Greg Brown was born in the Hacklebarney section of southeastern Iowa
and raised by a family that made words and music a way of life. His
seasoned songwriting, storytelling, and music are deeply rooted in
that place. He moves audiences with warmth, humor, a thundering voice
and his unpretentious musical vision.
His mother played the electric guitar, his grandfather played the
banjo, his grandmother was a poet, and his father was a Pentecostal
preacher. Greg’s youth was spread across a map of the Midwest as they
moved between churches (and even denominations), but music was always
a staple. Gospel and hymns, classical, hillbilly, early rock and roll,
country, and blues coalesced into a simmering stew of sound. Greg
studied classical voice and piano as a child and also sang with choirs
and in state competitions. At six he took up the pump organ and at
twelve he learned the basics of guitar from his mother (who was also
an English teacher—so books and poetry were always around the house.

At 18, Greg won a contest to play an opening set for singer Eric
Andersen in Iowa City, who then encouraged him to head east. Moving to
New York, Greg landed a job at Gerdes Folk City in the Village running
hootenannies. Next he tried Portland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but
after a few years he moved back to Iowa. He recorded a couple of
albums on his own (44 & 66 and The Iowa Waltz), then began working on
the renowned national radio show A Prairie Home Companion and touring
nationally. After Greg teamed up with Bob Feldman in 1983, they
re-released Greg’s first two albums under the name Red House Records
-- the beginning of the now legendary folk/roots label that has
released nearly all of Greg’s 27 albums.

In 1985 Greg released In the Dark With You, an acoustic classic. In
1986, he set poems of William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of
Experience to music on a critically acclaimed album of the same name.
One Big Town (1989) learned Greg his first Indie Award for Adult
Contemporary Album of the Year, as well as a rave review in Rolling
Stone. Dream Café (1992) was also a huge critical success. The
Washington Post called it an “unassuming triumph,” and in the opinion
of Z Magazine, it rivaled Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

Following Dream Café, Brown recorded Friend of Mine with Bill
Morrissey, which earned him his first Grammy nomination, and he also
released a children’s album, Bath Tub Blues. 1994’s The Poet Game saw
significant international radio play (charting on AAA and topping The
Gavin Report’s Americana chart) and earned not only critical raves,
but also the Indie award for singer-songwriter Album of the Year. The
Live One (1995) proved to be a fan favorite capturing the humor,
warmth, insights, and spirit of his legendary live shows. His 1996
release, Further In, topped them all: critics called it a masterpiece
and it received a four-star review in Rolling Stone. Greg’s 1997
release — Slant 6 Mind — received more of the same and earned Greg his
second Grammy nomination. 1999 brought the re-release of One Night, a
live concert recording originally released on the Coffeehouse
Extempore label. Two releases followed in 2000: Over and Under
(Trailer Records) and the critically acclaimed Covenant, which won the
Association for Independent Music’s award for Best Contemporary Folk
Album of 2000.

The year 2002 brought two albums – Milk of the Moon and Going
Driftless: An Artist’s Tribute to Greg Brown. The latter, features
some of today’s best female songwriters including Lucinda Williams,
Ani DiFranco, Iris Dement, Gillian Welch, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Greg
Brown’s three daughters and more. These artists joined forces to
record a beautiful tribute album — each selecting their own favorite
song by Brown to cover for a special CD benefiting The Breast Cancer
Fund. In September of 2003, Greg released If I Had Known – Essential
Recordings, 1980-1996 (Red House), a retrospective w/DVD highlighting
the body of Greg’s work through 1996. Honey in the Lions Head, was
released shortly thereafter (Trailer Records) and is an album of folk
standards from the public domain. Also in 2004, he released In the
Hills of California: Live From the Kate Wolf Festival 1997-2003, a
collection of live performances recorded at the Kate Wolf Memorial
Music Festival featuring guest appearances by Nina Gerber, Shawn
Colvin, Garnet Rogers, Dave Moore and others.

In 2006, Greg released The Evening Call, his first new studio album in
over four years, which charted high on Americana and folk radio,
earned him five stars in Mojo and garnered rave reviews in No
Depression, Acoustic Guitar and The Washington Post.  The 2-disc
collection Dream City: Essential Recordings Vol 2, 1997-2006 features
some of these new Americana classics along with other fan favorites
from his last six studio albums and some previously unreleased
material and live tracks.

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