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Alison Brown

Progressive bluegrass banjoist Alison Brown made her name not only as a virtuosic instrumentalist, but as an accomplished jazz-influenced composer, a combination that earned plenty of comparisons to Béla Fleck and David Grisman. Brown began playing the banjo before reaching her teens and developed quickly, winning numerous contests and even getting a chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. She was also an excellent student, and temporarily left music to attend Harvard University; following graduation, she worked as an investment banker for a couple of years, but quit to pursue music. Brown gained her first wide exposure as a member of Alison Krauss' Union Station, covering the banjo slot from Krauss' 1987 debut album through 1990. That year, she departed to record her own debut, the entirely instrumental Simple Pleasures, for Vanguard, and also spent some time as the musical director for folkie Michelle Shocked. Brown's 1992 follow-up, Twilight Motel, was jazzier and more eclectic, and 1994's Look Left displayed her increasing interest in world and ethnic music. Released in 1996, The Alison Brown Quartet refocused on her jazz sensibility and found her switching to guitar on a few tracks; it was also her last album before moving to the Compass imprint, for which she debuted in 1998 with Out of the Blue. Issued in 2000, Fair Weather featured a duet with Béla Fleck on "Leaving Cottondale," which won Brown a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental. Her follow-up album, Replay, was another of her jazzier outings. Brown sang about parenthood and musicianship on Stolen Moments, which arrived in spring 2005. She released Evergreen, a collection of holiday music with Joe Craven, in 2007, followed by Company You Keep in 2009. After a six-year gap, Brown returned in 2015 with The Song of the Banjo, a versatile collection that included a slew of guest spots from artists like the Indigo Girls, Keb' Mo', and Compass Records labelmate Colin Hay. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Song Of The Banjo

1. The Song Of The Banjo

2. Dance With Me

4. A Long Way Gone

5. Windansea

6. Time After Time

7. Stuff Happens

9. Airish

11. The Moon In Molly's Eyes

12. Musette For The Last Fret

x

Track List: The Company You Keep

1. Crazy Ivan

2. Rocket Summer

3. The Road West

4. Drawing Down The Moon

5. Under The (Five) Wire

6. Rain Or Shine

7. Over Nine Waves

8. Forky On The Water

9. The Clean Plate Club

10. Waltz For Mr. B

x

Track List: Stolen Moments

1. The Sound Of Summer Running

2. The Magnificent Seven

3. Homeward Bound

4. The Pirate Queen

5. Carrowkeel

6. Angel

7. McIntyre Heads South

8. One Morning In May

9. (I'm Naked And I'm) Going To Glasgow

10. Prayer Wheel

11. Musette For A Palindrome

x

Track List: Best Of The Vanguard Years

1. Wolf Moon

2. Chicken Road

3. Without Anastasia

4. Mambo Banjo

5. Shoot The Dog

6. Cara's Way (The Little People)

7. G Bop

8. Waltzing With Tula

9. The Dalai Camel

10. Deep North

11. Saint Genevieve

12. Leaving Cottondale

13. Lorelei

14. Look Left

15. Hello Mendocino!

16. The Inspector

17. Simple Pleasures

x

Track List: Fair Weather

1. Late On Arrival

2. Fair Weather

3. Poe's Pickin' Party

4. Everyday I Write The Book

5. The Devil Went Down To Berkeley

6. Hummingbird

7. Girl's Breakdown

8. Everybody's Talkin'

9. Deep Gap

10. Shake And Howdy

11. Leaving Cottondale

12. Sweet Thing

x

Track List: Twilight Motel

1. First Light

2. Lorelei

3. Twilight Motel

4. Blue Marlin

5. Saint Genevieve

6. Gods Of Brazil

7. Shoot The Dog

8. Pelican Bay

9. Chicken Road

10. Sweet Thames Flow Softly

x

Track List: What's Going On? (Single)

1. What's Going On? (Feat. Keb' Mo')

Comments

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Thanks Jodie, you are well listened!
,
Long live Analog.
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Alison also established and runs the Compass imprint, which has released amazing records from remarkable artists across the musical spectrum - the Waifs, Colin Linden, Dale Ann Bradley, Victor Wooten, and on and on. http://www.c o m p a s s r e c o r d s . c o m

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