Bluegrass fans have recognized Jeff Brown for some time now as a bluegrass singer and songwriter, very much in the Larry Sparks, Stanley Brothers vein. Of course he served an apprenticeship with Sparks as bass player for the Lonesome Ramblers for several years, and has filled in as a Clinch Mountain Boy as well.
Growing up in far southwest Virginia, Jeff absorbed the lonesome mountain sound as a boy, and started playing bluegrass while still a youngster. He and his brother, along with Blue Highway’s Wayne Taylor, had their own group when they were much younger called the Richlands Bluegrass Boys. When Brown started his own group, he named them Still Lonesome. That sound is in his blood.
But on his upcoming solo project for Turnberry Records, he has unveiled an angle to his music that may catch a lot of folks unaware. The album will be centered on country and jazz, with a glimpse available today, Jeff’s parlor jazz arrangement of My Way, long associated with Frank Sinatra. The song was actually written in French and first released in 1967, but it exploded in the US, with new English words written by Paul Anka, when Sinatra cut it in ’69.
Though it surely isn’t bluegrass, we thought that Brown’s bluegrass friends and fans would get a kick out of hearing him in this entirely different setting.
Here’s a sample of Jeff Brown’s My Way, available for download purchase now from Turnberry.
The next time you encounter a vocalist in a hotel bar, take a quick look to make sure it’s isn’t lonesome Jeff Brown moonlighting as a lounge singer.
Good job, Jeff!