Throughout this series of truck driver songs, we’ve covered some classics from the 60s and 70s. This time, we’re moving on into the mid-90s. Although it’s not exactly remembered for being the decade of classic country sounds, there are still modern artists that have a real handle on the way country used to sound. Our featured artist this episode is definitely in that classic country camp.
Junior Brown keeps most things simple. He has a four piece traveling band that knows their way through standards of honky-tonk, gospel, bluegrass and country styles and know how to keep the focus on song writing instead of spectacle. When you attend a Junior Brown show, you get 100% musicianship and no flashing lights, confetti cannons or crowd cameras broadcast on the big screen above the stage.
Junior Brown began making a name for himself in the 60s as a reliable and tasteful go-to studio musician with a rare talent on the pedal steel. As he developed his chops on the guitar, and learned valuable song-writing skills from his studio assignments, Brown gained more and more notoriety in his adopted home town of Austin, Texas. It was there he released his first solo album called “12 Shades of Brown” which featured his signature instrument invention – the GuitSteel.
The GuitSteel is a double necked instrument, one half of which is a 6 string electric guitar (Brown prefers Fender necks and electronics) and the other half is a lap steel guitar that he plays with a slide. During his performances, Junior plays the GuitSteel just like a regular electric guitar, but it’s on a stand. When his lap steel parts come up, he deftly pulls his slide out of his suit pocket and will play it top down.
It may look funny, but Junior Brown knows how to put some heat on guitar strings and knows how to write a song about truck drivers. Enjoy!
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