Greg Brown @ 191 Toole

Greenhouse Productions Presents

Greg Brown @ 191 Toole

David Huckfelt

Sat, January 26

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$35.00-$40.00

This event is 21 and over

Greg Brown
Greg Brown
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 rereleased 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) earned 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 national 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. Greg’s new 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.

Greg continues to tour across North America and Europe, playing theaters, festivals and benefit concerts. When not on the road, he lives with wife Iris DeMent in Iowa City and spends time with his children and grandson.
David Huckfelt
David Huckfelt
In the fall of 2017, David Huckfelt left behind the familiar—the comfort of his home in Minneapolis; the camaraderie of his critically acclaimed band, The Pines; the luxuries of heat, hot water, and electricity—and relocated to Isle Royale, America’s most remote and least visited national park in mighty Lake Superior. Six hours by boat off the Michigan coast, Isle Royale is the largest island in the world’s largest freshwater lake, an isolated stretch of wilderness seemingly forgotten by the 20th century (to say nothing of the 21st). There, as an Artist In Residence selected by the National Park Service, Huckfelt spent ten hours a day for two straight weeks writing in solitude, channeling the mysterious and lonesome island’s spirits into his stunning debut solo album, ‘Stranger Angels.’



“The island is surrounded by 300 smaller islands, decrepit lighthouses and abandoned mines, lined with shipwrecks, ghosts, and the stories of the northern Ojibway, fisherman, and early settlers,” Huckfelt reflects. “I brought a mountain of notebooks and poetry and history books with me”, says Huckfelt, “and for the first time in nearly a decade, I found the solitude, depth, range, danger, beauty, and inspiration to go all kinds of places in my writing that I hadn't had the space to visit before. With a sense of place so strong, it was less like an anchor and more like a launching pad to free up and access all kinds of places from throughout my life. It’s easy to travel anywhere in your mind in that kind of solitude, your whole experience rises up from the deep.”

Indeed, the music is both transportive and reflective, focused inwards even as it draws on an abundance of outside influence. Hypnotic banjo and gentle acoustic guitar meet trippy public domain samples and shimmering soundscapes underneath Huckfelt’s stark, raw vocals as he wrestles with questions of fate and faith, responsibility and independence, connection and loss. A thread of deep ecology runs through these songs, but not the cute bumper sticker kind, the gritty, “what-comes-next-if-we-don’t-change-our-ways” kind. “Isle Royale used to have fifty wolves in five packs…” Huckfelt says, “now there’s only one left. Cycles are cycles but it’s the height of pride to think we’re (humans) aren’t the major player.” The title track “Stranger Angels” brings this point home strongest, with the narrator longing for a place “where (he) won’t make the greedy richer”, and the fierce grip of climate change manifests in lyrics like “Wild mustangs starve in the hills outside Las Vegas… and the West is burning like a lake of fire.”



But above and beyond conservation, “Stranger Angels” is a record about “thin places”, those spiritually charged places where heaven and earth seem to meet and the veil between the world we see and the mystical world beyond becomes transparent. On the rollicking blues-carnival track “As Below, So Above” Huckfelt pays touching to tribute to his late grandmother who helped raise him in Iowa, not by writing about her, but to her, as a defiant elegy against death. A former theology student who once wrote and preached sermons in Cook County Jail in Chicago, Huckfelt has gone through the fire of the niceties and dogma of “heaven” and “god” and come out the other end with a worldview fiercely present, concrete and expansive. “Stranger Angels as a title, to me, has a thousand references to what’s left after life and death and experience and loss and love burns off all the easy answers…” says Huckfelt. “The idea of god or spirit being hidden under the opposite of what we think we know, of ancestors and spirits visiting us, screaming in our ears all day long, but we miss it because it’s different, stranger than we expected… And the kindness we give and receive from strangers, the least, last and lost among us. Our cities are overflowing with strange angels, it’s such a mistake when we think we know which or who can offer us something, and which can’t. Every spirit has something to give. Then, when I saw the night camera footage of the moose and wolves on Isle Royale, dancing in the moonlight and gracing the forest with their presence, I thought “stranger angels” indeed.”



The record also draws on deep wells of Native American tradition and spirituality, a life-long anchor for Huckfelt which has developed more fully through working with Native songwriters and poets like John Trudell, Quiltman, Keith Secola, Tom LaBlanc and more. References to the healing and prophetic prayer-visions of indigenous thought and voices are everywhere on this record, including the chilling, epic, cosmic pow-wow closing track “Star Nation”, with the authoritative voice of American Indian Movement activist & singer Floyd Red Crow Westerman leading the way. Artfully weaving the historical, the ecological, and the personal into an elegant lyrical web, these songs contain layers of surprise and richness, as in the track “Everywind” with Huckfelt turning an imagining of the life of a woman named Everywind from a vintage photograph into a ballad in celebration of all women. The elegant “Still And Still Moving” sparkles like sunlight off the waters of Lake Superior as it ponders mortality and the impermanence of everything around us. “False True Lover Blues” stands as a gut punch at the precise place where a broken heart starts to mend, while “You Get Got” starts with notes Huckfelt took of his grandparents talking in bed after sixty-four years of marriage, and travels in a country-waltz fashion into the political and the universal with some help from guest vocalist Erik Koskinen.



When it was time to record the songs from Isle Royale, Huckfelt again sought geographic isolation, working out of a 110-year-old farmhouse studio in Menomonie, Wisconsin. This time, however, he chose to surround himself with fellow artists, assembling a dream team of musicians including drummer/co-producer J.T. Bates (Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings), bassist Darin Gray (Tweedy, William Tyler), and guitarists Michael Rossetto, Erik Koskinen, and Jeremy Ylvisaker, cutting sixteen songs in just three days. Very special guests rallied to Huckfelt’s side, including spectacular performances by Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath on “Heart, Wherever”, “Everywind” and “Stranger Angels”, Trampled By Turtles’ Dave Simonett singing harmony vocals on multiple tracks. Recorded and mixed by engineer-extraordinaire Adam Krinsky (Bellows Studio) the album captures the magic and spontaneity of a gifted band discovering the beauty and brilliance of the songs and each other all at once. Other stellar appearances include gospel-blues master Phil Cook on Hammond organ, while electronic musician and sample wizard Andrew Broder (Fog) haunts the tracks with the sparse, mercurial public domain samples of old-world Americana, as if these songs were coming through a Ham radio in an old ghost town.



‘Stranger Angels’ follows Huckfelt’s latest album with The Pines, 2016’s ‘Above The Prairie.’ Hailed by No Depression as “dazzling,” drawing the attention of Rolling Stone’s David Fricke who called The Pines “poignant stark country” and earning high praise in both the US and Europe, with Mojo calling it “their most beautiful yet” and Minnesota NPR station The Current raving that it “hits so close to the gut that it reminds us that they are truly a singular band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfX5nM1apLk
Venue Information:
191 Toole
191 E. Toole Ave
Tucson, AZ, 85701