Rise and shine on a Monday? Nay, rise and fight! Steal this track from Denver singer-songwriter Blake Brown with his Americana rock band The American Dust Choir about rising and fighting.
In many ways, singer-songwriters have the toughest job in music. These musicians are in pursuit of the essence of a song. After all the novel sounds, the instrumental acrobatics, and the stylistic flourishes are stripped away, all that is left is melody and message. The song is laid bare, and better be damn good without all the hoopla to hide behind. When it is great, the song can be interpreted by any number of styles and remain damn good. Obviously, the songs of Bob Dylan are easy examples of essential excellence, but so are songs by Trent Reznor. A talented singer-songwriter need not be a folk musician, a common, if false, association.
Denver’s Blake Brown is a talented singer-songwriter. On Nov. 22, he will release “We Believers,” a six-song EP, with a show at Hi-Dive. The album is a collection of solid songwriting that straddles the line between darkness and light with honest Americana rock that exposes his Texas roots.
In the past, Blake would perform these songs solo with just an acoustic guitar, which he still does on occasion. But for the show and the album, he enlisted a cast of noteworthy Denver musicians he calls The American Dust Choir, featuring members of The Fray, Varlet and the Centennial. The production, the arrangements, and the musicianship on this album are stellar, but none of that would matter if these weren’t incredible songs at the core. Blake crafts songs with melodies that become welcome guests in our ears even hours after listening. And his lyrics, often lovelorn, can be clever and evocative without following tired cliches. Truly, these are signs of a great songwriter at work.
Below, download “Rise n’ Fight.” The album can be streamed pre-release on Bandcamp. For a taste of what to expect on Friday at Hi-Dive, check out this video of Blake Brown and The American Dust Choir performaing “Kissing Knives” at Mercury Cafe.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe. He’s also a journeyman butcher. Seriously.