RIP Mel Brown

Posted on: Saturday, Mar 21, 2009

This from GuelphMercury.com

The legendary bluesman Mel Brown has died. He was 69.

Brown was admitted to the intensive care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener on March 1 with a collapsed lung. He never made it home. Miss Angel, Brown’s longtime wife and partner, was at his side.

Soft spoken and humble in life, Brown will be celebrated and remembered in death as one of the most talented blues guitarists to come out of the Mississippi Delta.

Born in Jackson, Miss. on Oct. 7, 1939, Brown lived in Los Angeles, Nashville and Austin before settling in Kitchener, Canada in 1989.

His first gig was with the famous harp player Sonny Boy Williamson. Brown’s last show was a Sunday afternoon gig at the Boathouse in Victoria Park, Canada.

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Ken

March 21st, 2009 at 20:14
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Ken

March 22nd, 2009 at 09:16
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An obit in the Canadian paper the Waterloo Region Record.

http://news.therecord.com/arts/article/507047

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Grahame

March 22nd, 2009 at 10:07
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RIP Mel Brown . . . hey Ken, he actually plays on one of our favourite albums of all time, the fantastic Doug Sahm “The Last Real Texas Blues Band” recording, from when he played keyboards in the Antone’s house band. Also highly recommended is his Electro-Fi Records album, “Neck Bones And Caviar”, which is pretty hot! Seem to think Pete and the guys were talking about booking him once, or have I imagined this?

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Pete Evans

March 22nd, 2009 at 10:50
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You and your remarkable memory Grahame.
That’s quite right. I had booked him for the 2002 Dragon Blues Festival but due to his difficulties in breathing, brought on I believe by emphysema, he decided not to fly. He subsequently never flew again and so most of his work was confined to Canada.

I spoke to Diana Braithwaite about him last year as she was a close friend of Mel Brown and a stable mate on Electro – Fi, and she was saying then that his health had deteriorated and he frequently needed oxygen nearby on stage.

“Neck Bones and Caviar” 1999, is a superb album as are his other Electro Fi releases “Homewreckin’ Done Live” 2001 with his band The Homewreckers, “Blues – A Beautiful Thing” 2006 (I often play this at Worthenbury gigs) and perhaps my favourite “Double Shot” an acoustic album recorded with Snooky Prior on harp in 2000.

Indeed, a great loss. Another of my favourites passes so soon after Willie King.

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Ken

March 22nd, 2009 at 11:50
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I really like the Chicken Fat release of material from the 1960s. Bluesy and funky at the same time.

http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/artist/releases/default.aspx?pid=10924&aid=6109

“In 1967, when Mel Brown teamed up with his fellow guitarists Herb Ellis and Arthur Wright to record his first album as a leader, he was hailed as “an Impulse discovery.”