60TH ANNIVERSARY BOX SET. SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION TO CELEBRATE SIX DECADES IN MUSIC!
Digital release: November 8th 2019
Physical release: November 29th 2019 Through Absolute/Universal
JOE BROWN has, incredibly, been playing music professionally for 60 years. On September 6th he embarked on a massive 78 date 60th Anniversary UK tour which sees him on the road until well after Christmas. (Second leg of dates attached.) And to coincide with the live outing comes a special Limited Edition 60th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set. It is scheduled for digital release on November 8th and physical release on the 29th on Joe Brown Productions through Absolute/Universal. The lavish and detailed album-size 60th Anniversary Box Set is Joe’s first ever. Each box contains six CDs and a DVD as well as various items including two sixties’ poster cards a badge and a guitar plectrum (all unavailable elsewhere), The piece-de-resistance of the box set, however, is the lavish full colour 48 page hard backed book which chronicles Joe’s career in pictures and words. A terrific tribute to a musician’s life well lived. https://www.musicglue.com/joebrown/
As some of the world’s top guitar players will confirm, Joe Brown is that rarest of things in the professional music world – a musician’s musician, a guitar player’s guitar player. A man held in high regard, now also known as much for his championing of the humble ukulele as well as his guitar dexterity. Following his first record, a 1959 released Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman song ‘People Gotta Talk’, in 1960 the Spacemen (a skiffle band Joe was in) became Joe’s backing band The Bruvvers. The hits began to roll in. Starting with ‘The Darktown Strutters Ball’ they reached a crescendo in 1962/3 with ‘A Picture Of You’ (No 1 on the NME chart), ‘It Only Took A Minute’ and ‘That’s What Love Will Do’. In the early days Joe played alongside legends such as Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Billy Fury. He backed Johnny Cash and others on TV. He was soon headlining British tours that featured opening acts Del Shannon, Dion, the Crystals… and an up and coming band called The Beatles. In later years George Harrison was to become one of his closest friends and it was Joe’s rendition of ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ that closed the show at the Tribute To George concert.
Joe Brown still tours to packed houses. Stage, film, radio and TV have all been within his orbit and he is renowned as a natural entertainer. His anecdotes are based on his own experiences from starting out in a time of music hall, traversing skiffle and then embracing rock ‘n’ roll.
The Special Edition Box Set pays tribute to a remarkable musician. It demonstrates both Joe’s versatility (he plays many instruments) and the range of his music. He is equally at home with Leadbelly standards, Golden Gate Quartet gospel, 1930s’ classics and real hoe down country music and country blues. Not to mention klezmer, pop and absolutely authentic rock ‘n’ roll. Joe Brown’s skill set is diverse and his appeal all-embracing. He truly deserved his recent Mojo Lifetime Achievement award as well as his MBE and this box set does him credit. It shows exactly why Joe has survived and prospered across the decades – a great record of an undisputedly great artist. www.joebrown.co.uk
Some things never change. Joe Brown’s same spikey hairstyle, his distinctive voice and cheerful personality, the same pioneering spirit AND his tremendous talent. Joe is the real deal. He looks good, he sounds good and he is good.
Joe was one of the first great British guitarists and, now, an incredible five decades later, he can still justly lay claim to being one of the UK’s finest.
His unique background was deeply rooted in the East End where he grew up (his mum ran a pub in Plaistow and his grandfather was a trick rider in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Circus.) He was a champion of the first form of youth music, skiffle, and while he has never had a music lesson in his life he can play at least eight different instruments.
Joe has inspired and been acclaimed by many guitarists – George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck to name but a few – and he is credited as the man who gave Hank Marvin the echo unit that gave the Shadows their distinctive sound.
(Rumour also has it that Jimi Hendrix took up playing guitar behind his head having seen Joe do it at a show.) 2008 sees Joe celebrating his 50th year in the business, a career that has had more than its fair share of highs. From the early hits – Dark Town Strutters Ball, Shine, Picture Of You, That’s What Love Will Do – right through to appearances at Glastonbury and Cropready and on Jools Holland’s “Hootenanny” and “Later”, he’s demonstrated his superb musicianship.
His show-stopping performance at the George Harrison Tribute concert in 2002 with “I’ll See You In My Dreams” was both memorable and moving, a fitting tribute to one of his closest friends. (The DVD of the show has already gone 12 times platinum in the US alone.)
