You don’t find stylists today like you did in the Ernest Tubb era. That’s what sets Junior aside from a lot of other artists. He’s got his own style. And his rapport with his fans, he draws a vast audience, from young college kids up to the older, traditional country music fan. David McCormick, owner, Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Nashville
Junior told me once that he was very impressed by Jimi Hendrix, by the way he was very wild, and yet he was very controlled. He knew where everything was going in a solo, and [ ] I think Junior tries for the same effect and I think he hits it virtually every time.
Mitch Mitchell, drummer, Jimi Hendrix Experience
With his bass voice, songwriting, and, famously, his double-necked “Guit-Steel,” there simply has never been anyone quite like Junior Brown. Born in Cottonwood, AZ and raised just outside Kirksville, IN (yes, he’s a Hoosier!), the music bug bit Junior early on. In high school he formed a series of dance bands. Then, still in his teens, he left home to hit the Country dance-club circuit full time. This continued for decades, as Junior recounts: “I played more nights in honkytonks during the 70’s and 80’s than most musicians will see in a lifetime…. I did so many years of that, night after night, four sets a night, 15 minute breaks; I mean, after that, you gotta get good or get out.” Eventually settling in Austin, TX, Junior signed to a major label and swiftly garnered massive critical acclaim, including a Country Music Association (CMA) award, three Grammy nods, and a Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award with Ralph Stanley. He has performed vinyl and video duets with everyone from Hank Thompson and George Jones to the Beach Boys and Stone Temple Pilots. His music can be heard in many movies (Me Myself and Irene, Trespass, Dukes of Hazard) and TV shows (X Files, Austin City Limits, the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul). Junior has also performed on Letterman, Conan, and Saturday Night Live. While Country & Western is his favorite music, his catalog of recordings (ten in all!) reveals a broader virtuosity, not just in C&W, but in swing, rock, surf, Hawaiian, blues, traditional jazz, pop, bluegrass, and even Mariachi. And one must, of course, speak about the Guit-Steel guitar that is synonymous with his name. Junior says the idea for the Guit-Steel came to him in a dream. “I was playing both steel and guitar, switching back and forth a lot while I sang, and it was kinda awkward. But then I had this dream where they just kinda melted together. When I woke up, I thought, “You know, this thing would work!” He called on guitar maker Michael Stevens and, by 1985, the Guit-Steel moved from dream to reality. While there are many other Guit-Steel players now, Junior was the first, and for many years the one and only. Thanks to his unique instrument, his wide-ranging abilities across a variety of genres, his awards and numerous multi-media appearances, and his ever-growing catalog, Junior Brown is that rare performer who is not only a first-rate talent, but also a true American original.
Website is www.juniorbrown.com