October 16 @ 9:00 pm - 12:30 am
Tickets on sale Friday, September 24th at 10am.
With his unique voice, more unique song writing, and even more unique double necked “Guit-Steel” guitar, there has absolutely never been ANYONE like Junior Brown. He’s an American Original. Born in 1952 in Cottonwood, Arizona, Junior Brown showed an affinity for music at an early age when the family moved to a rural area of Indiana near Kirksville. In the following years, Junior began to experience Country music and remembers it as “growing up out of the ground like the crops – it was everywhere; coming out of cars, houses, gas stations and stores like the soundtrack of a story, but Country music programs on TV hadn’t really come along much yet; not until the late fifties.” Discovering a guitar in his grandparent’s attic, he spent the next several years woodshedding with records and the radio.
The result was Brown’s unique invention, the “Guit-Steel”, a double necked instrument combining standard guitar with steel guitar. Built by Michael Stevens of Stevens Electric Instruments, the Guit-Steel allows Junior to switch instruments quickly in mid song while singing. According to Brown, his guitar and steel guitar playing became more his own around this time, with less imitation of others and more his own original ideas and licks. This maturation coincided with the development of a completely “Junior Brown” style of songwriting which employs subtle dry wit to some songs – others can be more overtly humorous, or just plain dead serious; like his playing, there is a wide range of styles that when combined can only spell Junior Brown.
In the early nineties Brown and his band (including wife Tanya Rae) relocated to Texas to the active Austin music scene and landed a weekly gig at the Continental club. Seeing Junior live is a definite must, so GUIT WITH IT ’cause he’s AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL!
“One little known fact is that by 1850, and for many years afterward, European, most German, immigrants in San Antonio outnumbered both Mexicans and Anglos.” Texas Historian T. R. Ferenbach
Well, little known to whom? Not to those of us whose families date back to before Texas was a U.S. state. Want to know what is truly a “little known” fact? Texas Two-Step (in all it’s varieties), danced now for close to 200 years in Texas, and swing dancing, picked up by both black and white communities and danced throughout the South in its early years and now throughout the world, was derived from Czech and German dances. Texas dance hall culture is a German and Czech product, as is the large portions of our state that are family oriented. All of the famous dancehalls in Texas and those that have passed into the night with the arrival of more Anglos and other cultures, were Czech and German products.
Gruene Hall dates back to 1878. It was, like all halls of this type, a community center. Texas has retained it’s culture of serving liquor or beer with children present. Unlike other states that took on a strictly Anglo Protestant culture, barring children from houses of liquor and dance, Texas inherited a Czech and German view. Adults and children play together, so to speak. We’re family.
As anti-German sentiment increased with World War II, many Germans left or changed their names, stopped speaking German in schools or in public and German was banned from being taught in many municipalities in Texas. This had a detrimental effect on our communities, with many halls closing, one by one over the years and changing the face of our communities.
The German owners and strict German community are no more in Gruene. Purchased by Anglos, Gruene Hall is now a mausoleum, a museum and living breathing entity all rolled into one. It is a Texas treasure. It deserves preservation and use. Great Texas country and roots music is played at Gruene Hall. Support Texas music and history. Support Gruene Hall.
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