Mel Brown (guitarist)
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|Born||October 7, 1939|
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
|Died||March 20, 2009 (aged 69)|
Kitchener, Ontario Canada
|Genres||Blues rock, blues, R&B|
|Associated acts||Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Olympics, Etta James, Albert Collins|
Mel Brown (October 7, 1939 – March 20, 2009) was an American-born blues guitarist and singer. He is best remembered for his decade long backing of Bobby Bland, although in his own right, Brown recorded over a dozen albums between 1967 and 2006.
Brown was born in Jackson, Mississippi, United States, and was presented with his first guitar as a teenager while recovering from a bout of meningitis. By 1955, after performing backing duties for both Sonny Boy Williamson II and Jimmy Beasley, Brown had a two year long stint backing Johnny Otis. This led to work with Etta James, where he swapped his Gibson Les Paul for a ES-175 to give him a richer and fuller tone to his guitar work, that set him apart from his contemporaries.
The stress of constant touring led him to Los Angeles, California, to resume work with Otis, spending an extended residency at the Club Sands. Further session duties saw Brown back Bobby Darin and Bill Cosby among others, as well as performing on T-Bone Walker's Funky Town. ABC Records producer Bob Thiele offered Brown to chance to record his own material, and Brown released Chicken Fat in 1967.
One of his most celebrated tracks is the 11+ minute guitar solo, "Eighteen Pounds of Unclean Chitluns", which is on I'd Rather Suck My Thumb (1970), and was reissued as the lead track (and title) on a BluesWay Records collection released in 1973. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s, Brown was a prominent member of the house band at Antone's Night Club in Austin, Texas.
- 1967: Chicken Fat (Impulse!)
- 1968: The Wizard (Impulse!)
- 1969: Blues for We (Impulse!)
- 1969: I'd Rather Suck My Thumb (Impulse!)
- 1971: Mel Brown's Fifth (Impulse!)
- 1973: Big Foot Country Girl (Impulse!)
- 1973: Eighteen Pounds of Unclean Chitlins and Other Greasy Blues Specialties (BluesWay)
- 1998: Can’t Stop Blowin' (Electro-Fi) Snooky Pryor with special guest Mel Brown
- 1999: Neck Bones & Caviar (Electro-Fi) Mel Brown
- 2000: Double Shot! (Electro-Fi) Snooky Pryor and Mel Brown
- 2001: Homewreckin’ Done Live (Electro-Fi) Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
- 2006: Blues – A Beautiful Thing (Electro-Fi) Mel Brown and The Homewreckers
- 2006: Mel Brown – The DVD (Electro-Fi)
- Clifford Coulter – East Side San Jose (Impulse!, 1970)
- Clifford Coulter – Do It Now! (Impulse!, 1971)
- B.B. King… L.A. Midnight – Guitar
- B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland – Together for the First Time – Guitar
- Albert Collins – Cold Snap – Guitar
- James Cotton – Mighty Long Time – Piano
- Lightnin' Hopkins – It’s a Sin To Be Rich – Guitar, Organ, Electric Piano
- John Lee Hooker – Endless Boogie – Acoustic Guitar
- John Lee Hooker Never Get Out of The Blues Alive – Guitar and Bass
- Jimmy McGriff – The Starting Five (Milestone, 1987) - Guitar
- Jimmy McGriff - The Dream Team (Milestone, 1997) – Guitar
- Doug Sahm – Juke Box Music – Keyboards
- Earl Hooker – Simply The Best – Guitar
- Charles Brown – Legend – Guitar
- T-Bone Walker – Stormy Monday Blues (BluesWay, 1968)
- T-Bone Walker - Funky Town (BluesWay, 1969)
- Monica Dupont – Monica Dupont Vintage – Guitar
- Little Bobby and The Jumpstarts – Tickets in the Glovebox – Piano, Guitar
- Harmonica Shah – Listen At Me Good – Guitar
- "Mel Brown | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
- "I'd Rather Suck My Thumb - Mel Brown | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Mel Brown - I'd Rather Suck My Thumb (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Mel Brown - Eighteen Pounds Of Unclean Chitlings (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Consummate bluesman" is gone, Terry Pender, Waterloo Record, March 21, 2009
- "Delta bluesman Mel Brown dies in adopted hometown of Kitchener, Ont.", CBC News website, March 22, 2009
- "Love Lost & Found: The Story of Mel Brown". Lovelostandfoundmovie.com. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.