"As a musician, songwriter and singer, Christopher Brown stands with the best of them".
~Phil Ciganer, owner, Towne Crier Cafe
If you’ve lived a life – victories and defeats, good days and bad -- you’ll recognize yourself in the songs of Christopher Brown.
You’ll find glimpses of people you’ve known, flashes of life’s turning points, stirrings of emotions tied to moments in time. Brown captures the simple truths that we share in song, with offhand insight and humor. He writes tales of lessons learned and of taking stock through life’s journey. He chuckles over the big stuff, even death, but sings with tenderness of the small turns in life that leave their marks on all of us. It’s no wonder that Phil Ciganer, owner of the Towne Crier Café in Beacon, New York, who has presented the greatest singer-songwriters of a generation, says “Christopher Brown stands with the best of them".
It’s not easy to be a working musician in the Greater New York City region for 40 years. So many have come and gone. But Brown has built several followings that endure. He’s known as a solo coffeehouse artist, as the leader of duos and trios, and as the voice of the Bookends band, which has been rocking out since the year of our nation’s bicentennial, 1976.
Whether he’s performing by himself or with friends, Brown wins over audiences without gimmicks or bluster. He has an organic stage presence. All he needs are his honeyed rumble of a voice and an unteachable ability to make any song – a good-time singalong of a favorite standard or a self-penned meditation on the passage of time – sound genuine and of the moment.
Brown has showcased his original songs on three albums: Go West (2001); Hangin' In (2004); and the remarkable Characterist (2011). On the latter, he wrote of Cyrano and Juliet's little-known relationship, an honest and oddly likeable Devil, a soldier in Vietnam clutching for meaning, and others characters you'll find to be oddly familiar. He mused over the loss of innocence, the facing of regret, and the relief of accepting that "I did the best I could, it's all mine/And it's all good."
He’s now working on songs for his next album.
It’s telling that Brown is also an artist/illustrator who can capture a subject's essence through caricature, whether he’s focused on a U.S. president, an Oscar winner or a guy from down the block. With a few strokes, he reveals hints of a character's nature or temperament, their mystery or charm. He does the same thing with lyric and melody, outlining and shading characters and moments, yearnings and states of mind.
Listen to Christopher Brown. You'll begin to see outlines of people you have known. And of yourself.