Red Crow Press, Quotes and Reviews
“With a gritty directness and a quiet strength, Randy Lewis Brown has been the voice of reason for quite some time. Just add him to each of our own never-ending lists of artists you must hear during these trying times.... “With shades of Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle, Brown’s well-worn voice is that of a punctuating intelligence and grace.” - Glide Magazine
RANDY LEWIS BROWN SHARES THE TRUTH OF PREJUDICE BEFORE MLK DAY VIA “”DESOTO PARISH NIGHTS”
With a gritty directness and a quiet strength, Randy Lewis Brown has been the voice of reason for quite some time. Just add him to each of our own never-ending lists of artists you must hear during these trying times.
Brown was born in Louisiana, spending his childhood in pre-civil rights Shreveport, immersed in the formative strictures and music of the church. He discovered a new world when, at twelve, his family moved to Houston. It was there, as he grew to adulthood, that he began to connect with and make music in a deeper sense. Having grown up in both Louisiana and Texas, Randy Lewis Brown’s tales are those of hard resignation with the occasional dappled sunlight of wounded optimism shining through.Having been tapped to open for Ray Wylie Hubbard, David Olney, Jim Lauderdale and more, Randy Lewis Brown has played across the country — extensively through Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana — including to multiple festivals like Tommy Alverson’s Family Gathering and the South Florida Folk Festival.
With a few days to go before a very important Martin Luther King Day, Glide is thrilled to premiere a studio version of Brown’s award-winning song”Desoto Parish Nights” (below) along with an accompanying video. Brown shot the video at home during December on his iPhone and added photos and video from his childhood years and edited it together with my new video editing discovery DaVinci Resolve. With shades of Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle, Brown’s well-worn voice is that of a punctuating intelligence and grace.
“Do you remember the day you woke up to the real world? How it wasn’t at all like you thought? For me it happened at the age of 10. What I mistook for a safe, loving existence was shattered by a simple act of ignorance and prejudice on a fateful Sunday evening. Desoto Parish Nights is that story told as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” says Brown.
BEWARE THE RED CROW
On Red Crow (Berkalin Records), Randy Lewis Brown sets his poems to an Americana sound. He sings ‘em in a world-weary voice of resignation but not despair. As he says in his affecting liner notes, “writing songs is not a choice [or] a labor-of-love [but] a sickness, a disabling addiction… ” Growing up in Shreveport and Houston, he saw things. He saw how certain people were treated. Grounded in the church, as he reached his teens, he couldn’t reconcile the disparity between what he was taught and what he saw with his own eyes. The poems started. The alienation started.
These highly unusual songs might haunt you. In “One Horse Town,” he sings of a man who has slept alone for 13 years pondering life’s inequities as he looks out of his window and watches a dead horse decay in the heat as buzzards descend. Then there’s the universal truth of the elderly couple who is “Not Ready Yet.” You think you got it tough? Listen to the hardships of the Western pioneers in “Barlow Road.” The title track contains a foreboding sense of doom as that red crow brings a harbinger of what’s just around the bend. - Mike Greenblatt - The Aquarian Weekly
Red Crow Berkalin, 2019 9/10 Stars
A songwriter with a penchant for storytelling and poetic wordplay, Randy Lewis Brown was born and bred in the south, and his work follows suit with authentic Americana on Red Crow.
“One Horse Town” gets the listen started with warm strumming and breezy melodies as Brown’s wise and soothing vocals guide us through the spirited Americana, and “Trouble With Me” follows with an introspective setting as strings complement the mood with grace.
Near the middle, “She’s The Only Woman” offers a shuffling pace of honky tonk fun and a bouncy bass line, while “Trust The Sun” takes a turn into rootsy balladry that’s as timeless as it beautiful.
Deeper cuts include the vocally strong and rugged “Other Campfires”, and “Barlow Road” embraces folk ideas with great results. “Goodnight Good Luck” ends the album with cautious contemplation, as Brown exits the listen as skilled as he started it.
A listen with strong, vivid imagery and incredible musicianship, Randy Lewis Brown has been at it for 5 decades now, and it certainly shows in his stirring, calculated and instantly memorable song craft.
Travels well with: Terry Klein
Tom Haugen - Take Effect Reviews
Red crow is the 3rd album of the Texas based RANDY LEWIS BROWN and I have to say that his voice is without any doubts just perfect and very soulful, although the music is basically typical Texan orientated, mixing Country and American singer/songwriter with a certain pop approach. The result is a pleasure to listen to, with a combination of uptempo country ish tunes like She's the only woman and beautiful calmer singer/songwriter pop tunes like Trouble with me and October again, where his voice sounds absolutely fantastic! Randy https://brownrandy.com/
(Points: 8.6 out of 10)
Twenty years ago, I would have not given the latest work by Randy Lewis Brown a passing thought. At that time, I was not in any manner a fan of Country music. Times have changed and while I am still not disposed to that twangy, lost my love and my truck music of the 1950's, I do like a Country song, albeit more in a rock style. Such is the case with "Red Crow." Originally from Shreveport and raised in Texas, it seems natural Country music would be in Brown's blood. Yet, however, Brown is also a magnificent storyteller. He weaves tales of despair and redemption, loneliness, and sings about times past. One thing I did enjoy is the ample use of a Hammond B3, one of my more favorite instruments. Also joining in are all the instruments found in the Country genre, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin and of course, drums, guitar and bass. While this is a work of Country, it is done in a rock style and I even detected a hint of funk at several points along the way. Twenty years ago, no, not a chance. Today? I thought it was a heck of a good time.