Marty Brown

By By Jean Metcalfe

If you like pure traditional country music, written and sung with more "voice of experience" than any one 26-year-old country boy has any right to possess, then by all means you'll want to spend your entertainment dollars on Marty Brown's debut album, High and Dry.

All 10 of the album songs were written and performed by Marty himself, with Fern Creek's Barbara Carter, of Shaking Family renown, sharing co-writing honors on "Your Sugar Daddy's Long Gone."

The album is a must for every traditional country fan's collection. But, as you may have noticed from my cover story, I'm a fan of Maceo, Ky.'s favorite son, Marty Brown. So don't take my word for it.

Musician magazine's Jimmy Guterman, in the November 1991 issue, had this to say:

"... There's nothing restrained about Brown, and some of the songs on his debut record High and Dry have the feel of instant honkytonk classics. ..."

Gunterman continues: "Yet High and Dry only hints at Brown's potential. ... [The album] is a collection that demands to be put across as simply and directly as possible. At its core stands a ferocious talent, one who should be allowed to express himself with nothing to block his way."

And even David Zimmerman, after a dubious introduction in his column in USA Today back in July of 1991, had good things to say about Marty's album:

"Remember that sort of goofy singer with the dorky hat who cried on camera on CBS' 48 Hours when Nashville was featured a couple of months ago?"

"It's [the album] different, risky, pure and innocent, like he doesn't know anybody's listening. Critics will be proclaiming Brown retro-cowboy chic."

From Geoffrey Himes, in The Washington Post, August 16, 1991:

"This debut album is so good, so timeless, in fact, that it transcends the current wave of 'Hats' and awakens memories of the greatest honky-tonker of them all, Hank Williams Sr."

Himes further states that "Most of the songs on Brown's album are good enough to be singles ...."

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Dan DeLuca, in his September 1, 1991, column "New Recordings," gave High and Dry four stars.

And Rick Mitchell in the Houston Chronicle, September 1, 1991, also awarded the album four stars. Mitchell wrote:

"The irony is that by circumventing formula new traditionalism in favor of genuine tradition, Brown sounds hipper and more contemporary than almost anything else coming out of Nashville. High and Dry is almost certain to be the country debut of the year."

Susan Campbell, in her September 5, 1991 column in The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, said:

"... [W]ith that battered brown hat and accent that drips pone, he's a little hard to believe.

"Believe it. The guy knows lonesome, and he could sit down with the best of the country stars of 40 years ago and fit right in. There's an honesty and a feeling to his music that's missing from all too much of today's country."

And the list goes on.