Brothers Brown discovers somewhere meaningful to go on their second album

Article Contributed by Great Scott PR | Published on Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The cliché “Don’t judge a book by the cover” does and does not apply to the cosmically colorful artwork that adorns the forthcoming sophomore album, “Nowhere Left To Go,” from Brothers Brown. The thirteen songs written and produced by the bluesy Americana jam band are a rainbow of musical styles. Both the cover and the songs on the Woodward Avenue Records collection dropping January 12 are vividly imaginative and vibrant. While the vintage Volkswagen van on the cover symbolizes the carefree era of the psychedelic 1960s, the eclectic blend heard on the album is far from retro. It’s a distinctly modern - perhaps even a futuristic set - reflecting the amalgam of art and culture of the present day.

The cartoonish illustration on the album cover accurately captures the spirited personality and wildly stylish character of Grammy nominee Brother Paul Brown (The Waterboys), the band’s vivacious keyboardist. He co-founded the group with his two-time Grammy-winning namesake, guitarist and singer-songwriter Paul Brown, who has produced more than sixty No. 1 singles for a galaxy of contemporary jazz stars including George Benson, Norman Brown, Boney James and Al Jarreau. The Nashville-based Brother Paul Brown met the Los Angeles-based Paul Brown at the Grammy Awards in 2014. The four-piece band is completed in equal measure by a taut rhythm section comprised of bassist David Santos (Billy Joel, John Fogerty, Elton John) and drummer-percussionist Peter Young (Loretta Lynn, The Burrito Brothers). Both Nashville-based musicians add vocals and guitar parts to Brothers Brown’s first new album since their 2016 debut, “Dusty Road.”

While the members of Brothers Brown are decorated veterans, “Nowhere Left To Go” is only their second outing as a band thus they’re considered newcomers again, which they find invigorating.

“There aren’t that many new artists coming along doing what we’re doing. Playing this music is like putting on your favorite old pair of blue jeans. Perfect fit and feel. We all grew up listening to and playing this type of music. It’s so great to be able to finally let it all hang out and do exactly what we want without all the restraints of the record business and trying to make a living. It’s gonna be a blast playing these songs live. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and love being a part of Brothers Brown,” said “LA” Paul Brown about their unique mix of soulful blues, rootsy Americana, jam band grooves, edgy rock and twangy country nuances.

The album’s title track features blues legend Bobby Rush, who has been collaborating with Brother Paul Brown for over twenty years. Their fruitful history together spans four albums, three Blues Music Awards, one Grammy nomination for the album “Down in Louisiana,” and many miles traveled during multiple concert tours.  

“This song was nearly wrapped up when the grand notion of inviting Bobby Rush to lend his voice came to mind. The more I listened to David Santos' voice and the soulful depth it brings, the more I just knew his and Bobby's voice together would be a timeless soulful treasure. Bobby graciously accepted the invitation to sing on the track and beautiful history followed. Our friendship and musical kinship remain ocean-deep and ever-evolving,” said Brother Paul Brown, who plays Hammond B-3, piano and Moog synthesizer on the album and on Gloria Gaynor’s 2019 Grammy-winning gospel album, “Testimony.”

“Our esteemed guest, Bobby Rush, is a brilliant storyteller and a legendary one-in-a-million artist,” enthused Santos. “Lyrically, ‘Nowhere Left To Go’ is about a guy who has lost everything and is very near the end of his earthly journey. Our seasons change, and new ones, different ones, begin. In a fleeting moment of realization, he has a sense of hope, or even redemption, and perhaps he has found a little meaning to embrace for the remainder of his time here. There actually is ‘Somewhere Left To Go’ for all of us.”

The album opens with “Wrong Side Of Town,” a tale that Santos says, “is about a man who finds himself waking up alone in a strange place and missing the love of his life after having ruined their relationship.”

Brother Paul Brown says the anthemic “Junior’s Back” has special meaning to him.

“I've always been a fan of prog-rock synth solos, especially in groups like Pink Floyd, ELP, and, even more specifically, Foreigner, and the brilliant synth textures, hooks, and solos Al Greenwood brought to those albums. For a good while, I was headed in that direction until my musical journey turned more towards soul and blues. Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that in 2023, at the age of sixty, that I would find myself conjuring up a bonkers Moog solo for a tune on an American roots/blues/jam band album—and it actually worked! David's verse vocals and Pete’s chorus vocals are legendary on this track as well.”

The album includes several instrumentals, including one of the first songs the quartet ever wrote together, “Chitlin' Pickin',” which they describe as being “country funky.”

“Brand New Day” started as a taut bass and drum groove that evolved as they layered distorted and wah-wah guitar tracks along with an optimistic, chantlike vocal chorus.

“Sitting in the studio, we thought about what a brand-new day represents to all of us as a human race, how it’s always an opportunity for new possibilities and positive change, and how the sun comes up every day for all of us - no matter what. All four of us sang together on the same mic. The original lyric was ‘The sun is shining through my window.’ We changed it at various times to “through OUR window” to be more inclusive,” Santos shared.         

The melancholy midtempo “Give Me One Reason” is about the end of a relationship. It had run its course, and no one is to blame, but the partners are no longer in love.

“The protagonist realizes that the relationship is over. He knows they must be wise and strong and leave each other, but he just can’t let go. He’s having a conversation with himself and her at the same time, which I love. He asks himself why he should be in love with her when she obviously no longer wants to be with him. It’s so extremely hard to face the fact that someone has simply fallen out of love with you, and you must let go and move on,” said Santos.

Another bluesy rock tune, “Snakehole Road” travels into darkness and danger.

“There are those horrible hidden places where all forms of debauchery go down. These dens of iniquity are so evil that even the cops are afraid to go there. These are places you sometimes wanna check out for some ungodly reason. It’s a very disturbing song,” admitted Santos.

The edginess continues on the bitter “Black and Blue.”

“It’s an edgy and heavy dark blues joint about a guy who is hurting. He’s in love with a woman who doesn’t appreciate him and has made him feel abused. She cheats on him, takes his money, uses him and leaves him alone at night,” said Santos.

“Nowhere Left To Go” closes with the instrumental “Fifteen Minutes,” a sprawling sojourn on which each player makes a final curtain call. It’s a closing statement capturing the band’s ethos eloquently without a single word.        

“Coming from so many different musical genres, dating back to my years of living in a Nashville school for the homeless in the mid-70s, this album is full of so many full-circle moments for me personally, allowing me to incorporate my love for so many of those genres into one album with a group of three absolutely brilliant fellow band members,” Brother Paul Brown concluded.

The “Nowhere Left To Go” album contains the following songs:

“Wrong Side of Town”

“Junior's Back”                

“Runnin' Blues”                          

“Nowhere Left To Go” featuring Bobby Rush   

“My Baby”                                  

“High Up On The Mountain”  

“Chitlin' Pickin'”        

“Brand New Day”

“Whatcha Gonna Do”                 

“Give Me One Reason”

“Snakehole Road”                

“Black and Blue”

“Fifteen Minutes”

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