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JIMMY BROWN - UNDER THE SUN (BalconyTV)

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BalconyTV

BalconyTV

Jimmy Brown performs 'Under The Sun' for BalconyTV Dublin
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http://BalconyTV.com/dublin 7/07/2008

JIMMY BROWN - UNDER THE SUN

PRESENTED BY TOM MILLETT

My name is Jimmy Brown. I'm originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, but I now live in Hickory, North Carolina. I started my career in music when I was seventeen, playing cover gigs in the North of Ireland. I did this for about two years and eventually I got bored of singing other peoples songs so I decided to write my own. I released an album independently in 2003 and started playing shows with my own tunes. It's a hard transition going from playing other artists songs to only playing your own -- you soon realize that your own songs need to get a lot better!

A year later, I decided to go traveling. First stop was Worcester, South Africa. I spent a few months there working in orphanages and shanty towns and then I headed off to Bali, Indonesia. I played a fair few shows in the tourist spots in Bali with some amazing percussionists and pipe players and spent the rest of the time snorkeling and surfing -- someone has to do it!

After Indonesia, I made my way to Holland. I stayed in a little village called Ede, about an hour outside Amsterdam, which is were I wrote the songs that would later be on my first EP entitled, The Art of Coming Home. I released the EP in a wee pub in Belfast called McHugh's, and I remember looking out the window and being surprised to see that there was a line of about twenty people waiting for the doors to open. The gig sold out and the songs were well received.

A few weeks passed and then a friend of mine asked me if I would go with him to North Carolina via China. The next thing I knew I was landing in Shanghai Airport! My best memory of China was when we had to go into a restaurant's kitchen and invent some sort of interpretive cross-cultural sign language in order to get our dinner. We were two hungry guys from Belfast nodding our heads frantically with our tongues hanging out wishing we knew how to say 'chicken curry & fried rice, please!'

A month later we arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I quickly resumed my solo act. Not long after, a friend told me about a band that were playing in a place called Hickory and so I decided to take a drive up to check them out. When I got there I realized that the front man was a native Belfast man. One thing led to another and I ended up moving to Hickory and joining that band. I played with Airspace for two great years before choosing to go solo again.

When you meet one guy from Belfast in the foothills of the Appalachians, in as remote a place as Hickory, your chances of meeting another one are probably slim. But as fate would have it, I bumped into Irish poet Adrian Rice in what is now one of our local haunts, 'The Old Hickory Taproom'. Adrian and I spent about a year and a half talking about words, music and pretty much everything else under the sun. An inspirational television documentary about a painting called 'Snowstorm', by the late English artist J.M.W. Turner, provided the final push behind Adrian and me getting together to co-write songs. I was amazed by the story behind the painting and I started penning the words which became the opening verse of our first song, 'The Frailty of Man'. I brought what I had of the lyrics to Adrian and asked him to write the rest. We set off for the bar (where else?) and after an hour or two the lyrics were complete. This marked the start of what Adrian and I call a 'golden moment' -- we wrote twelve songs in eighteen days. Six of these songs are currently being recorded for an EP entitled 'The Age of Distraction', due for release in September of this year.

http://www.myspace.com/jimmybrownmusic

Tune in again tomorrow!!!

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