“It’s always been my business/To try and spill my guts/But this whiskey tongue is so damn loose/Can’t keep it all locked up.” It is with these opening lines to the song “Don’t Tell Me I’m Wrong” that folk/punk singer-songwriter Chris Brown declares who he is and what he he’s all about. On his latest EP Sing Yourself to Sleep, Brown showcases his abilities as both a storyteller and a chord-strummer. His storytelling benefits from his aforementioned hold-nothing-back, loose-tongue style. He has managed to keep his punk sensibilities and funnel them into a different vessel than screaming and three-chord thrash. But make no mistake about it; the yarns he spins have not forgotten their humble patched-up punk-jacket roots.
Right from the first cut of the EP, “Lullaby,” Brown establishes he is in search of himself, whoever that person may be: “Ask myself who I am again/The answer begs the question/Do I even know just yet?” He is a man with many questions but few answers. He sets out with his guitar and plays what comes to him, hoping to divine a few truths along the way. Maybe along the way, he’ll run into another lone soul, in search of something more: “Wanna sing myself to sleep tonight/If that would be alright/Maybe I’ll wake up someone new.”
Brown’s finest work on the EP comes in the form of “Dance With The Devil,” a rollicking folk-style tune that just begs for a sing-along in one of Asbury Park’s intimate venues. The song features one of those divined truths that get picked up while walking along the road of life: “No matter how fast/You can’t outrun your past/Karma’s a bitch/I should know.”
Nothing makes Brown happier than to share his stories with his audience. He is most comfortable behind a guitar and a microphone, painting pictures of life as he knows it. With his impressive ability to sing out a captivating story and his seemingly endless amount of life experiences from which to draw on, Brown possesses the rare ability to bring together fans of multiple genres, from folk to punk to rock to indie. Give his EP a listen – you’ll be pouring out shots of whiskey and singing along before long.
MUST HEAR TRACK: “Dance With The Devil” – An upbeat folk stomper with an infectious melody made for fist tossing sing alongs.
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