Brown's been at this singer/songwriter thing for so long two things become immediately apparent: 1) America really does have tin ears and, 2) Where have I been that this is my first serious listen to the guy? But very good friends of mine swear by Brown's wry humor, seasoned, lyrical intimacy, and John Lee Hooker crashes into Tom Waits blues so here goes.
Is The Evening Call Greg Brown's finest moment? Don't know. Don't care. I'll just tell you it has inspired me to seek out some of his other twenty-three acclaimed recordings. (For starters, friends have suggested Essential Recordings, Milk of The Moon, Slant 6 Mind, and The Poet Game)
Do any of the songs here stand as Brown's best? Again, I don't know and I don't care. But from my limited, first ear experience, I will say that Eugene, Cold and Dark and Wet, Kokomo, Bucket, and Treat Each Other Right are sticking to my synapses like the swamp mud I'm sure Brown kicks off his boots before going on stage.
Is The Evening Call worthy of more than a few cursory listens? Sure as hell is. I'm on my tenth play now, getting deeper and deeper …
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