CD Review: Rachel Brown “Once Again”

Posted: October 17, 2014 in Music
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In every major city in the United States, there exists a very versatile musician or musicians that have the musical talent and ability to create music that consists of many different genres or styles that change from one song to the next. One such musician right here in Cleveland is Rachel Brown.

With her, piano, singer-songwriter Rachel Brown is able to combine together Honky Tonk, Jazz, Blues, Country, even Rock and Roll into songs that are as varied as the genres that help to create them. Brown is one talent that can be put into the Americana musical genre because of her generous use of those individual genres in her songs.

In order to bring her music to life, Rachel Brown is backed up by several musicians who call themselves the Beatnik Playboys. The Beatnik Playboys consist of Bill Watson on bass, Roy King on drums and Dave Huddleston on guitar. As versatile as Brown, the three musicians easily transition from Blues to Jazz to other styles and are the perfect musicians to back up Rachel Brown. And together, Rachel and the Beatnik Playboys create one of Cleveland’s premier bands.

Having already released one album of original music called Just Look My Way, Rachel Brown made a name for herself with that release and has since become one of the most sought after acts in Cleveland. Recently, Rachel and the Beatnik Playboys followed up that release with another album. The 2014 release from Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys is called Once Again.

Once Again begins with the title track. “Once Again” is a slow-paced Country track that brings to mind artists like Loretta Lynn or others who would now be classified as Classic Country. The writing style of Rachel Brown feels as authentic as anything that would have been created back during those classic years that are now seen as so influential to today’s up-and-coming artists that are creating their own take on the Country music genre.

The new release continues with the song “Mama and Daddy”. Staying within that Classic Country sound, the song features the Beatnik Playboys as much as it features Rachel Brown. The trio of bassist Bill Watson, drummer Roy King and guitarist Dave Huddleston creates a strong guitar-based track with plenty of twang courtesy of Huddleston’s guitar. The heartbreaking lyrics contained within the song refer to what a family might do if they no longer had their parents. Those lyrics feel as poignant today as they would have 20-30 years ago. Lyrics like “What would we do if Mama and Daddy were gone?” bring that Old-Timey feel to Rachel Brown’s music.

Rachel Brown is not the only writer within the musical ensemble. The song “It’s Not Easy” features the writing style of bassist Bill Watson. The trio of Watson on bass, Huddleston on guitar and King on drums help lay down a simple jazz sound that Brown adds her piano playing to. The results end up being a track that feels like a Jazz standard. Taking a listen to the track, you’ll swear that you’ve heard the song before as it feels so familiar. You may even start to sing along. That simple feel in the lyrics and music is what makes the song work.

The telltale sign of a good songwriter is the ability to write in such a way that the song being performed actually feels like a story. The ‘story’ of “Jimmy C” from Rachel Brown is one of those songs that seem to bring a character to life as Brown sings of an old friend. The combination of all of the musicians on this track creates a song that easily could be heard on Country music formats on today’s radio.

If there was one particular song on the new release of Once Again from Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys, it would have to be “My Best Friend is My Song”. The track begins with the combo of Brown on piano, Bill Watson on bass and Chris Hanna on organ. The first minute or so of the track is simply the three musicians creating an instrumental moment before Brown adds her vocals. The song’s music will hit you in the heart with its beauty from the very first few bars. With the addition of the lyrics, Brown proceeds to explain the meaning of the title of the song. The lyrics and the music work well together to bring the lyrics to life.  “My Best friend is My Song” is easily one of the best moments on the album.

Just like her previous album of Just Look My Way, Rachel Brown’s Once Again is a strong release from beginning to end. And with plenty of variety in the music, there’s bound to be something for everybody on the songwriter’s new release. Take a listen and see why everybody’s talking about Rachel Brown.

Check out Rachel Brown in concert as she performs the song “My Best Friend is My Song“.

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Comments
  1. […] 6 Rachel Brown Once Again With her, piano, singer-songwriter Rachel Brown is able to combine together Honky Tonk, Jazz, Blues, Country, even Rock and Roll into songs that are as varied as the genres that help to create them. Brown is one talent that can be put into the Americana musical genre because of her generous use of those individual genres in her songs. Having already released one album of original music called Just Look My Way, Rachel Brown made a name for herself with that release and has since become one of the most sought after acts in Cleveland. Recently, Rachel and the Beatnik Playboys followed up that release with another album. The 2014 release from Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys is called Once Again. Just like her previous album of Just Look My Way, Rachel Brown’s Once Again is a strong release from beginning to end. And with plenty of variety in the music, there’s bound to be something for everybody on the songwriter’s new release. Take a listen and see why everybody’s talking about Rachel Brown. Read the entire review: https://matheson12.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/cd-review-rachel-brown-once-again/ […]

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