CD Review: Rachel Brown “Look Who’s Back”

Rachel Brown is one of the hardest working musicians in the entire city of Cleveland, OH. When she isn’t teaching music as a musical instructor to young children, she continuously performs all over town performing her blend of music to an ever-increasing fanbase. The reason for that growing following is that Rachel adds a flavor to the Cleveland music scene that no one else can or does. Her blend of Country/Jazz/Blues styles is truly unique to the area.

Not only has Rachel Brown been performing all over the Cleveland area, she has also been busy recording her original music that features that aforementioned musical blend of Jazz, Blues and Country. To help build her musical following, Rachel Brown has taken that musical blend and has previously released two albums of original music. Those albums are: 2012’s Just Look My Way and 2014’s Once Again.

Enough time has passed that Rachel Brown has just created yet another release. Brown’s 2017 album is entitled Look Who’s Back.

To help Rachel bring her music to life, she was joined by Dave Huddleston (guitars), Bill Watson (bass & tuba), Roy King (percussion), Emma Shook (violin), Becky Boyd (harmonies) and Andrew Mortier (harmony on Hey, My Child). These musicians are just as much a part of the Cleveland music scene as Rachel herself. Together with Rachel Brown, this talented group of musicians help to shape the music for each track on Look Who’s Back.

Look Who’s Back from Rachel Brown begins with the title track of her new release. “Look Who’s Back” features a musical blend that consists of equal parts Honky Tonk and Blues. The Honky Tonk influence gives the track its character while the Blues influence gives the song the pacing. “Look Who’s Back” is one track on the new release that truly helps to define just what Rachel Brown sounds like.

The music on Rachel Brown’s new album (like the last two releases) changes from one track to the next. The listener stays glued to each track of the album because no two songs in a row contain the same musical style or sound. Nowhere is that more evident than when comparing “Look Who’s Back” to the second track of the release, “Blue Diamond”.

While “Look Who’s Back” has that Honky Tonk/Blues blend, the track “Blue Diamond” brings forward Brown’s Country influences. As a matter of fact, “Blue Diamond” was written in such a matter that those influences have created a track that feels ready-made for Country music radio formats today. The song brings to mind some of the Classic Country ladies like Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn. The track would fit in perfectly with the Country hits from the sixties or seventies when Country music sounded like Country music and not Rock and Roll with a little bit of a twang.

Like much of Country/Jazz music, the track “This Old Place” is the type of song that features lyrics written in such a way that they pull on your heartstrings. “This Old Place” features a definite seventies vibe to the Soft Rock music that accompanies the storyline of a man who decides to visit a house he and his late wife used to call home. The music and the lyrics to the track create a track that would have been perfect for AM radio back in that time period of the seventies.

Rachel Brown’s new release of Look Who’s Back features nine original tracks from Brown. However, the release also finds Brown recreating two songs from other writers. The two tracks, Robert Kidney’s “No Lock, No Key” and “Whiskey, You Win” from Nathan Bell show off Rachel Brown’s ability to take someone else’s song and make it her own. With both of these tracks, Brown chose two tracks that have rather somber subject matters as both tracks deal with having to deal with heartbreak in one way or another. As Rachel sings the lyrics to each of these heartbreaking tunes, you experience the anguish being felt by both of the writers as they live through the pain.

As with her previous releases of Just Look My Way and Once Again, Rachel Brown’s 2017 album of Look Who’s Back never stays in one musical frame of mind for very long. And just like the previous albums, the ever-changing musical styles found in the songs on the album make for one enjoyable musical ride.

 

Rachel Brown will be celebrating the release of her new CD and Record Look Who’s Back at G.A.R. Hall in Peninsula, Ohio on September 16th, 2017. But before that, Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys will be performing for the o-WOW Radio Series taking place at the Music Box Supper Club this upcoming Wednesday, August 16th, 2017.

In other related news, The Music Box Supper Club will be celebrating its 3rd Birthday by holding a week-long celebration. Rachel Brown’s concert will be taking part during that time period. So head on out and celebrate the club’s birthday and check out Rachel Brown and the Beatnik Playboys at the same time.

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