Marty Brown was an up and coming country music writer and performer in the 1990's but his fourth and most recent major record label CD, Here's to the Honky Tonks, was released way back in 1996. Since then, many have wondered if Brown was still making music. The truth is that he has never stopped making music, even as major record companies have continued to ignore his music. Although Marty Brown's bio on Allmusic.com ends in 1996, the singer, who was often compared to Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers, has recently made some of his new music available to fans on four new CDs, and they are all excellent.
American Son is a collection of songs that Brown recorded in 2002 when he hoped for a comeback with a record label. But as of today, no record label has picked it up. So, Brown is selling American Son at his local Kentucky performances, along with other CDs of new music.
The three other CDs contain more recent music from Marty Brown. They are Marty Brown: Exclusive, Marty Brown: All-American Cowboy, and Marty Brown Christmas. Like American Son, they are packaged and sold directly by the artist, so they are not in any fancy packaging, but the songs are all of high quality.
Marty Brown: Exclusive features twelve songs written and recorded by Marty Brown. Brown wrote several of the songs on this CD with the idea that another country artist would record those songs. But as of now, this CD is the only place to get the twelve songs, and I cannot imagine anyone else singing them better anyway.
All-American Cowboy features nine original songs recorded by Marty Brown in Nashville. Although I recommend all three of these albums as well as American Son, if you were to only buy only one of these new CDs, this one might be the place to start. Every single song is excellent, and while it contains two songs that also appear on American Son (“The Devil Was an Angel Too” and “Leavin’ Side of Me”) , those songs are two of my favorites from that CD so they fit nicely with the other strong songs on All-American Cowboy.
Marty Brown Christmas, with nine additional originals, is the hidden rough gem among the new CDs. While labeled as a "Christmas" CD, only three or four of the songs might be classified as "Christmas songs," while the rest might more generally be categorized as "Christian" songs. Something about writing outside his traditional secular country songs freed Brown to do some of his most innovative work on this CD. The tracks range from songs that sound like holiday classics to country rock to blues. For example, Brown's "Last Supper," about a man on death row awaiting his last meal, features one of Brown's most moving vocal performances ever. Despite the rough edges on this CD, or maybe because of them, Marty Brown Christmas is a great discovery for Marty Brown fans.
More information about these four CDs is available in these links to more detailed reviews of American Son and the three CDs of new music. If, like me, you are not near Kentucky where Brown performs locally, you can still track down the CDs by emailing Shellie Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on ordering like I did. (I'm not affiliated with Marty Brown; I'm just a fan.) Brown does not have a regular website, but he does have a Marty Brown Facebook page, and he recently released a new video of a new song, "Put Your Love Right Here," which does not appear on these CDs.
If you were a Marty Brown Fan back in the 1990s, check out his new music. If you have never heard of him and you like country music, check out his catalog.
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