Blues singer-songwriter David Brown is well on his way to carving out a place for himself in his chosen genre. Currently based in the Bay Area but originally from North Carolina, Brown has been a full-time musician since his honorable discharge from the military after 10 years of service. His lifetime of travels and deployments alongside personal struggles have been the fuel for many of his musical works, and have helped him to cultivate his particular brand of storytelling. His most recent work is a five-track EP titled Wayward Blues & Co., and it’s a bold and soulful look into the inner musical workings of this talented, Americana-tinged, wholly authentic artist.
Opening with Devil Inside of Me, after a quintessential acoustic blues intro we’re immediately captivated by Brown’s smoky, gritty, powerhouse vocals – the kind of vocal tone that just radiates emotion and soul at every measure. The instrumentation of this track is nothing more than an acoustic guitar (a very well played one, at that), but we’re thankful for it, as it leaves plenty of room for the vocals to shine and offers a great intro into Brown’s style.
We’re instantly transported to New Orleans as Leah takes us in a full-band direction, with a swanky, jazzy energy – the featured trumpet is a wonderful touch. This number is as steamy as it is well-executed, again leaving space for Brown’s expressive vocals to bring this story to life. Whiskey Bottle Blues maintains the tasty smoothness but adds a more straight-ahead blues flair, featuring a brilliantly performed electric guitar solo to kick things off. And track after track, Brown’s vocals continue to be the high point. It’s worth mentioning that his vocals are bringing us lyrics that are equally as impressive as his vocals in as many ways – his storytelling is straightforward and uncomplicated, allowing his lyrics to make for an easy listening experience.
These Four Walls is dark and foreboding, the leading piano providing a perfect level of dissonance and trepidation in the intro. This one is bass-driven, but the strings that make an appearance in the second half really cement the haunting aesthetic. The EP closes with I’m Comin’ Home which has a touch of Americana energy in its driving drum beat and melodic (if somber) acoustic guitar picking. This is his most subdued vocal performance, but his restraint allows the production and songwriting to really shine in this final track.
Blues fans – this is a name you ought to commit to memory. David Brown is everything we love about today’s blues – his music is undeniably powerful, dripping with soulfulness, full of excellent performances on every instrument, and tied together with unparalleled modern Americana-style songwriting. Top this all off with the best vocals we’ve heard in this genre of music in some time, and it’s clear: Brown is the real deal, and Wayward Blues & Co. is all the proof you need of that. We’ll be waiting on the edge of our seat for more music from this unbelievably talented blues master.
BELOW: Listen to Wayward Blues & Co. by David Brown and connect with his website and social media platforms. Please support David Brown by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!