Dog
10.You’re The One
11.Soul Survivor
12.Muskadine Blues
13.Hey Little Baby

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