Today’s Song of the Day is a great live performance from Brooklyn-based L.D. Brown AKA Grey Reverend which he performed in Sofia, Bulgaria. The track is from his 2011 debut album Of The Days.
Grey Reverend’s new album A Hero’s Lie is due for release next month on 2nd September.
Brown decided to produce A Hero’s Lie himself, playing percussive elements, keys and a homemade mellotron as well as his signature rhythmic, raw guitar. The decision has paid off in spades, perhaps enhancing the cohesive sense of the album and its internal logic and recurring themes. This is an album that has been put together with the utmost sincerity. As a result, it is really, seriously good.
Grey Reverend is the solo project of songwriter L.D. Brown. He began the project in 2005 while living in Philadelphia P.A, focusing on guitar and voice as a primary means of expression. Raised on a variety of musical genres, L.D. began playing the saxophone at age 9, but didn’t discover the guitar until the age of 22 ,when he moved into an apartment where someone had serendipitously left one behind. While living in Philadelphia, Brown was also fortunate enough to meet and study music under the instruction and guidance of his mentor and jazz guitar legend, Pat Martino. Soon enough, he was performing in various jazz, rock, and blues outfits throughout the City of Brotherly Love. He immersed himself in the complex language of music theory and jazz improvisation, though a few years into his burgeoning career, he mysteriously began experiencing problems with his hands while performing and practicing. This setback obscured his aspirations of becoming a Jazz guitar soloist, in the realm of such legends as Wes Montgomery and Grant Green. Alas, he vowed not to give up the instrument that he had grown to love so dearly.
Diagnosed with focal dystonia, a neurological disorder that effects fine motor skills, L.D. was forced to cope with the loss of dexterity in his hands and slowly found himself drawn towards more subtle and simplistic folk and blues compositions of songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, John Fahey, Terry Calier and Mississippi John Hurt. The desire to write and sing his own material combined with the knowledge of musicology prompted L.D. to begin crafting subversive and unique chord structures for his deeply visceral compositions. Using a stream-of-consciousness style of writing, L.D. also found inspiration in creating sincere, yet accessible lyrics about life, love,and loss.