For folk singer John John Brown, sometimes life is as strange as the tall tales in his songs; while recording his debut album, The Road, he tumbled down a 75 foot well. His life was saved– quite literally– by music, when his acoustic guitar broke his fall. Though it’s clearly been a bumpy road (pun intended) to his first release, he’s already piqued the interest of critics and fans alike with his heartfelt, unique Americana compositions, making it to the final round of the “New Folk” competition at the 2015 Kerrville Folk Festival and winning the 2016 South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Contest.
Today, Elmore is premiering the video for “On My Own Again,” a duet with fellow singer/songwriter Laney Jones from his upcoming debut, which will be released on July 22nd. The track is a finely textured folk ballad, one that allows Brown’s vivid, emotional storytelling to shine. In it, he introduces us to two downtrodden, American characters, weaving their lives together in an unexpected way to ultimately soothe their heartache and affirm the redeeming, awesome power of love. It’s no wonder that the gentle, rasping waver of Brown’s vocals has garnered comparisons to Cat Stevens’, which are offset by Jones’ delicate higher register. The soaring wail of a string solo and the hum of a backing chorus deepen the song’s sentiment, set against a backdrop of old home movies and stills of the American landscape.
Though John John Brown mines a well-trodden genre and a familiar territory, traversing the working class towns and flea-bag motels of our big country, he forges his own Road, establishing himself as one of the more promising young names in folk music today along the way.
Starting June 24th, you can pre-order The Road on iTunes. Watch “On Our Own Again” below.