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Despite what his official website says, Junior Brown is coming to Louisville this Friday to play Jim Porter's Good Time Emporium. For whatever reason, the site's tour itinerary jumps from Austin to Ann Arbor without a mention of his River City stop in between. The important thing, however, is that he will be in town to kick off the weekend.

Brown is an unsung artist who is in many ways a country traditionalist despite often being pegged as an alternative country artist. His voice is pure old school country, rich with warmth and perfect for delivering a good punch line. He often writes of subject matter that would make even Johnny Cash nod with approval. "When I get out of this prison, I'm never going back again/I don't know what state I'll be in but I know it won't be the state pen," he sings on Hard Livin' Hard off his excellent 2001 release Mixed Bag.

Songs like My Wife Thinks You're Dead and perhaps his most recognizable song Highway Patrol both off the 1993 album Guit With It are both quintessential country in a traditional country way and not the image driven, flashy, pop-inspired version of country music that Nashville has often churned out over the past decade or more.

So in an ironic way, Brown's roots country approach is an alternative to the slick country of recent years, which in and of itself, is arguably not nearly as true a country sound as Brown's. Brown also employs a surf guitar sound that does delve outside the typical country norm, but with his own guit-steel, a double-necked instrument that is part electric guitar and part lap steel guitar, Brown creates some impressive and distinct sounds with seemingly effortless picking.

On Friday, if he plays Grow Up America, even the passive country fan might feel a lump in their throats. So, while many may know Brown best as the balladeer in the 2005 Dukes of Hazzard movie, taking over the role Waylon Jennings played on the TV show, Brown is a consummate musician whose music is both intricate yet often fun.

Louisville's own Johnny Berry and the Outliers is the special guest, and you will not find an opener more appropriate for the headliner than Berry is for Brown. In support of their latest CD Bourbon Spearmint & Ice, Berry and his band bring more old time country with a kick of rockabilly thrown in that works perfectly with his deep, made for country music voice.

Berry takes the stage at 7:00 P.M. with Brown to follow around 8:00. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of show . You will be able to hang around well after the show since Jim Porter's is open until 4:00 A.M. Maybe Brown or Berry will be inspired by their visit and name a song after the nightspot's sobriquet, maybe something like I'm Just a Lonely Cowboy at the Wrinkle Ranch.

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Kevin Sedelmeier's picture

About Kevin Sedelmeier

I am polite, and I'm rarely late. I like to eat ice cream, and really enjoy a nice pair of slacks.

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