Red Crow Press, Quotes and Reviews
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
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.
Randy Lewis Brown is one of my favorite "discoveries" of this year. His new album Red Crow quickly found a place among my favorites of the year. It is the song - and the voice and the music Joe Wolfe-Mazeres - Ear to the Ground Blog
***Translated from German by Google Translate
“Randy Lewis Brown is from Louisiana, and at the age of twelve the family moved to Houston, Texas. Well, musical influences may have been there in large numbers, and certainly one or the other will have rubbed off.
Red Crow is the musician's third album after the debut in 2007 and its successor from 2013. Yes, the music fits right in those areas where Brown grew up, breathing typical Texas sound, with spontaneous associations with musicians like Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and similarly created singer / songwriters with the special personal touch. Presented in a pleasant and warm-hearted voice, which also reminds me of the unfortunately rather unknown Allan Frank, the music is very personal, very intimate and very accessible.
The songs deal with what touches and moves us every day - sad moments, loneliness, joy, fun, philosophy about life in general. And all this is portrayed by the protagonist with a great deal of sensitivity and emotional depth. Even Randy Lewis Brown says, "I love good stories, stories that make me think, that stick with me, and sometimes haunt me .....".
And that's exactly what transcends me as a listener in a beautiful way, this atmosphere touches me deeply and lets me participate in each expressed mood. "Trouble With Me" is a great song in this respect. That the songs are of high quality, as shown by various awards of the artist. (New Traditions Award 2007, T.I.M.E. Songwriting Competition 2009, Poor David's BW Stevenson Songwriter Contest 2014, F.T.R. Willows By Water 2017, South Florida Folk Festival 2018, and Finalist in Kerrville1995 and 2009)
It's the slow tracks that have the most emotional appeal, but even the faster and often happily infected songs have a bright appeal. Brown is supported by a sensitive and outstanding band of soloists who play a key role in shaping the sound, the most well-known being probably Cody Braun with the Fiddle, a musician some may know from the band Reckless Kelly.”