50 years on Joe is still making new and highly acclaimed records. He’s toured with some great musicians – recently Dave Edmunds – and he still tours major venues twice a year. Following a major Spring outing earlier this year he takes to the road again in the Autumn to complete his 50th Anniversary dates. To mark 2008’s special occasion, Universal released the TV promoted “Joe Brown, The Very Best Of” in February – and it’s already sold over 100,000 copies. Featuring all of his best loved songs right from the early days to the present including his version of Dylan’s Well, Well, Well, One Trick Pony and Black Betty, it provides the perfect prelude to Joe’s forthcoming studio album.
Scheduled for October release, the new CD will be out on the Track record label and is titled “More Of The Truth”. When Lonnie Donegan was ruling the charts with Rock Island Line, 16 year old Joe joined his first band, the Spacemen Skiffle Group. Three years later he was the resident lead guitarist on Jack Good’s groundbreaking TV show Boy Meets Girls. He found himself backing visiting American stars like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Johnny Cash. (That’s Joe’s rockabilly lead guitar all over Billy Fury’s classic 1960 album “The Sound Of Fury”- THE classic UK rock record.)
1960 was the year the Spacemen became Joe Brown And The Bruvvers and the hits began to roll in, starting with The Darktown Strutters Ball and reaching a crescendo in 1962/3 with A Picture Of You, It Only Took A Minute and That’s What Love Will Do. During this time Joe was headlining British tours that featured Del Shannon, Dion, the Crystals… and an up and coming band called the Beatles.
As the Beatles changed the whole pop music landscape Joe was already broadening his horizons. He starred in the long running West End musical “Charlie Girl” in 1965 and has since appeared in “Sleuth” and 1985’s “Pump Boys And Dinettes” which he directed and took on tour.
Then there were films – “What A Crazy World”, “Three Hats For Lisa”, “Spike Milligan Meets Joe Brown” and “Mona Lisa” with Bob Hoskins. Not to mention regular TV and radio appearances including three series of “The Joe Brown Show” on ITV and presenting BBC Radio 2’s “The Rock Island Line”, “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, “Let It Rock” and “Joe Brown’s Sunday Roast” either side of the new millennium.
In the early 70s Joe formed Brown’s Home Brew which included his late wife Vicki and Joe Fagin, touring and releasing two albums. Between the mid 70s and the early 90s, however, Joe concentrated on touring, only releasing albums again when he signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell in Nashville in 1991.
That led to the release of the Come On Joe album in 1993, recorded at his own home studio, produced by his son Pete and featuring his touring band – guitarist Neil Gauntlett, bassist Rico Nilo and drummer Phil Capaldi – who are all still with him. Come On Joe was followed closely by the ‘In Concert’ video and by 1997’s 56 And Taller Than You Think and On A Day Like This, recorded in Nashville in 1998 and produced by Roger Cook (with whom he later wrote a musical which had its musical debut in 2005). In 2005 Joe also signed to Track Records and has subsequently released two live DVDs plus several highly acclaimed albums including -Hittin’ The Hi Spots , Down To Earth and Live In Germany.
Since the new millennium Joe has been confounding people’s expectations of him on a regular basis. In 2002 he appeared at the Glastonbury Festival and endeared himself to the latest generation of rock fans. Later that year he won a brand new world-wide audience with his show-stopping appearance at “The Concert For George” staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall with a stellar cast of musicians in tribute to George Harrison.
Joe was asked by Olivia Harrison and Eric Clapton to sing Here Comes The Sun, That’s The Way It Goes and to close the show with I’ll See You In My Dreams, a favourite song of George’s. Joe describes the show as “the highlight of my career”.
Joe returns to the Royal Albert Hall in his own right on September 24th this year. A very special show to mark his amazing 50 years, Joe will be joined by old friends and Special Guests Mark Knopfler, Dave Edmunds, Jools Holland, Dennis Locorriere, Chas and Dave and Henry Gross as well as daughter Sam Brown. Radio 2’s Bob Harris will present the evening.
Joe Brown is the genuine article. That he is one of the real British greats is without doubt. An inspiration to many and an unflagging and surprising talent in his own right, Joe goes from strength to strength. The new CD out in February is a superb testament to a truly unique star.