Back-Road Highways, the 2012 album release from Americana/Soul Singer-Songwriter Chastity Brown, features 11 tracks depicting musical stories of love, praise, and personal triumph. Recommended songs include the Gospel-inspired track “If You Let Me”, the upbeat Banjo-filled song “After You” and the motivational and rhythmic ballad “Leroy”.
While musically displaying her appreciation for the Lord on “If You Let Me”, Brown invites B3 Organ/Pianist Blair Masters and Electric Guitarist/Backup vocalist Robert Mulrennen to provide instrumentations to incorporate a Gospel-theme on the track. While singing the lyrics, “…And Lord if ya let me/I’ll go see my mom/She’s there with my brother, her only son/And I’ll tell her I’m grateful for all that she done/Oh Lord if ya let me, I’ll go see my mom…/”, Brown adds a personal touch to the lyrics behind the song. “There have been countless supporters along the way, the first of which is my mother,” Brown explains, “I somehow talked her into purchasing several instruments, although we had little money. She made me promise to commit one year to each. All of them I still play.”
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, Back-Road Highways features stories of motivation and desire on “After You” and “Leroy”. Brown states, “On the track ‘After You’, the beat leads you like a heartbeat that’s been amplified,” she continues, “It’s one of the most light-hearted stories on the record in that the character recalls all of the separate instances that have one thing in common-wanting the one you want.” As Brown creates a positive melody with her Banjo, her explanation is evident with the lyrics, “…And you lay your head/Right beside my head/Pray ya feel it too/Now we’re going to the place we’re headed to/When I’ve was after you…/” Drummer Bernard Bell and Bassist Anton Nesbitt provide rhythmic beats to complete the infectious sounds behind the track.
On the motivational and rhythmic track “Leroy”, Brown sings of inspiration for the character to continue on life’s journey despite constant struggles and hardships. The lyrics, “…I need you to get up/I need you to get ready, we’re leaving in the morn/Oh now Leroy/I need you to trust me/Where we’re headed I’ve never seen before…/” help to persuade listeners to keep walking the path towards a brighter and prosperous life. Brown recalls a moment that her music personally inspired a listener:
“About four or five years ago I was playing a small pub with a barbeque in the back. That night I sang a song that dealt with some really dark experiences. After the set, the cook, an old man with few teeth and leathered skin, came out from the back. He asked me to sit down. He said, “I’m gonna tell you something that only my wife of forty years knows.” He proceeded to tell me of the traumatic events of his youth, the shame he internalized, and how he dealt with it by silence. He said “it’s that song you sang that made all this pour out of me.” The truth of this moment struck me to my core and I will never forget that man.”
Since beginning her musical career 15 years ago, Chastity Brown has quickly become a household name with her deep and motivational lyrics, her down-to-earth personality, and her inspiring sounds behind the instrumentations on each track. Though she admires great artists such as Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill, Brown differentiates from these artists due to her originality and humbleness maintained behind her music. “This past Fall, while in Europe, I was playing my first show at Hansa 48 in Kiel, Germany. I was hoping at least 20 people would show up, but it was sold out,” Brown proudly states, “It was like I was exactly where I should be and so were they (the audience).”
On Wednesday, February 20th, Chastity Brown will be featured on Bloomberg TV as an emerging artist. To see a full list of upcoming gigs for Chastity Brown, please http://www.chastitybrownmusic.com